A computer support specialist is a person who provides technical support on computers. Such a specialist may work for a business, within the information technology department, and may install software, manage servers, and handle technical issues that arise when employees have difficulty with their computers. A computer support specialist may also provide customer service to home users who have issues or problems with computer software or hardware.
Computers are complex machines subject to a number of potential hardware or software problems. Various components of computers, such as the hard drive, motherboard, or battery, often need to be replaced after several years of use. Some computer support specialists who offer hardware repairs can disassemble the computer to replace damaged or broken parts. These specialists generally offer either on-site service, in which they come to a home or business to make repairs, or have repair shops where customers can bring in their damaged or broken computers to be fixed.
Software problems can also abound on computers. Sometimes, an end user may have difficulty installing a piece of software, or in a business setting, an end user may not have the administrative authority to install software on his computer himself. In such situations, a computer support specialist could assist by installing and configuring the program so it is easy for the user to operate.
Once a piece of software is installed, additional problems may arise if there are flaws or glitches in the software. For example, some software may crash, which means the program will close, if certain actions are done. In other situations, the software itself works, but the user simply doesn't know or understand how to use it. The computer support specialist can talk a person through the use of the software, teaching him how to do the tasks required. He can also help the user identify why problems exist within the software, if any do, and can help fix those problems by installing patches, or fixes, from the manufacturer.
Finally, problems can arise if a computer has a virus. Viruses are programs designed to damage the software or information on the hard drive of a computer. A virus can be unintentionally installed by a person who receives a file in an email or who downloads a song. A computer support specialist can identify the virus and run programs to help resolve it.
Computer support specialists may focus in one particular area. Although they can help people solve any and all problems that arise with their computers, each specialist may focus on a particular type of computer or a particular problem. In general, however, the purpose of such specialists is to assist users with their computer problems, questions and issues.