Computer Support Specialist

Student working in server room

Computer Support Specialist - Certificate

Here’s a program to consider if you enjoy combining technical and customer service skills in a variety of business and office settings. Our Computer Support Specialist program will train you for a rewarding career as a computer support specialist, software specialist, help desk specialist, training and support coordinator, or PC support specialist. You’ll learn valuable skills needed by companies ranging from hospitals to financial institutions, large corporations, school districts, and universities. Hardware and software manufacturers also hire program graduates to work as customer service representatives and help desk personnel.

Bellingham Technical College is a Microsoft IT Academy member and is a member of CompTIA.

Employment Information

75% BTC graduate placement rate

$44,450 starting annual wage
$55,973 average annual wage
$69,680 potential average wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Wages:
    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( esd.wa.gov) reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program typically starts in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Quarters on a space available basis.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and a grade of C will be the minimum passing grade for all courses.

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 41

  • Quarter 1

  • IT 105Using Network Computer Systems3 CR
  • IT 141A+ Operating Systems5 CR
  • IT 112A+ Hardware5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • IT 106IT Support Skills3 CR
  • CAP 101Microsoft Computer Applications5 CR
  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 CR
  • CAP 138MS Word5 CR
  • CAP 146Microsoft Access5 CR

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Provide satisfactory helpdesk solutions to problems or scenarios with Word, Excel, Access, or PowerPoint using industry standard helpdesk procedures.
  • Troubleshoot operating systems or software problems.
  • Provide efficient and effective IT technical support to clients in a manner that promotes safe computing practices and encourages effective working relationships.

Employment Outlook

Computer support positions are expected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the next decade. The rapid rate of growth and change in the field requires a commitment to stay current with new technologies. Enhancing a Computer Support Specialist with industry recognized certifications increases employment opportunities.

The average annual wage in this field is $55,973, with an earning potential of about $69,680 per year.*

Computer software support and training staff usually work in the information support departments of large organizations such as universities, government agencies, hospitals, financial institutions and major corporations.

Hardware and software manufacturers also employ telephone-based help as customer service representatives. Potential positions include computer support specialist, computer software specialist, help desk specialist, training and support coordinator, desktop services analyst, PC support specialist, response line representative, and help desk analyst.

Faculty & Support

Photo of Mike Massey
Mike Massey
Information Technology

Mike Massey graduated from Western Washington University, in 1985, with a combined Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science and Business Administration, and a minor in History. For the next 15 years he worked as a computer programmer (Dealer Information Systems), and as a database programmer, network administrator and IT Manager at Western Washington University (WWU). During that time he also obtained his commercial pilot license and float plane rating from Trinity Western University. Mike has been teaching Computer Networking at Bellingham Technical College since 2000. He is currently pursuing a degree in Biology at WWU.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2001

    CompTIA Network+ Certified - 2001

    CompTIA A+ Certified - 2001

    B.A., Business Administration/Computer Science, Western Washington University - 2001

    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - 2001

Photo of Gregory Rehm
Gregory Rehm
Information Technology

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Microsoft Certified Professional - 1997

    B.S., Community Health Ed, Western Washington University - 1997

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 1997

    Network+ Certified Professional - 1997

    Linux+ Certified - 1997

    Certified Netware Administrator - 1997

    A+ Certified Professional - 1997