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What Do Computer Network Support Specialists Do?

By Steve Smith

The information presented here is true and accurate as of the date of publication. DeVry’s programmatic offerings and their accreditations are subject to change. Please refer to the current academic catalog for details.


May 16, 2024

7 min read


Keeping computer networks up and running and safe is a top priority for enterprises that operate in today’s Internet of Things economy. Professionals like computer network support specialists play an important role in keeping information systems maintained and supporting the users who need to have access to those networks.

In this article, we will discuss the role played by computer network support specialists in detail. We’ll talk about the steps you’ll need to take to prepare to pursue this occupation, the responsibilities associated with the role and the skills you’ll need to develop and sharpen to work toward success.

What Is a Network Support Specialist?

If you’ve ever had a problem using your computer or connecting to a network, you may have directly or indirectly experienced the work of network support personnel.

Sharing many of their duties with network and computer systems administrators, these IT professionals often collaborate with database administrators, computer network architects and computer and information systems managers.

On a typical day, computer network support specialists maintain a company’s network systems in various ways. They perform tasks associated with hardware configuration, but they also help people resolve network issues and contribute to end-user training. Their work makes a substantial contribution to the efficiency, safety and reliability of these networks. If you have an interest in devices and computer networking and consider yourself a problem-solver who enjoys helping people, a career in computer network support may be a good fit for you.

Becoming a Computer Network Support Specialist

If you’re preparing to pursue this career path, it’s important to know that the entry and education requirements for network support jobs vary. According to occupational outlook data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers may look for computer support specialists with an associate degree, but some may prefer applicants who’ve earned a bachelor’s degree. At a minimum, applicants should have studied networking, server administration and information security. Additional education may also be required or expected as you continue through your career.


Here at DeVry, we offer several online degree and certificate programs designed to help motivated learners prepare to pursue their first job or career advancement in information technology. 

For example, our Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Networking program can help you prepare to pursue this career path by providing in-depth learning into how enterprises manage and secure data. Key focus areas include voice over internet protocol (VOIP), infrastructure security, wireless and mobile technologies, and converged networks. 

And to help you better align your education with your professional goals, this bachelor’s degree program allows you to choose 1 of 3 degree specializations:

  • Mobile and Networked Devices

  • Cyber Security

  • Cloud Based Networking and Visualization

With the skills and knowledge gained in this bachelor’s degree program, graduates may prepare to pursue a variety of career roles in tech support or systems analysis as they work alongside engineers and developers to maintain efficient information networks.

Embedded in this program are our Undergraduate Certificate in Networking Essentials and our Associate Degree in Information Technology and Networking, meaning all courses in both of these programs will count toward your Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Networking at DeVry. This 3-in-1 design allows you to earn incremental credentials along the way and put your education to use faster while you earn your bachelor’s degree.1


The BLS also notes the importance of certifications in this field. Elements of the curricula for both our Associate and Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Networking programs can help you prepare to pursue certification exams such as CCNA, CompTIA Security+, and Cloud Essentials+.

Qualified students may receive up to $300 in reimbursement for the cost of one exam attempt for any of the certifications listed above. Other certifications may also be eligible for reimbursement. Speak to your Student Support Advisor for additional information.

CompTIA’s Network+ certification is particularly applicable to this occupation, as it verifies skills in networking concepts, implementations, security, operations and troubleshooting.

Computer Network Support Specialist Responsibilities

From configuring security settings so that only authorized personnel can access networks to disaster recovery, the responsibilities of network support specialists are wide-ranging. Often operating as troubleshooters, analysts and administrators, their regular duties may include the following tasks:

  • Installing security permissions for network users to protect the network from unauthorized access.

  • Troubleshooting to identify the cause of issues that could hamper connectivity. This may involve the use of diagnostic testing software or equipment.

  • Providing support to end-users of the computer network. This may be done on-site or remotely, depending upon how the organization’s workforce and network users are distributed.

  • Monitoring network access for issues, security risks or problems with connectivity.

  • Performing regular maintenance to ensure the network is functioning optimally.

  • Installing, configuring or fixing equipment related to wide area networks (WANs) or local area networks (LANs).

Skills Computer Network Support Specialists Need

In addition to the technical skills needed for network systems administration, workplace or soft skills help professionals in this critical role collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders and provide top-level customer service. Some of these soft skills may include:

  • Communication: When performing their regular diagnostic, maintenance, security and support duties, well-honed communication skills can help these IT professionals to be more effective. Strong written and verbal communication also allow them to engage more effectively with people from non-technical backgrounds.

  • Problem solving: A passion for problem solving and the tenacity to find solutions are important skills for network support specialists. An ability to approach simple and complex problems with the same levels of focus and dedication enable them to add value to their enterprise.

  • Listening: Being a good listener empowers you to have a better understanding of the challenge at hand. Support specialists are frequently called upon to work with people who may have minimal computer training. Asking the right questions and using active listening techniques can go a long way in these situations.

  • Customer service: Patience and empathy can be the basis for excellent customer service, especially when customers are experiencing a high level of frustration with computer software or connectivity issues.

Computer Network Support Job Outlook

The BLS notes overall employment in computer and information technology occupations in general is projected to grow faster on a national level than the average for all occupations between 2022 and 2032.2 

Employment of computer network support specialists specifically is expected to grow 5% from 2022 to 2032. While that number sounds small, it’s considerably faster than the average for all occupations, meaning about 66,500 openings for various types of computer support specialists are projected each year, on average, over that period.3 This growth is projected on a national level and local growth will vary by location. BLS projections are not specific to DeVry University students or graduates and may include earners at all stages of their careers, not just entry-level.

Prepare to Pursue a Career in Information Technology at DeVry

If you’re thinking about putting your interest in IT and passion for problem solving to work as a network support specialist, DeVry can help you get started.

When you study information technology and networking at DeVry, you immerse yourself in today’s interconnected world and cultivate skills in IoT, cloud, software and security technologies. Our online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Networking can help prepare you to pursue network support career roles by introducing you to concepts in complex problem solving, data analysis, digital literacy, and system, component and process design, among other topics.

Align your degree to your goals by choosing to specialize in Cyber Security, Mobile and Networked devices or Cloud Based Networking and Visualization.

Earn your Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Networking in as little as 2 years and 8 months on a minimum schedule, or 4 years on a normal one.4

1Future programmatic changes could impact the ability to earn additional credentials en route to an eligible degree program. Refer to the academic catalog for details.

2Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. BLS projections are not specific to DeVry University students or graduates and may include earners at all stages of their career and not just entry level.

3Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. BLS projections are not specific to DeVry University students or graduates and may include earners at all stages of their career and not just entry level.

4Normal schedule assumes 2 semesters of year-round, full-time enrollment in 12-19 credit hours a semester per 12-month period. Minimum schedule does not include breaks and assumes 3 semesters of year-round, full-time enrollment in 12-19 credit hours a semester per 12-month period.

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