Help desk software with solution knowledgebase helps to alleviate some of the stress on technicians, providing IT staff with a searchable library of solutions that they can use to assist customers. Because of its available educational requirements, an IT Help Desk is a good starting point for someone interested in the tech industry, but does not want to invest much time and money into getting a college degree now. Even though a Help Desk Technician role does not specifically focus on IT, customer support is needed at every business, and this is a good way to get some computer experience before moving on to the field of Computer Science or another related major.
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 the help desk technician career path. Community colleges also offer an excellent avenue for individuals to obtain the required training needed to begin working as help desk technicians for starting salaries. Some jobs require a degree in computer science or related fields, while some jobs for help desk technicians only require an associates degree and some on-the-job training. Some entry-level technician jobs, or staffed-only support desk listings, require either/or requirements to be hired.
The first thing to realize is that the technical support assistant job is not actually 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. A job as a help desk technician typically involves answering questions about the companys products, and using remote access tools to troubleshoot computer issues for client employees. Help desk technicians may either work on-site or for a third-party technology solutions provider, and can usually work from home for teleworker jobs. Help desk specialists, or technicians, can also teach users about software or general computer functions, and prepare them for software updates and scheduled maintenance.
If you have a strong background in IT repairs, but not in customer support, some entry-level tech jobs will hire you on the spot and train you, or vice versa. Technicians may be more like entry-level IT support jobs, and they typically get lower salaries and less benefits than analysts. Just as in any profession, IT support technicians get better at the skills, ultimately expanding their vocabulary to the non-technical audience. These types of skills are called hard skills, and they can be taught as part of IT support team training.
If you are starting out with IT service desk careers without any technical experience, seek out training programs that offer more comprehensive training, including soft skills and career services. Courses such as A+, Network+, Linux+, or even just a basic computer repair course are all that is needed to start on this career path, but if you are really serious about it, you should seek out a post-secondary (college/university) education in IT, as employers will always prefer candidates with degrees over those without, especially for higher-level positions like Help Desk Manager or Network Administrator. For instance, the online certificate in information technology support offered by Rasmussen University is designed to help students build technical skills and customer support skills employers are looking for. Wanting to learn about how things work, working hard to build technical skills, and truly getting excited about helping others will put you in a great position.
If you are enthusiastic about technology, open to learning about new software and hardware systems, quick learner, possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills, and a flair for customer service mixed in, you can be a really valuable addition to the support desk team. In short, if you are looking to build up your tech skills, enjoy helping others, have plenty of patience, and the ability to keep calm under pressure, you may just find this is a perfect job for getting started in IT. To avoid getting stuck in a starting-level role, be sure you understand the bigger picture of the industry, get involved with the community of experts so that you can network and receive tips, and learn the full stack of networking technologies so that you expand your career options. You may be exposed to highly experienced people who can give you guidance, improve your chances of landing a better-paying role, and feel comfortable asking for help whenever you need it.
Help desk jobs do more than just help you build connections with customers, they also help build a solid foundation of technical knowledge thatll last you throughout your career. Jobs such as Security Administrator, Security Analyst, System Administrator, and Network Engineer are just some of the roles that you could get into with these certifications. IT Certifications such as CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Server+ will prove employers you have the expected knowledge and skills to be successful as a datacenter technician. Having a CompTIA Network+ shows prospective employers that you have the skills necessary to analyze company operations, handle the flow of a work environment, and determine customer needs.
With at least a years experience in these types of positions, you can probably confidently say that you possess two of these skillsets. A bachelors degree is generally not required for entry-level support positions, however, it can help you land an interview and a job more quickly — and for higher pay — than candidates without degrees. The marketable skillsets that are sought after by degree programs for help desk technicians include PC repair, networking, 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. The tech support job description is very similar to the one of the help desk technician, so keep this title in mind while looking for jobs, although this might include traveling to clients homes to do hands-on repairs.