All IT Support roles have become increasingly important in global commerce, in part because corporations have come to rely increasingly on their networks, systems and applications. IT Support Specialists will have a crucial input into all aspects of the company’s infrastructure, including hardware, software, and cloud. It is a varied, interesting, and rewarding job.

Duties and responsibilities - What does an IT Support Specialist do?

Several important duties are to be found in IT Support, including:

  • Providing technical support to all employees, and to clients, end users and relevant stakeholders
  • Assisting with a wide range of issues, including connection problems, data access, network failures, poor computer performance and cloud migration
  • Commissioning and installing upgrades, repairs, maintenance programmes and data transfers
  • Solving problems with various appliances, including printers, scanners, desktop and laptop computers, handheld devices, and servers
  • Creating IT tickets via ticket-tracking software and monitoring progress of individual task pathways

Qualities needed for a successful IT Support Specialist

The best IT Support Specialists will have a robust all-round knowledge of all aspects of IT. They will be able to solve problems as quickly and as efficiently as possible, while still maintaining a calm and methodical approach to the job at hand. Another important aspect of the role is the ability to explain technical issues to non-technical personnel, so patience and understanding will be important.

It is also advantageous if individual candidates can display a methodical approach to troubleshooting, and to remain in control of the situation even if others are getting ever more stressed. A keen attention to detail is a must, as is the need to be flexible when juggling the needs of various departments. There will be times when working alone will be the norm, so self-motivation will be key.

Finally, those who can show a can-do attitude to the role are far more likely to succeed. Exuding positivity will help to reassure end users that their IT needs are in good hands, even when situations seem to be at their most stressful.

Qualifications and technical skills - How to become an IT Support Specialist?

To succeed in IT Support, candidates need to have a good all-round knowledge of IT, including the likes of programming languages, digital marketing, cybersecurity, software development, data science, technical writing, full stack development and common operating systems. In many ways, an IT Support Specialist can be seen as a genuine all-rounder.

While there are occasions when vacancies in this field don’t require a bachelor’s degree, most of the time that will be a requirement, preferably in a relevant discipline such as computer science, computer programming, information technology or computer engineering. For internships and apprenticeships, school and college diplomas will usually be a must-have.

Career development - What is the next step after IT Support Specialist?

Those successful in IT Support roles can look forward to a promising career path. There are many roles that can become available to individuals who have a proven track record in this job, including specialisms in cybersecurity, program and project management, cloud computing and programming. Senior IT Manager, Director of Tech and Lead Systems Engineer are also possibilities.

Salary and remuneration - How much does an IT Support Specialist make?

Salaries at the lower levels of IT Support are commensurate with roles that involve career development, while further up the ladder they can be extremely rewarding.

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