Job Role:

Technical Support Specialists/ Help Desk Technicians provide technical assistance, support and advice to customers and users. The job requires the ability to interpret problems and provide technical support for hardware, software and systems.

Technical Support Specialists/ Help Desk Technicians:

• answer telephone calls
• analyze problems using automated diagnostic programs
• resolve recurrent difficulties encountered by users
• may specialize in an operational area

They should have strong communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate effectively with customers and end-users is an important factor.

Recommended Education:

• Practical experience; ability to demonstrate computer skills
• Technical IT certifications
• Computer-related Associate’s Degree or some college

What to Expect:

The skills gained by Technical Support Specialists/ HelpDesk Technicians are often a stepping stone toward other computer technology careers. Technicians who enhance their skills with further education and certifications maintain a competitive edge to progress within their career field.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2008-09, certifications and practical experience are essential for people without degrees looking for a career as a Technical Support Specialist.  Growth for these jobs is expected to remain about as fast as the average, while growth in network and computer system administrator jobs (the next stepping stone) will be much faster than average.

Technical Support Specialists/ HelpDesk Technicians have careers in various industries, including: government, wholesale and retail, manufacturing, data processing, finance, insurance and other information industries.

Employment Opportunities:

•  Computer Support Specialist
•  Technical Support Specialist
•  Help-Desk Technician