Online Technical Support Repair Degree Programs

Network systems administrators install and support a company's computer systems and troubleshoot any problems that arise. Computer support specialists can work either as help-desk technicians or technical support specialists. Help-desk technicians respond directly to consumer questions and walk customers through a solution step-by-step. Technical support specialists work hands-on, installing and repairing hardware and software while training others how to use them.

Technical Support & Repair Fast Facts
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported these positions earned the following median salaries in 2008:

  • Computer support specialists: $43,450
  • Network systems administrators: $66,310

Career Training
While there are a number of online college degrees and programs that could lead to either of these careers, a bachelor's degree is typically required for network systems administrators. Computer support specialists who demonstrate a high level of skills may only need an associate's degree or certification.

Computer User Support Specialists$53,100602,84011.2%
Computer Network Support Specialists$67,770188,7408.1%
Source: 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.

Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.

  1. In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  3. Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  4. Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
    • Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
  5. Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  6. Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
    • Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
    • Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
    • Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
    • Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
    • Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
  7. Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  8. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
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