ICT Support Technicians
Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.
||Openings 5 years to November 2019: 25,001 to 50,000
||Median weekly earnings: $1051 to $1300 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
||You've just forgotten your computer password and are unable to gain access to your student records. The help desk support officer is the person equipped to deal with such problems.
There are approximately 2,800 people working as help desk support staff in South Australia. Employment is mostly full-time with the majority working in the Professional, Scientific and Technical services industry. Most persons in this occupation are males with the main age group between 25-34 years.
Quick Profile Navigation
TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: ICT Support Technicians
Information technology figures strongly in our lives, but not all of us are computer literate. To overcome this problem, many large companies and educational institutions employ help desk support personnel to answer their user community's wide range of questions.
Most help desk support personnel need to have a broad knowledge of the information technology systems that are used in the organisation where they provide help. They must also be knowledgeable about the different software packages and databases that are available. Helping people access group servers or lost files are part and parcel of this job. Help Desk Coordinator John, says his day typically involves answering a barrage of phone calls from people who have forgotten their passwords or whose computers won't work. He also deals with over the counter problems from students and staff. "Most problems can be dealt with immediately, but if this is not possible, the call or query is logged and the problem is passed on to a technician." Help desk support personnel who work for hardware and software companies may assist customers by telephone to install and use specific products.
Figures and Computational
There are 21% of IT Help desk Support workers who have Bachelor Degrees, 23% have Certificate III or Certificate IV, 20% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas. There are 30% who have no post-school qualifications however it is recommended that you gain the available qualifications to get the best possible chance of employment.
TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Software Development. Pathways include the Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology, Certificate III Program in Information, Digital Media and Technology (Support) or Certificate III Program in Information, Digital Media and Technology (Applications) and Certificate IV in Information Technology.
Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in Diploma of Software Development/Bachelor of Information Technology.
SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.
Help desk staff are most needed when there is a new or updated system being installed. Users will have questions and need help until they become familiar with the new software or hardware's operation. Internet Service Providers and many Internet sites now have Help Desks to assist users. The demand for such help is predicted to continue to grow as more and more new users come to the site or service. "The help desk role will not go out of fashion. As the IT technologies grow and change, companies will always need people to facilitate the gaps in the knowledge," says a Recruitment spokesperson. According to another industry source, one of the areas of growth for help desk support staff will be a web-based knowledge management location where help desk staff will document each new enquiry and post it as a web page. Callers to the help desk will first be asked to do a search on the database before the call is answered.
Nature of the Job
The working environment for help desk support officers can be quite stressful. When people have deadlines to meet and their inadequate computer knowledge hinders their progress, tension can arise. Hence it pays to have excellent communication skills and be able to solve problems quickly and effectively. Patience and diplomacy come into play when dealing with a vast range of people from clerks, to students, to CEO's, all with different levels of IT knowledge. Be prepared to answer the same question fifty times a day!
On some occasions, when a computer technician is unavailable, the help desk support person is required to provide basic technical support. According to John, it is a great way for someone to develop their computer skills. "It is an excellent place to learn a lot of varied, computer support skills," he says. Help desk support staff are employed mainly in IT companies but many medium to large sized companies and organisations also need a help desk team.
Typical Physical Working Environment
Help desk support staff should have a strong client focus and genuine desire to assist. It is essential that they have good analytical skills, good communication skills and persistence. They should also have a methodical and disciplined approach to problem solving. They must also be able to work as part of a team and be patient and tolerant. It is important that they have a technical aptitude with regards to computers.
Typical Occupational Example
According to an IT recruitment specialist, there are three levels for help desk support staff, and as officers gain more experience and their skills increase, they can move from level 1 to level 3. Problems which can't be solved by the Level 1 Help Desk support staff are 'escalated' up to a Level 2 or 3 officer. Alternatively, you can move from help desk into help desk management or to a 'hands on' role where you actually visit the user or client site to fix problems.
For further information, contact:
Australian Computer Society (SA Branch)
Phone: (08) 8363 6660
E-Oz Energy Skills Australia
Phone: (02) 6262 7055
For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online