Help Desk Training Courses
Twenty years ago, few American workers knew what a "help desk" was; let alone what kind of help they'd need from a computer support professional. Decades of rapid technology changes have overhauled the way workers do their jobs, making computer repair and support professionals essential for daily operations at most companies, schools and government agencies.
Businesses and individuals alike rely on IT support personnel to keep things running smoothly. Computer support training can give students the tools they need to kick off a promising career in a wide range of industries.
Graduates of computer repair training programs help companies save money while keeping highly specialized systems online.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half a million Americans already support computer users as help desk professionals. While many companies rely on internal help desks, consultants and outside support companies are sprouting up to serve small businesses and home users. With a backlash at many companies against moving help desk jobs overseas, government analysts predict domestic help desk jobs to grow faster than the average for other careers over the coming decade.
Help desk career options
Help desk training prepares candidates to take on jobs at the front lines of computer support. Answering questions over the phone, via online chat, or in person often requires more communication skill than technical prowess. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, many employers waive college degree requirements for help desk jobs when candidates show proven skills and industry credentials.
Typical help desk courses and certifications
To demonstrate expertise, many help desk professionals gain certification--and some use training courses in the subject to prepare for the certification exams. Microsoft and Apple both offer help desk certifications:
- Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)
- Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Specialized software vendors extend their own certifications for tools ranging from customer relationship management systems to email servers. Help desk training programs often prepare students for either of two broad career paths:
- Computer repair. Students gain hands-on experience with computer hardware, learning to replace critical components and storage devices in the field.
- Computer support. Students learn how to coach computer users through challenges such as networking issues and software usage.
Most hiring managers reward skills and experience when it comes to salaries. A 2009 government salary survey reported that many entry-level computer support professionals start their careers earning between $13 and $16 per hour. That hourly wage can rise quickly, to the national average of $22 or to the high-end rate of almost $35 per hour, based on a worker's track record.