The IT Support Specialist Job Description
IT support refers to services which specific entities offer to end users of computer products or services, instead of providing specialized training, distribution or customization of these products, or any other support services offered. IT support can be provided by a computer shop, a website, an IT solutions provider, or any other independent consultant. It has become increasingly common for organizations to outsource IT support to experts operating from their premises. Outsourcing IT support from an external source, especially one located within the organization, helps improve the quality, quantity and cost-effectiveness of IT support offerings.
An IT support specialist’s services are categorized into two primary categories: hardware and software. The primary responsibility of an IT support specialist is hardware support, which includes repair, replacement or upgrading of hardware devices. This includes all components such as motherboards, processors, printed circuit boards (PCBs), hard drives, keyboards and mice, cameras and other video accessories, and monitors. Hardware repairs could include repairing an individual component, such as a motherboard, to enhance the functioning of another component, such as a processor. For example, replacing damaged parts of a printer cartridge could be performed by an IT support specialist. A PC user might want to upgrade a graphics card or perform some other internal change which might require additional equipment from the IT support specialist.
While an IT support specialist can perform routine maintenance or upgrades on hardware devices, he cannot perform any function that alters the format or configuration of the computer software. The roles of a hardware specialist and a software specialist are closely related but not identical. A hardware specialist either performs the upgrading or installation of new hardware or modifies existing software applications to suit a new system. He also keeps regular technical records of changes made, in order to determine whether any further changes are needed to support a particular software application, in order to resolve problems associated with that application.
An IT support specialist is a professional who can provide the basic support services, ranging from basic troubleshooting to complex tasks such as system optimization and server maintenance. Some IT support staff can work only in the IT support department of a business, while others are self-employed or work at data centers or other isolated locations. Professionals can also work as part of a larger company or organization, or be based in one location and provide support to an even larger number of business clients. In order to become an IT specialist, three to twelve months of specialized study must pass with an accredited college or university.
IT support specialists use different forms of communications, depending on the nature of the business they work for. For example, network administrators use various forms of communications to communicate with other computer systems administrators, and with software and hardware manufacturers. Web-based computer support specialists work exclusively over the Internet, using specialized protocols and software to send instructions and requests to computer systems. On-site support specialists work with computer systems in physical locations, while telecommuters and part-time employees can also perform IT support duties from home. IT support specialists usually work with IT departments and developers, and some specialize only in particular computer systems. Some IT support specialists work in IT departments within larger companies as consultants.
There are many aspects of the IT support specialist job description that vary according to the type of support they provide. The primary focus of an IT support specialist is to help customers resolve hardware problems. They can test and troubleshoot a range of hardware devices, from computers and other types of consumer electronics to digital media devices and other information technology devices. A support specialist may also train customers on information technology basics, such as the proper usage of Microsoft Windows. In order to be an effective IT specialist, it is essential to be knowledgeable about many different aspects of information technology, including how to troubleshoot different computer problems. The IT support specialist job description, therefore, covers a wide variety of tasks and skills.
An IT support specialist may come from a number of different disciplines, including network administrators, servers, email servers, hardware technicians, network security specialists, software testers, networks, and database administrators. It is important for IT support specialists to have a broad range of technical skills, as they need to be effective in all areas of computer repair. IT support specialists can specialize in one or more tiers of service, depending on their specific job description.
The information technology support specialist job description has various tiers of responsibilities, depending on what type of IT support they provide. One tier of responsibilities is diagnostic purposes. Diagnostic purposes include testing equipment to determine how well it functions, and what type of operational procedures it is able to handle under normal conditions. Other IT technical support duties include fixing hardware, software, networking, and peripherals. Diagnostic specialists use diagnostic tools to identify problems in operating systems, application software, hardware, and user software.