IT Support Specialist Job Description
An IT Support Specialist oversees computer systems for businesses and offers support to the system’s users. This may be internal assistance, working directly with staff who use the computer systems or it may be assisting external customers who access the systems via the Internet.
IT Support Specialists generally report to an IT Manager, however, their duties are often performed with minimal supervision. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer support staff sector is expected to grow at an above average rate of 12 percent through 2024. This will add an estimated 88,800 jobs to this sector during this time frame.
IT Support Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization and the type of computer system an IT Support Specialist works with will determine their particular responsibilities, however, there are several main duties all IT Support Specialists perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.
An IT Support Specialist’s main duty is to offer assistance to computer system users. This may be with hardware, such as desktop computers, printers, scanners or handheld devices or it may be with software programs. The IT Support Specialist will generally track all instances of support by creating IT tickets using ticket-tracking software. They will update the status of each ticket as they successfully assist each user with their issues. Their assistance may be conducted in person for internal users or on the phone when assisting external users. Good customer service skills are important for IT Support staff.
Maintain and Upgrade Systems
IT Support is in charge of keeping current systems updated and running smoothly. They are also tasked with upgrading the system and its components when the need arises. They conduct research and provide cost analysis data when upgrading or purchasing new hardware, software or equipment.
IT Support Specialists may be tasked with overseeing an organizations data, including client information and internal information. This aspect of the job includes maintaining, backing up and securing databases, as well as restoring files as needed.
IT Support Skills
A successful IT Support Specialist is technologically savvy and enjoys assisting others. They have excellent communication skills and keep up to date on the latest developments and trends in the industry. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want IT Support with these core skills. If you want to work in IT Support, focus on the following.
- Having a working knowledge of common information technologies and systems
- Managing multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining high customer service standards
- Communicating complex concepts to a general audience
- Troubleshooting common IT problems
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.
- Experience with technical writing for documentation or instruction
- Hardware and software certification such as, A+
- Program certifications such as, Cisco and Microsoft Windows
IT Support Resources
There are more helpful aresources available on the Web for those interested in working in IT Support. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
Powersolution.com Tech Blog – This IT Support company maintains a blog on their site with articles about new technologies and good practices in the world of IT Support.
Fentons Blog – Fentons, a UK-based IT Service company, blogs about all things IT related on their frequently updated blog page.
IT Support Books
A Guide to Computer User Support for Help Desk and Support Specialists – This book is full of not just technical knowledge, but also good customer service practices for the IT Support person.
A+ Guide to IT Technical Support (Hardware and Software) – An excellent resource for industry standard practices in IT Support.
The PC and Gadget Help Desk: A Do-It Yourself Guide to Troubleshooting and Repairing – This book is intended to help the layman troubleshoot common issues with computers and other digital gadgets. A great resource for tips and quick solutions.
Technology Services Industry Association – TSIA offers its more than 30,000 members excellent industry research, education opportunities and events. Their site blog has lots of good information for non-members.
Association of Support Professionals – ASP is an international membership organization for customer support managers, executives, professionals, and those interested in the field. They offer members a network of likeminded professionals, conferences, and research and data on the industry.
Help Desk Institute – HDI was founded in 1989 and has a network of more than 150,000 members. They host conferences, publish research and papers and offer certification opportunities.
IT Support Resume Help
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