Advice on how to get into the Technical Support field
It doesn’t matter how big or how small a company is, in this day and age Technical Support is a crucial part of almost every business out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling flowers or tyres or if you’re running an accounting company or a retail store – at some point or another you’re going to have to use a computer – and computers can break or at least cause you some headaches (when they’re not working correctly). Someone needs to be there to fix it. This is why companies and businesses need Technical Support.
The Technical Support department of a company is usually part of the Information Technology (or IT) department and in most cases they are usually tasked with ensuring that all networks, laptops, computers, display screens, printers and other technical devices are working and functioning like they should and are not slowing down the productivity of the business / company. In some cases they’ll also be required to do routine maintenance on IT equipment.
Which skills do you need to get into Technical Support?
The Technical Support field is not for everyone out there. It’s important that you have technical skills, organizational skills, good interpersonal skills and good communication skills (since you’ll be dealing with employees at your company in most cases). You also need to have patience (because not everyone is as tech savvy as you) and a meticulous nature (yes, you should be someone who pays attention to details). You also need to have a logical mind and you must be capable of working well under pressure.
Which qualifications and training do you require to work in Technical Support?
A university or college degree is not always required to work in Technical Support – it totally depends on what will be required of you in a company. At the minimum you need to have a knowledge of computers, various versions of Microsoft Windows and which parts go where and how they work. You should also be willing to learn and stay up to date with advances in technology in the IT and Technical Support industry.
Take note that there are not many companies in South Africa who will hire you based on your knowledge only without qualifications. Having an A+, N+ or a Microsoft Certified Software Engineer (or MCSE) qualification will work in your favor, but experience will also be required for most jobs. It’s also always a good advantage if you have knowledge in Linux. If you don’t have experience, start fixing your friends’ computers in your spare time to build up experience and learn more by doing.
We recently spoke to Floyd (who is working in Technical Support). He offers useful advice for people who want to get into the Technical Support field. This video is part of our #YouWantMyJob series of videos on YouTube.
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