Technical support managers need to have a healthy balance of computer knowledge and know-how and social, management, and communication skills. It is recommended that students studying to enter this field consider following their bachelor's degree with a master's degree. Courses in public speaking and business at the undergraduate level can help prepare a future technical support manager for their career.
Technical support managers train and coordinate the company's technical service staff while solving procedural problems and recommending improvements to management. While a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in a computer-related field can help to secure technical management positions, a master's degree in business administration is often preferred by employers.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in computer-related field, Master's degree in Business Administration (recommended)|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||10%*(all computer support specialists)|
|Median Salary (2019)||$77,363**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **Payscale.com
To be a successful support manager requires a complete understanding of the company's technical products. In addition, managers must have exceptional leadership and problem-solving skills. Due to the heavy reliance on various forms of communication, such as e-mailing, phoning, or in-person interactions with vendors, customers, personnel, and management, these managers must possess outstanding written and verbal abilities. They should also be self-starters who are flexible and work well with everyone from entry-level employees to upper management.
Although earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in a computer-related field can create opportunities when seeking technical management positions, employers often prefer candidates with technical expertise and a master's degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) exposes students to advanced classes in finance, statistics, marketing, and accounting, all of which are pertinent to managerial duties. Other important master's-level coursework covers systems designs, electronic networking, and database management.
Regardless of the degree earned, students attending college should take advantage of general courses in business, English, and public speaking. The information covered in these classes may prove invaluable for handling customer complaints and liaising between subordinate staff members and upper management.
To find entry-level work as a technical support member normally requires some formal education, but certification is often the key to advancement. Since electronic applications and products are constantly evolving, those who stay current through voluntary continuing education coursework and certification programs should have the best opportunities to advance to management positions.
Staying current can be as simple as attending seminars and sales presentations, reading trade publications, or joining a professional technical organization. However, formal certification studies with technical vendors or private training programs are typically most beneficial to advancement.
Salary Information for Technical Support Management
According to the website PayScale.com, the salary for a technical support manager was between $50,000 and $119,000 per year as of August 2019, including bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) reports that computer user support services accounted for around 863,100 jobs in 2018. The government data also expected job opportunities in technical support to grow by about 10% between 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov).
Technical support managers are responsible for ensuring a company's technical service staff are knowledgeable and prepared for their work, and help the management understand the technical challenges and needs of its company. Most businesses prefer a candidate with a master's degree and experience, but a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field might do the trick for some job candidates. Salaries vary in this growing field, but the median in 2019 was around $77,363 (Payscale.com).