What Does a Computer Networking Specialist Do?

Computer Networking and Security is a career you can begin without a college degree

If you like technology and are looking for a career that doesn’t require a college degree, you might want to consider the field of computer networking and security. In this era of ever-changing technological advancements, being a part of the computer science industry can be a dynamic and gratifying place to be.

Every industry—from education and medicine to banking and business—is dependent on good IT to run smoothly. If you are the type of person who loves tinkering with your laptop or other electronic devices, you may have the knack for this field. Read more to find out what kinds of tasks and responsibilities you would have if you pursue a career as a computer networking specialist.

What do computer networking specialists do?

Depending on your training and your exact job, you could have an array of responsibilities as a computer networking specialist or computer support technician. In this role, you might:

  • Provide trouble-shooting advice
  • Take calls at the help desk and assist callers as needed
  • Install software and updates
  • Do regular maintenance on individual machines and network-wide
  • Create new users when new employees begin
  • Make sure security measures are being followed
  • Conduct backup of the servers on a regular basis
  • Configure operating systems

What job can I get without a college degree?

While many jobs in the field of computer science do require advanced degrees, many of them do not. You can enter computer training courses that prepare you with the skills and knowledge you need for entry level jobs in the field of IT. Examples of jobs that may require job training (but not a full college degree) include:

  • Field service technician
  • Technical support representative/specialist
  • Network administrator/specialist
  • Network security specialist
  • IT support representative/specialist
  • IT support administrator
  • Help-desk technician
  • Network support specialist

What training do I need?

While a full college degree may not be necessary, you will still need to get some training before pursuing this career. Check the listings at your nearest community colleges and private career training schools. They may offer 1- or 2-year programs that can get you ready for the job market in a short period of time.

Here’s an important thing to remember about the field of computer science: Continuous training is important! Computer science is one of the fastest evolving fields, and if you want to succeed as a network specialist or other IT worker, it is important that you continue to educate yourself. Even after you earn a diploma at a training school, be sure to continue taking courses and educating yourself in order to stay current will the rapid pace of change in this field.

What is the job outlook?

The future job outlook for computer support specialists is positive, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. The handbook says, “Employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.” If you are considering entering this field, make sure you do some research on the jobs that may be available in your part of the country.

There is no doubt about it…the world is dependent on technology, and new technologies are being created at an astonishing rate. If you are ready to take on a challenge, becoming part of the IT world can be a very fulfilling career.


For residents of New England, you may want to pursue a computer networking program at the Branford Hall Career Institute. We have programs located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and northern New Jersey. See if we have a campus near you.