The first thing to realize is that being a Help Desk Technician is actually not a job, but rather an entry-level career path: There are opportunities for individuals to advance in this role, developing new skills and taking on more responsibility. These entry-level professionals assist customers, employees, or both, with solving technical issues and optimizing customers hardware and software systems. Help-desk technicians also make more money when working at a software company, which requires special expertise in order to provide proper technical support. For those pursuing a formal education, computer information systems (CIS) degree programs, help desk management, technical support, and network administration provide a strong foundation to a career path as a help desk technician.
A bachelors degree is generally not required to obtain an entry-level position in a help desk, however, it can help you land an interview and a job more quickly — and for higher pay — than candidates without degrees. Community colleges also offer an excellent way for individuals to receive the training they need to begin working as help desk technicians for the entry-level pay. You will find most employers are willing to train you on the job, or even offer some work-related training (such as courses on computer repair). Courses like A+, Network+, Linux+, or even just a basic computer repair course are all you need to start down this career path, but if you are really serious about it, you should look into getting post-secondary (college/university) education in the field of IT, as employers will always prefer candidates with degrees over those without, especially for higher-level positions such as Help Desk Manager or Network Administrator.
Anyone with basic computer knowledge, interest in technology, and the drive to excel, would be well-suited to take an IT career bootcamp. MTI College of Sacramento offers an Information Technology Certification Program — training to make you a help desk professional, tech support professional, customer support specialist, or IT support professional. For instance, the online certificate in Information Technology Support offered by Rasmussen University is designed to help students develop technical and customer support skills employers are looking for.
That is why our computer support specialist programs also help you sharpen your customer service skills and public speaking. Just as in any profession, IT Support Technicians will become better at these skills, ultimately expanding their vocabulary to the non-technical public. Instead of thinking of IT support technicians as on the lower rungs of a ladder, consider them on the front lines of customer support, providing valuable knowledge for corporate leaders.
If you have a great background in IT support, but not in customer service, then some entry-level tech jobs will accept you and train you to move up, or vice versa. Even though the role of help desk technician does not specifically focus on IT, every business needs customer support, and this is a good way to get some computer experience before moving into IT or another related field. In addition to having general knowledge about computers, a help desk technician has great problem-solving, communication, and customer-service skills. The list of marketable skills that you will be looking for in a help desk technician degree program includes PC repair, network administration, operating system installation and configuration, information security, desktop and mobile device problem-solving, as well as soft skills such as customer service and oral and written communication.
Meanwhile, many help desk specialists also come from prior professional experience as computer technicians or as a help desk analyst. Many IT professionals start out their careers as a Help Desk Technician due to lower experience and educational requirements, then, when exposed to new IT disciplines and technologies, discover their niches and branch into other IT careers, such as Network Administrator, DBA, or IT Security Professional. Many who want to start their IT career and go into engineering seek an entry-level role, often one that involves working at the desk. Desk technicians can either work on-site or remote, as freelancers, and their daily tasks can vary depending on the nature of issues raised by employees or customers.
Other technicians may be able to offer remote support and work from the convenience of their home. In certain roles, a support technician may have to travel to the customers location in order to solve a complicated issue. IT support is generally needed around the clock, so technicians may have to cover various shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays.
Some technicians can also help with internet connectivity issues, as well as with associated devices like routers and modems. A technician may refer users to a second-level support specialist if a problem is outside of their expertise. If a technician cannot complete a problem resolution step on the technicians own computer, he provides verbal or written instructions for the user to complete at his or her own end.
While technicians will primarily be responsible for supporting hardware and some software, analysts often need to be able to set up and problem solve whole networks and servers, too. As computing devices and software grow in complexity, there will be an ever-growing demand for technicians. The need for Information Technology (IT) support services will grow as organizations continue to invest in IT and upgrade their IT systems.
Thanks to the new technologies, many organizations have simpler systems for IT support that assist customers. Online tech support professionals assist customers remotely, whether it is by phone, e-mail, or live chat.
You have taken the initiative to install a helpdesk software for your customer support team, but, as with any new business tool, employees must learn the core skills of the helpdesk before they can apply them. With at least one years of experience working in a similar role, you can probably confidently say that you possess both these skillsets.