IT Support Specialist

The major advancements in technology, coupled with its implementation across all business facets, has spurred the growth in demand for IT support specialists in almost all industries. 

From providing assistance and technical support to users to helping them troubleshoot their devices or solve software issues, the job IT support specialists do is integral, especially considering the growing dependence on the latest gadgets and tech. 

In a global commerce setting, all IT support roles have become increasingly important, 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 a company’s infrastructure, including hardware, software, and the cloud. 

IT support job duties and responsibilities

IT support specialists provide a myriad of vital services that businesses will leverage to ensure all their operations are running smoothly and efficiently. Some of the main responsibilities that will be handed to them include the provision of technical support to computer users, troubleshooting hardware and software problems, resolving network connectivity issues, and training users on new systems and applications. This requires them to possess a combination of technical know-how and interpersonal skills to assist users in a friendly and professional manner. Other job duties IT support specialists may be required to undertake include maintaining IT systems, designing and implementing IT solutions, and providing advice and consultancy on digital solutions for the business. 

While these are among the more common responsibilities that will be assigned to IT support specialists, there are numerous other areas where they might find themselves involved in, such as: 

  • 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 to be a successful IT Support Specialist

The best IT support specialists will have a robust all-round knowledge of their industry, along with the skills to match. They will be able to solve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible, while still maintaining a calm and methodical approach to the job at hand. One of the tougher, yet crucial, jobs IT support specialists will find themselves doing oftentimes is explaining technical issues to non-technical personnel, which requires them to have an abundance of patience and understanding.

It is also advantageous if individual candidates can display a methodical approach to troubleshooting, and to take on a leadership role and mentality by remaining in control and keeping everyone on the same page even in situations where other parties within the business are getting increasingly stressed or worried. A keen attention to detail is essential, as is the need to be flexible when juggling the needs of various departments as some projects will be considered more important than others and have tighter deadlines. There will also be times when working alone will be the norm, so self-motivation will be key.

Finally, a can-do attitude never goes amiss in the skills needed to succeed as an IT support specialist  as exuding positivity will help to reassure end users that their IT needs are in good hands, even when situations seem to be getting out of hand.

Qualifications and technical skills IT support specialists need

To succeed in IT support, candidates need to have a good all-round knowledge base and skillset, including in 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 it will be a requirement, preferably in a relevant discipline such as computer science, computer programming, information technology or computer engineering. For those seeking internships and apprenticeships, school and college diplomas will usually be a must-have.

IT support career development - What pathways are available?

As technology continues to grow and evolve, so too do the employment opportunities for IT support specialists, given the integral role they play for companies. Businesses will constantly have the need for skilled, knowledgeable IT professionals to ensure that their systems remain secure and in working order. IT support specialists who have built their careers in this field can look forward to plenty of senior roles, such as senior IT manager, director of tech and lead systems engineer. Alternatively, they even have the option to branch out to specialist areas, such as cybersecurity, program and project management, cloud computing and programming.

IT support salary and remuneration

The base salary being offered to those starting off as an IT support specialist is incredibly competitive as businesses are eager to attract top-tier talents to work for them. As individuals gain more experience and start expanding their skillset, it allows them to take the next step up in their career as an IT support specialist and seek a higher salary. 

Start your IT support job search today

With plenty of IT support jobs available, there are positions open that cater to those just starting out in the industry or for individuals that feel they are ready to take on a more senior role.