IT Support Specialist – Learn How to Become IT Superstar
In this tech-driven planet, keeping systems up and running reliably in mandatory – and that means an energetic IT staff is essential these days for every company.
There’re over 200,000 open positions in the field of IT support in the USA.
Tasked with handling both the needs of customers and the business itself, IT support specialists need a wide range of skills to be efficient.
They come to the rescue when your systems go down, PC breaks, video conferencing fails, and more. Needless to say, it’s a crucial role, as most businesses rely on technology every day.
What is IT Support?
It’s known simply as technical support. This’s a service where dedicated IT companies help with computer technology to those who need it. Typically, it’s used to help solve particular issues a company or person may be having, rather than providing any courses, training, or qualifications.
In a business setting, the primary function of an IT support engineer is to maintain/monitor computer systems and networks across an organization.
Types of IT Support
There’re many types of IT support offering system support and other forms of help to client businesses. We can generally break down it into the following 4 categories.
24/7 monitoring – Round-the-clock monitoring of systems ensures that minor glitches are detected early and repaired automatically. It prevents the obstacle from aggravating and causing the system from breaking down entirely later on. Permanent monitoring proves cost-effective in the long term since entrepreneurs are spared the cost of replacing or overhauling a system. Also, it monitors networked systems, hardware inventories, servers, storage systems, and software apps.
Backup – This support also includes creating backup copies of the digital assets of a business. It includes capabilities such as textual data, images, videos, emails, financial records, and other invaluable data. These IT support services may configure the system such that it triggers automated server backups.
Security – It includes monitoring of the user’s system for viruses, spyware, or malware, installing anti-malware and anti-virus software to safeguard systems from the intrusions of hackers. Some companies also monitor users’ activities on the systems.
Cloud computing – Surveys amongst Internet users around the globe showed that almost 75% of them utilized some form of cloud computing when online. Thus, IT providers are developing their cloud computing solutions to give businesses the advantages of a technology that is embraced by more companies each passing day.
Advanced cloud computing solutions let a business reduce its operational costs, increasing the amount of time required to access data over a network, allowing remote access to data, and minimizing the carbon footprint.
What is an IT Support Specialist?
It’s someone who provides help and technical support to either consumers or businesses that are experiencing technical, hardware, or software issues.
Some examples of these troubles are connection errors, poor performance, and an inability to access data.
IT specialists are able to deal with most consumer issues over the phone or via email. Still, some problems need to be dealt with on-site, especially if the computer hardware and software need to be modified, cleaned, or repaired.
According to the leading IT experts, you’ll need to have these 13 skills:
- Listening well;
- Troubleshooting ability;
- Quick thinking and action;
- Critical thinking;
- Triaging and prioritizing;
- Risk management;
- Machine learning understanding;
- Good documenting habits;
- Identifying the right tools;
- The human touch;
- Staying calm under pressure.
How to Become IT Support Specialist
If you really want to become a recognizable IT specialist, you’ll need to follow these 6 steps:
First, you need a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university. It can include information technology, computer science, and computer information systems.
If you can’t afford to attend a 4-year university, many technical colleges and vocational schools provide information technology training.
In case you attend a vocational school, you are awarded a diploma or certificate upon course completion. You may have to complete additional education or training for high-level positions.
2. Apply for an entry-level job
Apply for an entry-level position that allows you to work on and support business apps, such as network management, administering applications, troubleshooting, performing maintenance, coding, configurations, and upgrades.
Many employers desire that the core of your experience to come from a Microsoft Windows environment, even though knowledge of other operating systems is also helpful.
Get 3 years’ experience working as an IT technologist. To be considered as a specialist, you need at least 3 years of experience working on an entry-level position. Some companies may require 5 years of experience.
Earn a certification, like Amazon Web Services certification (AWS), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Network+, or Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA). By earning a certification, you are recognized as an expert in your niche.
To pass the certification exam, take courses relevant to the certification you need. Having a few years of experience (mentioned above) in the IT field is also useful.
Create a professional resume that highlights your entry experience as an IT professional. Don’t forget to list your certifications on the resume and your educational level. When listing education, add the college or vocational school, you attended and the degree earned.
6. Apply for the IT support jobs
Apply for a career as an IT specialist and include your resume with the job application. There’re a bulk of companies that need IT specialists, including technology firms and local businesses. If a business has a computer network, the chances are high that an IT specialist is required.
Most IT specialist positions look for at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related sphere. In a few positions, like website design, a 2-year associate’s degree may be acceptable. Other more sophisticated jobs, like a data scientist, may require a master’s degree.
The information technology field is experiencing fantastic growth, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 14% increase in computer information and technology positions by 2025.
Here’s our list of 10 best IT universities in the USA:
Many IT engineers choose to obtain certifications in specific areas. The most popular certifications are as follows:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate – The CCNA certification shows employers that you can install, configure, and operate enterprise-grade routers and switches. A CCNA certification is helpful for positions such as network administrators, system administrators, and network engineers;
- Certified Information System Security Professional – A CISSP certification is recognized worldwide IT support professional certificate as the best credentials for an IT specialist to have to maintain and design security programs;
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer – An MCSE certification means the individuals have the skills to analyze a situation and make innovative solutions by merging multiple technologies. These IT specialists concentrate on cloud computing, data platforms, server infrastructures, business intelligence, and communications;
- Amazon Web Services Certification – Learning AWS concepts and being AWS certified will play an essential role in your career growth. AWS certificates not only make you receive a higher salary but a recognized position in your niche.
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IT Support: Job Description
The following positions are perfect examples for IT support specialist job description.
Help desk – The fact is that software and hardware programs don’t always work the way they’re supposed to. And most people don’t have the tech knowledge to find the issue and fix it. Therefore, you need to call/have an IT specialist – that is usually available 24/7.
IT experts give advice and help to anyone who uses a computer or any IoT device in the company. They receive phone calls for help and respond to handle the issues.
Most of the time, the IT support can solve the problem remotely, but they’re also available to make on-site visits.
Network administration – IT specialist has the responsibility to support the day-to-day operations of a computer network. Their job is to ensure that network systems keep communications and information flowing seamlessly.
Network administrators make sure that employees’ workstations are working accurately and that the companies’ servers and any mobile equipment are functioning properly. They do any required maintenance, fix any network errors, and upgrade computer security systems.
Security – The world is full of smart alecks, and the Internet is a fertile playground for their unlawful acts. The threats from hacks by cybercriminals are constantly increasing and becoming more sophisticated. An IT “David Perry” is the main guy in designing software to block cyberattacks.
Database analysis – IT specialists use specialized software to organize, manage, and store data. It includes such information as payroll records, shipping records, purchase orders, payroll records, administrative expenses, and financial data.
Database administrators make this information available to users in the organization and set up security procedures that prevent unauthorized access.
They monitor databases to make sure they are operating efficiently and error-free. These technicians install back-up software to restore data in the event of power outages, software crashes, and virus attacks.
Cloud computing – Moving data storage to the cloud involves more than buying a few megabytes of online capacity. It’s not as simple as swapping an in-house computer for an outside source. Going to the cloud involves an analysis of the needs of an organization, then designing and planning the installation.
IT professionals in cloud computing are the architects of a cloud infrastructure that meets the unique requirements of each organization. It could mean, for instance, having a cloud database that is easily accessible to the marketing manager to run simulations for various campaigns or recording all the manufacturing costs for a product.
Software developers – A software app runs everything you do on a computer, and somebody had to write the code for that application. This’s the job of a software developer.
Software developers work with other IT members to construct programs that achieve specific objectives. It might be an app to record a sales invoice to a customer, or a program that calculates/keeps track of deductions and payroll for employees.
Software engineers – After a software developer has written the codes and designed a program, the software engineer tests and installs the systems onto the business laptops and computers. These experts apply their knowledge of computer hardware and software codes to incorporate the programs and make them easy to use for non-IT employees.
Business intelligence analysts – The business-oriented specialist must have knowledge of SQL programming and be able to work with software developers to produce data mining algorithms. A business analyst figures out how to extract the relevant data and prepare reports that are helpful to managers.
They should have a strong business background. While specialists have a workable knowledge of information technology, they’re more focused on crossing the gap to create useful reports for management.
Their jobs typically involve being given the parameters of an issue and utilizing their technical knowledge to study the data and find solutions.
The working environment for an IT support engineer will vary based on the nature of the business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most IT specialists work full-time.
They may work during regular business hours and/or on nights and weekends. Certain specialists work directly with a company’s customers, while others offer in-house support for their employer’s computer systems.
Working as a technical support specialist isn’t physically demanding. Still, professionals in this branch often spend a significant amount of time in a seated position.
To be successful in this field, you should be able to interact with consumers professionally, think proactively, and work as a member of a team when necessary.
How High is IT Support Specialist Salary?
IT jobs have catchy salaries that are growing each year thanks to increased demand. Technology is more sophisticated today, and a vast majority of companies are continually upgrading computer systems in their operations; therefore, they need more exerts.
Several samples of average IT support salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics are as follows:
- Help Desk/Computer Support – $53,510;
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators – $82,130;
- Information Security Analysts – $96,220;
- Database Administrators – $85,050;
- Web Developers – $68,100;
- Cloud Computing – $130,819;
- Security – $123,955;
- Application Development – $114,887;
- Business Intelligence – $113,013.
A typical day for an IT specialist looks like this: provides technical support for software maintenance or use; tests software performance; installs computer software and installs computer hardware. Are you ready for this job!
If you want to become an IT specialist, put yourself in their shoes and experience what’s it like being one – educate with recommended universities and obtain certifications in specific areas.