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237 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 201963 11-Sep-2016 21:38
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Hi,

 

I want to work in IT and I've kind of decided on help desk and IT support but I don't fully understand what this role entails and what the correct sort of training would be needed. Most of the jobs I've looked at advertised in IT support have very broad requirements ie: some networking, some servicing skills etc. Can anyone give me a better understanding of what the help desk/IT support role actually entails, examples of businesses you might work for and the responsibilities you will have? Also, importantly, what are the correct certs and training I will need? There seems to be misunderstanding on this from some of the course providers I have spoken to which is quite frustrating.

 

I'm an avid computer user and have quite a lot of computer knowledge already. Much appreciate it.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1627663 12-Sep-2016 08:13
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It's more that you have an understanding of how large networks/IT systems work more so than being able to fix them (That's what us engineers are for).

 

A typical day for helpdesk is to answer calls and do first level troubleshooting and triage issues. Our more experience guys will fix more issues / the less experience generally log tickets to application teams for areas they're not confident in.

 

 

 

Cert wise? I'd recommend going down the MCSA (Windows 10) path as that will give you a head start for when you progress into Desktop support. IMO there's no point as helpdesk doing a network cert unless you want to go down the network engineering path.

 

 


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  Reply # 1627669 12-Sep-2016 08:42
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It will vary hugely. On a helpdesk phone line you might just follow a script. In a small business you might install networking gear, reset passwords, deploy servers, update operating systems, and solve any technical issue that anyone asks you about. In a larger organisation you may have a narrower or more focused role. You'll likely specialise in something, once you work out what you like.

 

There's no right answer to this.





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  Reply # 1627694 12-Sep-2016 08:52
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I started my IT career on the Helpdesk. It is mostly about managing people and their use and expectations of the technology that they have to work with.

 

It can be stressful as you generally deal with people who are not happy, and who believe that their problem is more important than anyone else's.

 

You will be the crucial interface between the IT department and the rest of the organisation. 

 

Over time you will learn what the 2nd level people do to solve certain issues and implement those solutions yourself, its just quicker for everyone that way.

 

The helpdesk will teach you people management, crisis management, and time management. 

 

While you are on the helpdesk you will discover what it is that you really like about IT and start to specialise towards that.

 

For me it was a natural progression from helpdesk to Systems Administration, and I loved it.

 

 

 

 





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xpd

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  Reply # 1627739 12-Sep-2016 09:33
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I started out on IHUGs helpdesk with extremely little knowledge of Windows or networking - was a good starting point and learnt a lot. Most helpdesks (ISP) will take anyone on board without any certification etc.

 

For an ISP, will find your primary role will be to answer phone calls for help and troubleshoot issues over the phone. And thats generally it.....  study for something you want on the side :)

 

Most corporate helpdesks would probably ask for experience and some form of basic certification, as they wont want to be spending money on training someone.

 

I sat A+/Network+ while working for Quicksilver internet (after 3 yrs at IHUG) just to get some paperwork in my CV - after that, moved onto a service desk for EDS (worst move ever), got outta there after a year and went into a mobile tech job. 3 years after that, moved back to a service desk/repair role for an education provider where I did cert for MCDST and MCTS, 6 years after that, I'm now sole IT support for a multinational in NZ.

 

If you're fairly confident of your PC skills, then maybe look at taking the exam for A+ to start with and work your way from there. At the end of the day it depends on what sort of support you want to be doing in a few years time, if network support, then sit networking exams and so on.......

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1627773 12-Sep-2016 10:43
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As I am typing this I am, waiting for an interview for a help desk role. Andib would you mind if I forward through my CV? I have experience in IT support, Level 1 - 3 and looking for a starting role here in Auckland.


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  Reply # 1627781 12-Sep-2016 11:03
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I have managed restructured helpdesks and employed many Analysts. What I looked for in staff was the following.....

 

Basic knowledge, understanding, affinity for IT tech.

 

Organisation

 

Attention to detail

 

Ability to learn

 

Timeliness and reliability

 

But most importantly customer service skills. I firmly believe that this is vital in Helpdesk roles and IT in general. IT is customer service and all staff need to know this and practice good customer service principle.

 

 





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1627800 12-Sep-2016 11:29
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As others have noted, Help Desk / Service Desk can vary quite widely.

 

Obliviously you are answering phones, understanding what the user/customer is ringing about, and dealing with it appropriately.

 

Usually you would be attempting basic troubleshooting, in some places you may be a glorified receptionist, in other places you may be expected to deal with any/all IT issues.

 

Depending on what exactly the role entails is going to influence what skills you actually need, and what training/certification paths you may want to consider.

 

  • A+ is a "standard" basic entry level certification, but for some help desks it would be total overkill. 
  • Assorted Microsoft exams may be of use, again thou it heavily depends on the role, the environment, and the employer.

     

    • 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices (Win 10)
    • 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10
    • 70-680 Windows 7, Configuring
    • 70-685 Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

Hope that helps.

 

 





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1628176 12-Sep-2016 21:05
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Hi guy's and thanks for the informative reply's.

 

From what I gather it's quite possible to get into a help desk role with little experience or certs and that a lot would be learnt in these jobs giving you a better understanding of what certs you might want to pursue thereafter. 

 

So is it this the best way to enter IT support or should I be considering some certs first?


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  Reply # 1628331 13-Sep-2016 08:49
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Get into a job, and work on certs while there - dont pay for an AMES type course, just self teach/study online etc. Lot easier to pay a $300 exam fee rather than a $8k student loan for a course that will teach you the same thing :-p

 

 





XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1628470 13-Sep-2016 11:42
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Lias:

 

As others have noted, Help Desk / Service Desk can vary quite widely.

 

Obliviously you are answering phones, understanding what the user/customer is ringing about, and dealing with it appropriately.

 

Usually you would be attempting basic troubleshooting, in some places you may be a glorified receptionist, in other places you may be expected to deal with any/all IT issues.

 

Depending on what exactly the role entails is going to influence what skills you actually need, and what training/certification paths you may want to consider.

 

  • A+ is a "standard" basic entry level certification, but for some help desks it would be total overkill. 
  • Assorted Microsoft exams may be of use, again thou it heavily depends on the role, the environment, and the employer.

     

    • 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices (Win 10)
    • 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10
    • 70-680 Windows 7, Configuring
    • 70-685 Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, So would A+ be a good cert to start learning now while looking out for a junior role in large company? In what situation would it be overkill?


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  Reply # 1628472 13-Sep-2016 11:44
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Kol12:

 

Lias:

 

As others have noted, Help Desk / Service Desk can vary quite widely.

 

Obliviously you are answering phones, understanding what the user/customer is ringing about, and dealing with it appropriately.

 

Usually you would be attempting basic troubleshooting, in some places you may be a glorified receptionist, in other places you may be expected to deal with any/all IT issues.

 

Depending on what exactly the role entails is going to influence what skills you actually need, and what training/certification paths you may want to consider.

 

  • A+ is a "standard" basic entry level certification, but for some help desks it would be total overkill. 
  • Assorted Microsoft exams may be of use, again thou it heavily depends on the role, the environment, and the employer.

     

    • 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices (Win 10)
    • 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10
    • 70-680 Windows 7, Configuring
    • 70-685 Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, So would A+ be a good cert to start learning now while looking out for a junior role in large company? In what situation would it be overkill?

 

 

 

 

Any learning is good and if you start now it shows commitment and initiative. A+ is a good service desk/ 1st level desktop support cert.





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1628473 13-Sep-2016 11:45
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Where are you from/living @Kol12

 

 




237 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1628474 13-Sep-2016 11:49
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gehenna:

 

Where are you from/living @Kol12

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Waikato near Hamilton.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1628478 13-Sep-2016 11:51
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MikeB4:

 

 Any learning is good and if you start now it shows commitment and initiative. A+ is a good service desk/ 1st level desktop support cert.

 

 

 

 

I've had a look, and I assume we're talking about CompTIA A+? 

 

There a some quite basic things in there but also things I think would be good for me to brush up on or have a fuller understanding of. 

 

What's the best way to go about doing CompTIA A+ in NZ?

 

 


xpd

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  Reply # 1628503 13-Sep-2016 12:35
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Yes, its Comptia A+ - Study it yourself as I mentioned - A+ is fairly straight forward if you're IT savvy. I taught it for a short period at my last job, and the students seemed to grasp it pretty well.

 

 





XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

Server : i3-3240 @ 3.40GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Workstation : i5-xxxx @ x.xxGHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 pro

 

https://www.xpd.co.nz - Games, geeks, and more G stuff.


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