IT support professionals are trained about computer networks, software programs, and computer systems. They answer questions, educate employees and clients, troubleshoot any technical problems involving software and hardware-based products and services, and can even handle most customer questions via phone or by email. IT support professionals can work alone in a data center or as part of an organization’s IT staff. They may work in conjunction with an IT specialist or department.
An IT specialist job description, like the one for IT specialist jobs, usually includes training and experience working with a variety of hardware devices. The specialist will typically work on network installations and maintenance. They may also install new software or hardware products as well. However, they are not limited to just installing new hardware and software products.
In order to qualify for an IT support specialist job, those individuals need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to participate in a program. Also, IT specialists must be able to demonstrate that they have knowledge in working with computers and the basic elements of information technology. For instance, basic knowledge in Windows and in Internet Explorer is necessary for this type of position. As a support specialist you can train new computer users. Some specialists work directly with IT departments of large companies to help them train their own IT departments.
Those IT specialists working in Information Technology support are typically responsible for helping computer networks to be setup, integrated, configured and upgraded. They also help customize the company’s network. Other duties include fixing hardware problems, installing upgrades and patches and answering questions from customers. Sometimes consultants are called upon to provide consulting services in specific industries, such as software development. In this role, the IT specialist provides advice on how the software is being developed to address business needs.
Many computer software manufacturers will provide IT support technicians for their hardware products. There are many specialty vendors such as Microsoft that offer training and seminars to teach IT support specialists how to provide basic repair services to home and business computers. These programs are targeted at the level of basic tech support rather than on specialized repair of complicated IT hardware. Basic repair services usually consist of installing software and hardware products like anti-virus programs, firewall software, anti-spyware programs and other software that are designed to prevent unauthorized access to a computer system. A support specialist may also provide information on removing malware or other security programs that are designed to disrupt network operations.
In most cases, an IT support specialist possesses both technical skills and troubleshooting skills. IT support technicians use their technical skills to identify potential issues with computer software and hardware and resolve them. In some cases, they can also provide on-site troubleshooting solutions to complex problems that require remote access to a server or to an IT staff. Troubleshooting skills involve both logical and physical aspects of computer software, hardware and even hardware and software combinations. The ability to identify potential problems and the ability to quickly resolve them is a must.
IT support specialists can work in a variety of different fields. Some may work directly for a computer software manufacturer, assisting them in the development of new software products. Other support specialists work for companies that manufacture hardware products, helping them troubleshoot hardware that malfunctions or is otherwise not working correctly.
IT support specialist careers require not only IT skills but also a good degree in a relevant field. Those seeking this career change should have a background in information technology and/or hardware. Communication skills are helpful, as are computer and communication-related science. Having these skills will help the IT support specialist to not only find issues or problems, but to be able to solve them in a timely manner.