Updated December 2023
If you’re technically minded and enjoy the challenge of solving problems and helping people, you might be cut out for a career as an IT support technician.
IT support technicians are the pros who come to the rescue when people’s computers don’t work the way they should. Their job is to find the cause of the issue and take people through the steps needed to get back on track.
Think you’d like to work in this field? Curious about what it takes to launch a career in IT support?
These five straightforward steps can help you reach your goal.
1. UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT IT SUPPORT TECHNICIANS DO
The main goal of IT support technicians is to solve users’ computer-related problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
They troubleshoot issues with hardware and software and walk users through solutions. They might do this by phone, email, social media, or in person.
IT support technicians often handle problems like:
☑️ Forgotten passwords
☑️ Lost files
☑️ Misconfigured software
☑️ Nonresponsive printers☑️ Lost remote network access
They can also be responsible for maintaining the helpdesk ticketing system, updating the company knowledge base, and providing user training.
Herzing graduate David Thibodeau has worked in IT support for many years. He says the job can be quite different from one day to the next.
“I’m a technical support specialist at Natus Medical. They provide medical equipment and diagnostic and monitoring tools to hospitals.
I train people on software and systems. I take calls from people who are having difficulty using the Citrix system, or having software/hardware issues.
I help people track down lost files, and rebuild computers to get them up and running again. Every day is a bit different. The job is really cool that way.”
2. LOOK INTO THE LOCAL JOB MARKET FOR IT SUPPORT TECHNICIANS
It’s a good idea to check into opportunities for IT support technicians in your area. Is there much demand for this role?
In Quebec, the answer is a resounding yes.
According to the Labour Market Information Council, there were more than 4,000 job postings for user support technicians across Canada in 2023.
And looking ahead, the Government of Canada Job Bank expects support techs to have moderate to good prospects in most of the country through 2025.
Virtually every medium- or large-sized business hires IT support specialists. Opportunities can often be found with:
☑️ IT services firms
☑️ Telecommunications companies
☑️ Banks and insurance firms
☑️ Colleges and universities
☑️ Government agencies
☑️ Retail stores☑️ Hospitals
3. REFLECT ON THE KEY SKILLS IT SUPPORT TECHNICIANS NEED
Obviously, you’ll need to understand operating systems, applications, networks, and more. That’s all covered in computing support training.
But while technical skills are important, they’re just the beginning. To excel as an IT support technician, you also need strong abilities in:
Problem solving—You need to be able to analyze the issue, find the root cause, and come up with a workable solution.
Communication—You must be able to speak and write clearly (typically in both French and English). It’s also crucial to be able to explain complex technical concepts in plain language.
Customer service—You should be dedicated to making sure every user’s needs are fully addressed.
Organization—Can you prioritize your tasks and keep up in a fast-paced environment?
4. TAKE A RELEVANT TRAINING PROGRAM
The good news is that you don’t need to spend years earning a university degree. A college diploma in computing support can help you develop the knowledge and skills employers are looking for in new IT support technicians.
You can complete a program in just 18 months. A good program will teach you how to:
☑️ Install, update, and optimize hardware and software
☑️ Manage network access
☑️ Develop utility programs
☑️ Set up resource sharing
☑️ Troubleshoot and solve problems
☑️ Manage time efficiently☑️ Communicate effectively
5. GET REAL IT SUPPORT EXPERIENCE THROUGH AN INTERNSHIP
In the world of IT support, experience is everything. Employers want to know that you’ve dealt with real technical challenges and talked with actual clients.
So if you’re looking to break into the field, you can do yourself a big favour by completing a computing support program that includes an internship with a local business.
An internship allows you to practise your support skills, boost your confidence, expand your professional network, and build up your resume—even before you finish your training.
It’s an excellent way to get a toehold in the industry.
Sometimes, internships even lead to job offers, so don’t overlook this step.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING AN IT SUPPORT TECHNICIAN?
Herzing College offers an accelerated computing support diploma that can help you become a fully qualified IT support technician in just 18 months. A seven-week internship is included.
Our grads have been hired by numerous major companies, including Best Buy, Moneris, Fujitsu, and IO Solutions.
Click below to learn more about the program and chat live with an admissions advisor. We’re here to help!