IT support refers to technical support services which entities offer to end users of networking or technology products or services, such as network installation, configuration, diagnosing, maintenance, upgrades or repairs. In simple terms, IT support provides assistance to end users regarding specific difficulties with a computer software product or service, instead of providing training, provision of modification or upgrading of the existing product, or any other support services. These services may be required for basic home and office computer applications, office programs like Microsoft Office, Sun Staroffice 8, Macintosh office suite or Pivotal Consulting Maya. In some cases, specialized companies like Apple Computers offer IT support for specific operating systems like Mac OS, Windows, Solaris, Linux, AIX, HPCS and so on.
There are two levels of IT support: one-time technical problem resolution and recurring technical problem resolution.
For a one-time problem, the IT support team analyzes the problem details, notes them down, and suggests remedial measures. These suggested remedial measures usually include software upgrades, software diagnostics, system disk defragmentation and other things deemed necessary by the customer. Then the team provides the customer with support via email, phone, chat or live chat. On the other hand, for recurring technical problems, the IT support team has to follow a systematic support process wherein they assess, discuss, assign, evaluate and suggest solutions to the problem.
In terms of structure, there are four levels in which IT support staff can be categorized. The first is the basic level, consisting of people who provide basic support and do not have much specialized knowledge in IT support. At this point, the IT support staff mostly handles ordinary computer software problems encountered by end users. The second tier consists of people who possess technical expertise in IT support and specifically trained to resolve software problems. They are highly specialized in software and hardware maintenance. These people perform work under the supervision of senior level professionals.
The third tier consists of people who possess more technical knowledge in IT support services and specifically trained to resolve software and hardware problems. They are called the specialists. They perform work under the supervision of senior level professionals. The fourth and last tier consists of people who posses more than the required technical skills and abilities and are fully qualified to perform management functions. They are called the managers. These managers are usually self-employed and report to the service provider.
A typical IT support job description would state that the person selected to provide technical assistance to customers should be knowledgeable in the field. He must also be able to provide efficient and quick computer system recovery, installation, upgrading, and maintenance. An IT professional should be capable of solving problems that may arise due to computer systems. It is also important that he should be able to analyze any computer related problems that may occur.
If you are a professional who is looking forward to obtaining IT support services,
then you must know that a bachelor’s degree is required to obtain this kind of job. Also, IT professionals who want to gain employment must have a minimum of three years of experience. This is very necessary so as to show employers that you are experienced and qualified. Those with a bachelor’s degree can focus on one particular aspect of information technology or the other. IT professionals can select two specific areas which include computer systems or information technology. Some IT professionals choose to specialize in a specific field.
- If you are interested in this kind of occupation, then you need to have a basic knowledge of computers.
- You must be able to solve basic computer problems such as installation, upgrades, and maintenance.
- You can work on a contract basis or permanent basis depending on the employer.
It is not compulsory to have a college degree to become an IT support engineer. However, it certainly helps if you have a bachelor’s degree in computer systems or information technology.
IT support services may include support for network, servers, software, security, and hardware. Some companies offer managed services where a remote support technician will be sent to your location. You will need to have basic knowledge of computers and software. If you are interested, then you should start looking for an IT support service which can help you increase your earning potential.