How to Get and Keep That IT Help Desk Job

By Tyler Regas

Almost everything that is taking off in the job markets today is driven by and for technology. IT help desk jobs are right there alongside this trend. You just might be that candidate one of hundreds of companies are looking for, and they are willing to pay well enough to keep people interested.

In order to position yourself for a career in technology as an IT help desk engineer, you need to know certain things. You don’t need a college degree to get your foot in the door. Just know that you will want a degree if you want to progress beyond mid-level departmental manager. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, because most companies are paying IT help desk engineers pretty good money to provide support, as long as they can prove they know what they are doing.

Key to working on a help desk is knowing Microsoft Windows. Considering how large the market for Mac OS X has grown, you should do your best to get a handle on that platform, as well. If you’re a real go-getter, then you can add Linux to the mix. Ubuntu is a fine choice. The core skill you will apply to any of these operating systems is the ability to explain to other people how to use their computers. You need to have an awareness of typical problems that can arise and how to solve them.

If you’ve never helped someone with their computer, you might not know how extraordinarily helpful it is to have someone walk you through something as simple as opening the Control Panel in Windows.

As you can well imagine, it takes an ongoing effort to keep up with the latest advancements in a wide range of technologies. It’s not, after all, just about the operating systems themselves, but also all manner of utilities, peripherals, connectors, components, and all of the other software and hardware bits that can be attached to or communicated with. It is, however, important to place those elements directly critical to your job at the very front of your research checklist. You want to be informed about everything you will work with, and if you are, it will show.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that being a help desk engineer is all about what you know and transmitting that knowledge to your charges. What you know is, after all, the commodity you are offering. Keep developing that knowledge, and that will go a long way towards establishing you as real asset.