If you are technologically savvy and have good leadership and communication skills, you may be interested in a career as a help desk manager. A bachelor's degree in a related field is often the minimum requirement to hold a supervisory role. Some employers may prefer that you obtain certification as well, either general or for a specific computer system.
Help desk managers ensure that clients receive technical support services and supervise help desk personnel. Job requirements vary, though a 4-year degree is often required for management positions. Some certifications may also be required, depending on what software or hardware is supported.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in computer-related field|
|Other Requirements||Industry certifications and/or previous experience may also be necessary|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||8% for network and computer systems administrators*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$63,278**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **PayScale.com
Job Description for a Help Desk Manager
A help desk manager's job is to oversee timely delivery of quality technical support service to clients, whether they are internal clients working for the same company or external clients who have contracted technical support service. This requires both knowledge of the software or hardware systems being supported and effective personnel management skills.
Often, help desk managers are responsible for supporting windows-based software systems with a networking component. In these cases, employers may prefer help desk managers who are Microsoft-certified and have other certifications specifically in the type of hardware or software they will support. Employers may also choose to hire individuals with previous management experience.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job openings for all network and computer systems administrators will increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as the national average. Additionally, PayScale.com reports that the median salary for help desk managers, as of January 2016, was $63,278 per year. Also according to PayScale.com, the majority of help desk managers earn between $43,862 and $90,598 per year.
Job Duties for a Help Desk Manager
Help desk managers may complete both technical support and supervisory duties. Common technical support duties include answering telephones, communicating with clients, diagnosing hardware and software malfunctions, troubleshooting problems, replacing hardware and installing new software on clients' machines. Supervisory duties may include determining personnel requirements, setting schedules and insuring that those under their direction have adequate resources to complete their jobs.
Education and Career Requirements for a Help Desk Manager
Generally, a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is required for help desk managers. Common coursework often includes computer science, coding or programming, some engineering courses, mathematics, English, science and other general education requirements. Some employers may prefer a graduate degree such as a Master of Business Administration.
Help desk managers may also wish to seek certification from a specific manufacturer such as Microsoft, or a general certification as a help desk manager from an organization such as the Help Desk Institute (HDI). An HDI certification demonstrates a manager's knowledge of help desk practices and customer service tactics. Microsoft certifications that may be required for employment include Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician or Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist.
In summary, help desk managers supervise the provision of technical support to clients, and may also provide advice or troubleshooting themselves. They need knowledge of the software, hardware, or programs for the area in which they work, and typically gain this knowledge through a bachelor's degree program. Job growth for all computer systems administrators is expected to be as fast as average in the coming decade.