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Become A Help Desk Leader

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Working As A Help Desk Leader

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $67,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Help Desk Leader Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Duties

Computer network support specialists typically do the following:

  • Test and evaluate existing network systems
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems

Computer network support specialists, also called technical support specialists, usually work in their organization’s IT department. They help IT staff analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems. They play an important role in the routine maintenance of their organization’s networks such as performing file backups on the network. Maintenance can be performed daily, weekly, or monthly and is important to an organization’s disaster recovery efforts. Solving an IT problem promptly is important because organizations depend on their network systems. Network support specialists may assist the organization’s computer users through phone, email, or in-person visits. They often work under network and computer systems administrators, who handle more complex tasks.

Computer user support specialists typically do the following:

  • Pay attention to customers’ descriptions of their computer problems
  • Ask customers questions to properly diagnose the problem
  • Walk customers through the recommended problem-solving steps
  • Set up or repair computer equipment and related devices
  • Train users to work with new computer hardware or software, such as printers, word-processing software, and email
  • Provide other team members and managers in the organization with information about what gives customers the most trouble and about other concerns customers have

Computer user support specialists, also called help-desk technicians, usually provide technical help to non-IT computer users. They respond to phone and email requests for help. They can usually help users remotely, but they also may make site visits so that they can solve a problem in person.

Help-desk technicians may solve a range of problems that vary with the industry and the particular firm. Some technicians work for large software companies or for support service firms and must give instructions to business customers on how to use business-specific programs such as an electronic health records program used in hospitals or physicians’ offices. Sometimes they work with other technicians to resolve problems.

Other help-desk technicians work in call centers, answering simpler questions from non-business customers. They may walk customers through basic steps in re-establishing an Internet connection or troubleshooting household IT products such as a Wi-Fi router.

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How To Become A Help Desk Leader

Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.

Education

Education requirements for computer support specialists vary. Computer user support specialist jobs require some computer knowledge, but not necessarily a postsecondary degree. Applicants who have taken some computer-related classes are often qualified. For computer network support specialists, many employers accept applicants with an associate’s degree, although some prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.

Large software companies that provide support to business users who buy their products or services often require a bachelor’s degree. Positions that are more technical are likely to require a degree in a field such as computer science, engineering, or information science, but for others, the applicant’s field of study is less important.

To keep up with changes in technology, many computer support specialists continue their education throughout their careers.

Certification

Certification programs are generally offered by vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates the knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists. Companies may require their computer support specialists to hold certifications in the products the companies use.

Advancement

Many computer support specialists advance to other information technology positions, such as network and computer systems administrators and software developers. Some become managers in the computer support services department. Some organizations provide paths for support specialists to move into other parts of the organization, such as sales. For more information, see the profiles on network and computer systems administrators and software developers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic. They must often help people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they are trying to use.

Listening skills. Support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation.

Problem-solving skills. Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them.

Speaking skills. Support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand.

Writing skills. Strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as real-time web chat interactions.

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Average Length of Employment
Help Desk Manager 3.3 years
Help Desk Leader 3.0 years
Helpdesk Lead 2.5 years
Help Desk Analyst 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Help Desk Leader
Cashier 3.6%
Technician 2.3%
Internship 2.0%
Manager 2.0%
Top Careers After Help Desk Leader
Manager 2.9%

Do you work as a Help Desk Leader?

Help Desk Leader Demographics

Gender

Male

60.3%

Female

32.1%

Unknown

7.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.0%

Portuguese

20.0%

Italian

20.0%

Russian

10.0%

German

5.0%
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Help Desk Leader Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.5%

Strayer University

8.8%

Kaplan University

7.8%

University of Maryland - University College

6.9%

ECPI University

3.9%

Western Governors University

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

Community College of the Air Force

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%

Colorado Technical University

3.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.9%

Ohio University -

2.9%

Ohio State University

2.9%

Villanova University

2.9%

Webster University

2.9%

New Mexico State University

2.9%

Salisbury University

2.9%

Bellevue University

2.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.9%

Lorain County Community College

2.9%
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Majors

Business

22.3%

Computer Information Systems

12.9%

Computer Science

10.7%

Information Technology

8.0%

Computer Networking

7.8%

Information Systems

5.1%

Management

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

3.8%

Management Information Systems

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

English

2.7%

General Studies

2.4%

Accounting

2.1%

Education

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%

Communication

1.9%

Computer Systems Security

1.9%

Computer Technical Support

1.6%

Computer Engineering

1.6%

Psychology

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Other

23.2%

Associate

17.9%

Masters

10.5%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.4%
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Top Skills for A Help Desk Leader

  1. Technical Support
  2. Computer Hardware
  3. Remote Access
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Traveled to exhibit locations, providing exceptional technical support.
  • Supported internal and outside customer computer hardware, software, network, and telecommunications systems.
  • Provided facility-wide training on email usage, remote access and data storage among other requested topics.
  • Direct communication with Service Delivery Managers/Coordinators on: scheduled system outages/upgrades and new troubleshooting procedures.
  • Manage and process Active Directory user account management and folder permissions.

How Would You Rate Working As a Help Desk Leader?

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Top Help Desk Leader Employers

Jobs From Top Help Desk Leader Employers

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How to Make Tough Decisions with Love, Not Fear | Help Desk | Oprah Winfrey Network

Panache Desai on Letting Go After a Divorce | Help Desk | Oprah Winfrey Network

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