Computer Support Specialist

Student working in server room

Computer Support Specialist - AAS

In a world where everyday items are increasingly dependent upon computers – from phones to televisions to medical equipment – the need for skilled workers who can troubleshoot computer software issues is growing. If you enjoy combining technical and customer service skills in a variety of business and office settings, Bellingham Technical College’s Computer Support Specialist associate degree could be a good fit to get your tech career started. BTC’s Computer Support Specialist program will train you for top jobs in computer support, software, help desk support, PC support, and training and software support coordination.

BTC’s classes will train you in valuable software and computer support skills needed by companies big and small, including hospitals, financial institutions, large corporations, school districts, and universities. Computer hardware and software manufacturers also hire BTC’s program graduates to work as customer service representatives and help desk personnel.

Students in the Computer Support Specialist associate degree program at Bellingham Technical College will receive training in word processing, spreadsheets and databases; teaching others how to use computers and software; basic computer programming and website building; operating system installation and configuration; and more.

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

Employment Information

68% BTC graduate placement rate

$48,277 starting annual wage
$61,090 average annual wage
$76,918 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

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 for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 90

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • OR
  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • Or Higher
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • IT 101Using Network Computer Systems5 CR
  • IT 141A+ Operating Systems5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • IT 112A+ Hardware5 CR
  • CAP 138Microsoft Word5 CR
  • CAP 142Microsoft Excel5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • BUS& 101Introduction to Business5 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • CAP 146Microsoft Access3 CR
  • Computer Support Specialist students may choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUS, BUS&, CAP, CIS, CS, CS&, ECON, HT, LGL, IT, or MGMT. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.10 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • IT 120Command Line Interface and Scripting5 CR
  • IT 160Network Technology I5 CR
  • Computer Support Specialist students may choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUS, BUS&, CAP, CIS, CS, CS&, ECON, HT, LGL, IT, or MGMT. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.5 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • IT 142Windows Desktop I5 CR
  • IT 270Field-Based Experience5 CR
  • Computer Support Specialist students may choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUS, BUS&, CAP, CIS, CS, CS&, ECON, HT, LGL, IT, or MGMT. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.5 CR
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

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

  • Apply industry standard IT networking solutions to understand and troubleshoot networking issues.
  • Design and develop an IT Helpdesk disaster recovery plan.
  • Troubleshoot operating systems or software problems.
  • Design and develop a hardware-based user needs assessment.
  • Use a variety of scripting tools or languages to automate routine tasks.
  • Provide satisfactory helpdesk solutions to problems or scenarios with Word, Excel, Access, or PowerPoint using industry standard helpdesk procedures.
  • 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 jobs over the next decade. The rapid rate of growth and change in the tech industry requires a commitment to stay current with new technologies. Enhancing a Computer Support Specialist degree with industry-recognized certifications means BTC grads can compete for the best jobs in the software support industry.

Computer Support Specialist program graduates usually find jobs in the information support and IT departments of large organizations such as universities, government agencies, hospitals, financial institutions, and major corporations.

Program graduates also find jobs as telephone-based technicians and customer service representatives for hardware and software manufacturers. Other potential computer support jobs 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.

The average annual wage in the software and computer support field is $55,973, with an earning potential of about $69,680 per year.*

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, Network+ Certified Professional

    Certificate, A+ Certified Professional

    Certificate, Certified Netware Administrator

    BS, Community Health Ed, Western Washington University

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    Certificate, Linux+ Certified

    Certificate, Microsoft Certified Professional

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

    BA, Business Administration/Computer Science, Western Washington University

    Certificate, CompTIA A+ Certified

    Certificate, CompTIA Network+ Certified

    Certificate, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    MA, Biology, Miami University


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email