What does an IT Support Specialist do and how can you become one?

By Lumify Learn Team  |  February 13, 2024

Are you someone who enjoys solving technical puzzles, assisting others with their computer-related issues, and keeping systems running smoothly? If so, a career as an IT support specialist might be the perfect fit for you. In today's increasingly digital world, organisations rely heavily on technology to operate efficiently, making IT support specialists invaluable members of their teams.

In this blog, we will explore the pivotal role of IT support specialists by identifying their responsibilities, the skills and knowledge that they possess, and how they contribute to the success of businesses today. We will also talk about how Lumify Learn’s IT support courses and training programs can help if you want to become an IT support specialist yourself.

What is an IT support specialist?

Also referred to as technical support engineers, IT support specialists are those who provide organisations with IT support to ensure the smooth operation of their technology infrastructure. These professionals assist in troubleshooting technical issues, identifying hardware and software problems, and deploying solutions to ensure that everyone in their company can access the necessary resources to perform their tasks effectively.

What’s more, these specialists are responsible for maintaining the security of their organisation’s assets by implementing robust security measures, monitoring systems for issues and vulnerabilities, and immediately addressing potential cyber threats.

What are the typical duties of an IT support specialist?

The day-to-day responsibilities of an IT support specialist can vary depending on the size and scope of the organisation they work for. However, there are some common duties that are normally associated with the role. These include:

  • Providing technical assistance and support to employees regarding hardware, software, and network-related problems

  • Troubleshooting and resolving hardware and software problems, such as computer crashes, connectivity issues, and software compatibility

  • Installing, configuring, and maintaining computer systems, networks, and peripherals

  • Assisting in the setup and maintenance of user accounts, email systems, and software applications.

  • Conducting regular system and network monitoring to identify and resolve potential issues proactively

  • Responding to user inquiries and providing guidance on the proper use of IT resources

  • Collaborating with other IT team members to implement and maintain IT infrastructure and security measures

  • Assisting in data backup and recovery processes to ensure data integrity and availability

  • Conducting hardware and software upgrades as required and keeping track of inventory

  • Documenting IT processes, procedures, and solutions for future reference

What is the current demand for IT support specialists in Australia?

There is a growing need for skilled professionals who can provide technical support and ensure the smooth functioning of IT systems as businesses increasingly rely on technology to operate. In fact, according to the 2022 Digital Pulse by Deloitte, there will be over 1 million technology workers in Australia, which will grow 1.2 million by 2027. This increase represents an average annual growth rate of 5.5%.

What’s more, the technology sector in Australia is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. According to the same Deloitte report, the proportion of the workforce in technology roles is set to increase to 8.5% in 2027.

IT support specialists in Australia can expect an average salary range of $70,000 to $90,000 per year, depending on experience and qualifications. The strong demand for IT support specialists, combined with good salary prospects, presents an ideal opportunity to embark on a career in this field.

What are the skills that an IT support specialist must possess?

To excel in the IT field and meet the diverse needs of users, IT support specialists must possess a range of essential skills, such as:

  • Technical troubleshooting: IT support specialists must have the ability to diagnose and resolve technical issues efficiently, including hardware, software, and network problems. This helps them quickly resolve issues, mitigate downtime, and ensure proper operations.

  • Knowledge of operating systems: Proficiency in various operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux is essential for IT support specialists. They need to understand the functionalities of different operating systems to assist users in navigating and resolving issues related to their specific operating system.

  • Networking fundamentals: Understanding network protocols, IP addressing, DNS, DHCP, and basic network troubleshooting enables IT support specialists to troubleshoot network connectivity issues, configure network devices, and address common network-related problems.

  • Hardware and software knowledge: Having hardware and software knowledge allows specialists to assist users in setting up and configuring devices such as printers, scanners, and routers. They can also troubleshoot hardware malfunctions and install software applications, ensuring that users have the necessary tools to perform their tasks effectively.

  • Customer service: Excellent communication and people skills are vital for IT support specialists to provide effective customer support. By delivering exceptional customer service, IT support specialists can build positive relationships with users, alleviate their concerns, and provide timely and satisfactory resolutions for their technical problems.

  • Problem solving: Having critical thinking skills allows IT support specialists to resolve intricate issues, even if they haven't encountered them before. This ensures that users can continue their work without disruptions.

  • Adaptability: IT support specialists must possess the ability to quickly learn and adapt to these changes. This way, they can efficiently support users with diverse technical requirements and stay ahead in an ever-changing technological environment.

  • Time management: By effectively managing their time, prioritising tasks, and efficiently allocating resources, IT support specialists can ensure timely responses to user requests, maintain service levels, and maximise productivity.

  • Cyber security awareness: Having ample awareness of cyber threats, attacks, and security in general helps IT support specialists protect users’ data, educate them about good cyber hygiene, and contribute to the overall security posture of the organisation.

  • Documentation: IT support specialists must have strong documentation skills to maintain accurate records, create user manuals, and document troubleshooting procedures. This way, they can ensure consistency in problem-solving approaches, enhance collaboration within the team, and provide valuable resources for users to find self-help solutions.

How to start a career as an IT support specialist

Whether one is starting from scratch or looking to transition into this field, there are steps they can take to embark on the journey toward becoming an IT support specialist:

1. Gain a solid foundation in IT

You can start building your career by gaining a solid understanding of computer hardware, software, operating systems, and networking fundamentals. You can also consider pursuing a degree or certification in IT-related fields such as computer science, information technology, or network administration. This will help you gain the necessary knowledge to troubleshoot and support IT systems.

2. Expand one’s knowledge of IT support

Stay updated with the latest IT support tools and technologies, and become familiar with ticketing systems, remote desktop applications, troubleshooting software, and network monitoring tools. This enables you to provide efficient and effective support to users.

3. Cultivate Problem-Solving and Communication Skills

IT support specialists often deal with complex technical issues and interact with users who may have varying levels of technical knowledge. As such, you must sharpen your critical thinking skills to analyse and resolve IT problems efficiently. Additionally, you need to develop strong communication and people skills to effectively communicate technical concepts to non-technical users and provide exceptional customer service.

4. Seek professional certifications

Consider pursuing industry-recognised certifications such as CompTIA A+ or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). These certifications validate your technical skills and can enhance your credibility in the IT support field.

5. Gain practical experience

Look for opportunities to gain practical experience in IT support. This can include internships, part-time jobs, or volunteering for IT support roles. Practical experience will not only enhance your technical skills, but it will also provide you with real-world exposure to different IT environments and challenges.

Become an IT support specialist with Lumify Learn today!

At Lumify Learn, we recognise the growing demand for skilled IT support specialists. That's why we offer comprehensive courses designed to equip individuals with the necessary expertise to thrive in this field.

For instance, our ICT40120 Certificate IV in Information Technology (Systems Administration Support) certification will provide you with the proficiency to support clients in resolving IT problems. It will also help you gain skills in critical thinking, project support, systems administration support, fault finding, and troubleshooting.

Meanwhile, our IT Service Management Professional (ITIL® 4) bootcamp is designed to equip you with a comprehensive framework for effectively creating, delivering, and operating tech-enabled products and services. With this program, you will gain a complete understanding of the end-to-end operating model required in today's dynamic IT landscape.

The best part? Both courses are 100% online-based, so you can learn at your own pace and conveniently study anywhere you prefer. And by enrolling in either of these courses, you'll have the opportunity to join Lumify Edge, which allows you to connect with industry professionals and potential employers actively seeking skilled IT support specialists.

Don’t miss this chance to jumpstart your career. Enquire with us on a course today.

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