IT support specialists are a critical part of any companies’ IT infrastructure. They’re accountable for running the business operations and support of every computer system. It is their job to troubleshoot problems, fix software, and administer other computers.
Today there are thousands of people who have a bachelor’s degree in information technology. For many, this means they are qualified to work in a variety of fields, including systems administrator, computer analyst, and security specialist. For others, this is a stepping stone to better-paying careers like IT management and information technology.
The field of IT support is both very competitive and varied. You have to be certified to be considered for work as an IT specialist, and the schools that offer these degrees can vary in quality as well. Here are some things to consider before choosing a school or program.
Support professionals must be able to work with a variety of people. Most businesses use a variety of different computers, from high-end desktop PCs to mobile phones. And just as businesses need help managing all of these systems, so do you. It is your responsibility to know how to do this work, so good schools will offer courses on these topics.
IT support specialists must be creative thinkers. You have to think outside the box in order to stay ahead of the pack. You have to be able to spot problems early and come up with solutions that will resolve them without needing someone else to troubleshoot for you.
Technical knowledge is essential. Some businesses don’t require a college degree in computer science. Others do. The school or program you choose will usually offer hands-on training in computers, but you’ll also learn about how the network is run, how to set up hardware and networks, and how to troubleshoot and build software for personal and business use.
A good school for IT support specialists will also have hands-on experience in the field. For instance, if you’re taking courses in network administration, you may find yourself working with technicians and data entry operators. Or if you’re learning about computer security, you’ll be learning from actual companies as they work to protect their network and store personal information.
You’ll want to choose a school or program that offers classes in practical training for IT support. This includes things like project management, programming languages, and systems administration. The classes you take will give you an in-depth understanding of the issues you will be dealing with. The training also allows you to be a better communicator with your clients.
Many schools offer online courses in practical education. These courses can give you hands-on experience through the internet and allow you to work from home. You may be required to sign a contract promising to work for the school only while enrolled. The schools are usually very busy, so you may not have time to attend school full-time.
Most IT support specialists get their first jobs in a similar field. Once they graduate, they usually get jobs working for small companies or home businesses that operate on their own. When looking for a job, you should consider whether the position requires training, such as a job with a home security company or department store.
Jobs and career opportunities are not limited to big companies. Starting out as an independent consultant or freelancer is sometimes an option. You can start with something that interests you and move into a more fulfilling career once you have built a client base.
It’s important to remember that IT support specialists are responsible for people’s productivity. You have to make sure they’re getting the most out of their computers and are always up to date with the latest equipment. So look for a school that emphasizes practical education and training, but also covers the basics.