Troubleshooting Technology: Is a Career in Tech Support right for you?
You’re mid-way through an important task on your computer when it happens: the “Blue Screen of Death”. Your computer has crashed. We’ve likely all been there – and for many out there, this can cause instant panic.
For those working in an office setting, often the next step is picking the phone up, calling tech support and crossing your fingers that the issue can be fixed quickly. But if you’re the type of person who experiences a computer issue and instantly knows how to fix it, perhaps a role on the other end of the phone might be up your alley.
If you’re interested in exploring a role in tech support, below are some considerations to help you decide if being the resident Tech Guru is the right route for you.
What are the typical responsibilities?
Tech support is a diverse field – often every day is different, and the tasks can vary from one company to another. Depending on the organization, you might work in a large team, with a few other individuals, or even solo.
Some typical responsibilities you can expect include providing tech support either in-person or remotely over the phone. You’ll need to solve IT issues, answer questions, and provide quality assurance – all at a fast pace.
Depending on the role, you may also need to perform complex tasks like major migrations or system overhauls. But with virtually any position in the tech support field, you will need to be able to provide top-notch customer service – either to external or internal customers.
What a day in the life might look like
If you land a role working on an IT help desk, a typical day might include:
- Setting up the computer, and the phone for a new hire
- Helping employees troubleshoot a range of problems, from passwords, to internet connectivity, to removing viruses, to server, software and email problems
- Resolving phone and printer issues
- Repairing and refurbishing old laptops, desktops and mobile devices
- Performing back-end admin, upgrades and maintenance
Of course, the field is varied, so you may do all or a few of the above, along with other tasks – but more often than not, you will be kept on your toes.
What skills do I need to bring?
First and foremost, you will need to be a tech expert who wears many hats. You may need to be a Windows whiz, a Mac maven, a mobile master and capable at cloud computing and coding. Familiarity with a range of systems and solutions will set you up for success.
Technology is continuously changing, so you’ll need to be a quick learner who can master new software and systems on a range of devices, without delay.
There isn’t always a quick fix for tech issues. You’ll need to be a problem solver who can troubleshoot with ease and multitask with comfort. If you enjoy the satisfaction of solving a complex IT issue, this is a role that can allow you to do so.
Beyond IT skills, you will need to be able to communicate with many types of people who have very different personalities. You may know what to do when a computer crashes, but for others, it can cause frustration and stress. That’s where being customer-oriented comes in.
What educational qualifications do I need?
Not every job calls for the same educational background, but formal training in computer sciences or a technology discipline will give you a strong foundation. There are both university and college programs out there, but not all jobs will require the completion of a specific program.
If you have a dream company or two in mind, do some research into their job postings and see what education is required. This can help you determine what might be the best training to pursue. The IT field also offers the opportunity to be self-directed in your learning – there are many skills you can teach yourself.
What might my career path look like?
While you may enter the IT profession performing a tech support role, there are many paths you can take once you gain experience in the industry. Depending on your interest, you may wish to move on to become an IT consultant, systems analyst or network manager. Regardless of your long-term goals, it will be essential at every stage of your growth to demonstrate your customer service skills.
Remember, for virtually every company today there is a need for some level of tech support. If you land a role, be sure to build your skills and learn as much as you can – build a foundation to help you gain the experience to log-on to other roles.
If you’re interested in finding a job in tech support, check out our Monster.ca/IT site for continuous job postings and updates; do not forget to visit our career-advice.monster.ca section for tips and advice which will help you land the role that’s right for you.