Help Desk Analyst: Diploma Summary

Diploma programs for help desk analysts are rare, but many community colleges and technical schools offer related certificate programs. These programs train students to provide entry-level maintenance services for computer users.

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Essential Information

Students enrolled in these certificate programs can learn about operating systems, networks, hardware and software, as well as various problem-solving techniques.

Many large companies have help desks composed of technicians who step in to fix technology problems in the workplace. Other help desk analysts work for computer hardware and software firms or Internet service providers where they respond to email and telephone requests for assistance from the public. Most certificate programs are offered through technical schools and community colleges, taking a year to complete.

Students need a high school diploma or GED to enter these programs, which typically take a year. to complete. Knowledge of the internet is helpful, but not mandatory.

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Certificates for Help Desk Analyst Coursework

In addition to technical courses, students in a help desk analyst certificate program may take classes in customer service skills, communication, and problem solving. Possible course topics include:

  • Networking principles
  • Database fundamentals
  • Customer service
  • Computer systems troubleshooting
  • Information security

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

A graduate of a help desk analyst certificate program can work in many positions, such as customer service representative or software trainer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted employment growth of 12% from 2014 to 2024 for computer support specialists, including help desk analysts. This was faster than the average for all occupations, the BLS noted.

The BLS also pointed out that many lower level jobs, such as in call centers, have been moved overseas to reduce costs; however, some companies have recently been relocating jobs to lower cost areas of the U.S. The BLS reported the median annual salary for computer user support specialists was $48,620 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education and Certification

A certificate or associate's degree may be enough to get an entry-level job in computer support, but the BLS says many employers prefer someone with a bachelor's degree in areas such as computer or information science. Help desk analysts may also choose to demonstrate their knowledge by becoming certified through a professional association, such as the Help Desk Institute (HDI). The HDI offers certification examinations for various occupations in the help desk field.

Certificate programs in help desk analysis or related areas typically instruct students in the maintenance of different operating systems, networks, hardware and software in preparation of assisting computer users. Graduates of these programs may be able to attain entry-level employment in related areas of computer work, though students can also pursue bachelor's degrees in the field to open up a wider range of opportunities.

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