IT support technicians help computer users with the technical support of hardware and software systems. Their work involves providing technical support to customers by setting up, maintaining, troubleshooting, and updating computer hardware and software. The most popular IT support services are computer support services that are provided to businesses, educational institutions and organizations. A typical IT technician provides computer support by using computer software to diagnose, assess and troubleshoot computer hardware and software problems. Other support services provided are software support, computer networking support, data recovery support and network management support.
According to the Computer Support Job Description, IT support technicians perform a variety of activities. Some of the duties include installation and configuration of hardware and software; installation of programs; removal of non-compatible software; installation of drivers and utilities for support of computers; troubleshooting technical problems; maintenance of hardware; and modification of computer systems for enhanced performance and capacity. IT support technicians are also responsible for security, back-up of information, data cleansing and creation or provisioning of security access to networks. They must also be knowledgeable about various technologies used in computer systems such as networking, email, security, intranet, web, multimedia, and file servers. Computer support technicians can specialize in particular areas.
There are several certifications available for IT support professionals. One type is the Certified Information Systems Specialist (CIS) certification, which is a testing and qualifying program managed by the Internet Service Provider Industry Association (ISPI). Certified Computer Information System (CCIS) is also offered by the same organization. A computer support technician may also receive an Information Technology Management Specialist (ITMS) certification. An ITM is trained to work in the management roles of Information Technology departments.
IT support technicians provide technical assistance by troubleshooting hardware and software issues. The most common software that most people use on their computers include Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, and Nortel. There are many manufacturers that make specific types of hardware that go with different operating systems. The most commonly used hardware devices are scanners, network adapters, computer motherboards, hard disk drives, USB drives, optical drives, and cartridges. These devices must be regularly updated so that they can properly detect new software versions.
The role of the technical support technician can be divided into several different departments. On one end of the spectrum there are technicians that work on resolving basic hardware issues. These technicians typically work on basic communication systems such as DSL and cable modem providers. Other services that they can provide include managing telephone sets, voice and data networks, and IP networks. Support technicians also can work on a computer support plan that consists of maintenance plans, recovery plans, upgrades, and installation plans. It is not uncommon to find technicians that specialize in hardware support for wireless clients.
There are two different categories of IT technicians. There are those that work at an entry level on IT support and repair. This includes basic computer repair and networking knowledge that can be transferred over to more complex IT tasks. Other entry-level IT technicians work in a specialized capacity on specific IT support or specific computer systems. Many companies hire entry-level technicians so that they can provide specialized assistance for an existing customer base.
A skilled technician can also provide IT support services for business users. Business people typically rely on technicians to troubleshoot their computer systems after they become outdated or damaged. A good technician can also diagnose problems for business users and recommend certain repairs. A business user may be confused by certain terms in a software program. When this happens, a technician can explain the terms in layman’s terms. IT support technicians can also train business users on information technology (IT) basics so that they can understand more about complicated software programs.
IT technicians can work in a variety of fields. Some technicians work with computer users and repair issues. However, other technicians provide IT technical support services to business owners and other professionals. To determine which job type best suits your interests, you should review some career insights on IT technician jobs.