Help desk analyst and support specialist training is offered through certificate programs commonly found in community and technical colleges and through university continuing education departments. Such programs may require the completion of 120 contact hours. Professional diplomas and Associate of Applied Science degrees in computer help desk specialist or technician and IT systems support are available. In addition to technical studies, diploma programs may integrate foundations in writing and communications and business math. Associate degree programs go a step further providing students with a broader general education base in social sciences, humanities, mathematics and English. Diploma and associate degree programs may also include a practicum or an internship component.
Some concepts taught are:
- Improving support center productivity
- Interpersonal skills
- Best practice problem solving skills
- Displaying confidence and reducing job stress
- Providing good customer support
List of Common Courses
Help Desk Operations Course
In this course, students learn the roles and responsibilities of those who provide information technology (IT) support via an organization's help desk. Individuals examine how to develop and define help desk operations.
Service and the IT Professional Course
The fundamentals of customer service, which include written and oral communication, are discussed in the context of managing an IT help desk. Students learn to identify and calm escalated behavior from individuals as well as developing the skills necessary to solve problems in situations of heightened pressure. They are taught to strive for prompt, courteous and efficient customer service.
Basic Computer Technology Course
The operation, software and hardware of personal computers are covered in this course. Instructors explain how to configure operating systems, manage files, store data and allocate memory. Also discussed is the installation of software programs, including spreadsheets, word processors and e-mail programs. An overview of the Internet and the connection of peripheral devices are also covered.
Networking Fundamentals Course
People taking this course learn the functions of a network operating system, supplemented through studies on networking terminology, networking types and topologies, and networking standards. Students explore the setup and operation of a network, the use of logins and passwords, the creation of a directory and the implementation of security controls.
PC Troubleshooting and Maintenance Course
Standard procedures for solving technical issues with personal computers are covered in this course. Individuals examine the hardware and software components of computers, the diagnosis and repair of common problems and the prevention of recurring issues. Also covered is the installation and removal of software.
Information and Network Security Course
This course examines the identification and mitigation of threats to business data and procedures. Students develop business security and continuity plans, utilize techniques to protect proprietary data and e-mail, set up firewalls and filters, and activate intrusion detection and prevention systems.