The support specialist is normally associated with what is called the “Help Desk” function, and he or she has the responsibility of solving computer-related problems that other employees encounter. Some help desk employees provide support in solving problems related to software (i.e., how to generate a report or helping to reset a password)
Help desk employees can provide assistance over the telephone, via remote services (i.e., by logging into the employee’s computer and viewing the screen) or by making a personal visit. Solving IT problems in a timely manner is the goal of the computer support staff.
Technical support staff are likely required to create a “ticket” to document the help that was requested. The ticket tracks what was done. Diagnosing the problem being worked upon is usually the first step in the process of solving the problems requiring support. The support staff frequently troubleshoots the problem while talking to the “client” through various tasks to be performed.
On other occasions, the technical specialists will be called upon to teach formal classes to employees on how to use specialized software. The specific duties of computer support staff vary depending upon the specific industry in which they work. Some support staff work exclusively helping customers with products that the organization sells (i.e., specialized software or hardware).
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A technical support staff person must have excellent communication skills and be incredibly patient. He or she may need to possess foreign language skills (i.e., to provide help in Spanish or other languages). The help desk specialist must have knowledge that is deep enough to allow him or her to successfully handle most of the problems that would be encountered. Customers or clients must perceive the support person as being sympathetic, helpful and interested in solving the user’s problem.
Gaining certification as a Microsoft™ Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7 would give a competitive advantage to a person seeking employment.
Entry-level salaries for the technical support staff person began at $46,000 a year in 2012 and upward. The hours worked may be irregular. This is especially true if the company provides product support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Employment opportunities are projected to grow by 18% between now and the year 2020, so job prospects are highly favorable.
Employers prefer that support specialists possess a wide range of skills and knowledge. Accepting an IT support staff position may be a good way, to begin with, a company for which you want to work. This fact is especially true if you have a bachelor’s degree and are willing to “work your way up”.