Desktop Applications Specialist: Job Description and Requirements

Sep 10, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a desktop applications specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

Desktop application specialist work onsite or remotely to support desktop applications. They typically require a bachelor's degree, but sometimes an associate's degree or a certificate program will suffice. They often require experience supporting desktop applications.

Essential Information

Desktop applications specialists are professionals who provide technical support and upgrades, as well as software installation to customers. Some alternate job titles may include computer support specialist, help desk consultant and network administrator. They may help customers at the same physical location or provide remote support. Many employers require a computer-related bachelor's degree for this position, although an associate's degree or certificate sometimes will suffice. Although on-the-job training may be provided, employers often require work experience supporting desktop applications.

Required Education Certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree related to computers; additional on-the-job training
Other Requirements Work experience dealing with desktop applications
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 10% for computer user support specialists; 5% for network and computer systems administrators
Median Salary (2018)* $53,470 for computer user support specialists; $82,050 for network and computer systems administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for a Desktop Applications Specialist

Desktop applications are programs, such as Microsoft Word or Access, which operate on a computer as opposed to over the Internet. A desktop applications specialist is responsible for installing and maintaining these systems, as well as troubleshooting any technical computer issues that a customer or company employee might encounter. Other duties may include answering questions from customers regarding their workstations. It is also the job of desktop applications specialists to manage computer folders and files, as well as launch programs.

Due to the expansion of computer networks, it is often possible for desktop applications specialists to assist customers from a remote location. In this manner, they can assist customers in the process of resolving their computer concerns. With the proper training, desktop applications specialists can work in other positions, such as help desk consultants, information technology specialists, network administrators, IT (information technology) support specialists and desktop support specialists.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment opportunities for computer user support specialists are expected to be on the rise between 2018 and 2028, with a faster than average growth rate of 10%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS predicts that job growth for network and computer systems administrators will be about average, with an increase of 5% over that decade. Salary data from the BLS for May 2018 shows the median salary for computer user support specialists was $53,470, and network and computer systems administrators earned a median salary of $82,050 that year.

Job Requirements for a Desktop Applications Specialist

Methods of acquiring training in desktop applications are varied. A bachelor's degree is typically a requirement for desktop applications specialists, but some employers may require only an associate's degree or certificate. Students should focus on obtaining degrees in computer engineering, information systems or computer science.

Along with relevant education, hiring companies may want job applicants to have some work experience in desktop applications. Companies may offer on-the-job training for new hires. Typically, desktop applications specialists will complete continued training throughout the lifetime of their career to stay current on operation systems and software updates.

Certifications, such as the Microsoft Office Specialist Expert and the Microsoft Certified Applications Specialist, are available to desktop applications specialists. Obtaining certification informs employers that applicants are experts in Microsoft programs and can help with career advancement.

Desktop application specialists can receive certification for the applications they support, which may be required for some positions. The median annual salary for support specialists is about $49,000, while network and computer system administrators earn roughly $78,000. Both positions have a positive job growth outlook in the coming years.

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