IT Support Career Path

Qualifications, In-Demand Roles, Skills, Salary, & Tips

IT Support career is a great way to offer the necessary technical help and guidance to people. This includes helping out with issues with computers, networks, software, and also applications.

The employment of IT support specialists is projected to grow by 9 per cent from 2020 to 2030 by BLS. So, there is high demand for IT Support Professionals.

Are you interested in pursuing a career as an IT support specialist? If yes, then you may be wondering what skills and certifications are needed and what roles are in demand.

In this guide, we outline in-demand roles, skills, qualifications, and earning potential. Also, you will learn about tips to get your dream IT job and advance.

Why should you become an IT support professional?

There’s high demand for talent in UK tech with over 2 million open vacancies in the last year. So when you become an IT support professional, you’re joining a growing field with a growth rate faster than the average for all occupations.

As an IT Support Specialist, you will work with various people. Ranging from business executives to computer users  — who have different needs and expectations. This will help you build transferable skills and master different communication mediums.

It’s about helping people with their technology problems and doing it in a way that is fun and rewarding. 

What are the In-demand roles for IT support professionals?

According to Tech Nation, tech vacancies make up a higher percentage of all vacancies in the UK. As a result, the UK’s IT industry is booming and there are many roles in companies and organizations that are open.

Here are some of the most in-demand IT support roles in the UK;

1. First Line Support/ Service Desk

In the last 12 months, GTS has recorded an increase in demand for the First Line Support role in Peterborough and Reading particularly. 

In this role, you will provide a range of services for customers who have technical problems. It could be either with their computer systems or software applications. Responding to queries via email or phone calls is also part of the job. You may also have to provide training when necessary.

2. Second Line Support

According to IT Job Watch, the UK has seen the demand for Second Line Support grow by 0.8% in less than a year. In this role, you will be assisting the First Line Support staff with problems they couldn’t solve.

You will also be managing the escalation process when necessary. Providing training on new products/services may be your duty as well.

3. IT Support Team Leader

The role of an IT support team leader is to lead an IT team and ensure they can carry out their duties. 

As a Team Leader for a company in Reading, for example, you will be responsible for all aspects of the service desk. Ranging from service request management to resolution and customer satisfaction.

4. Desktop Support Engineer

This is one of the good paying IT Support jobs in Reading, Peterborough, and Bracknell. According to UK Talent.com, Desktop Support Engineers earn up to £45,273/yr. 

They are responsible for all aspects of customer support. This includes installation, configuration, and troubleshooting issues. This role also requires providing regular updates and solutions to issues as they arise.

5. First Line Support Analyst

For this role in the UK, the biggest increase GTS has seen is in Peterborough, Reading, and Bracknell. First Line Support analysts are often considered the face of the helpdesk. 

They deliver support for the organization’s applications, desktops, IT systems, and devices. With them, users can access their computers without issue to work effectively. 

6. Second Line Service Desk Analyst

Second Line Service Desk Analysts help manage the ongoing delivery of services. They do this by monitoring the performance of existing systems. If there is any issue, they report to senior management. 

This role requires knowledge of both hardware and software solutions. You must be able to spot potential problems before they escalate further down the line.

7. Network Engineer

The need for Network engineers in Reading over the last 3 months has increased by 3.2%. Network engineers have a responsibility for maintaining and managing networks throughout an organization. 

They ensure data can be accessed securely. They also ensure network security is up to date and adheres to best practice guidelines.

8. Project Manager

Project Managers manage projects from start to finish while keeping the deadline in mind. There were 83 thousand IT project managers employed in the UK as of September 2021. In fact, the need for them keeps increasing. 

Generally, they oversee the progress of multiple teams working on assigned projects. You must understand how projects move from the idea stage to execution the stage. 

What are the most sought-after qualifications/certifications for IT support professionals?

You need some certifications to get started and advance on your chosen IT career path.

According to a study by CompTIA, the value placed on IT certifications by HR executives has risen to 94%. It is now a reliable predictor of a successful employee. 

So there are some of the/certifications you need to become an IT support specialist?

  • CompTIA A+
  • AWS Certification
  • VMware certification
  • CompTIA Network+
  • Microsoft Certifications
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification

What are the skills you need to succeed as an IT support professional?

As an IT support professional, you’ll be tasked with troubleshooting issues daily. There is a lot that goes into being successful IT support professional. 

To stand out and earn a comfortable living, here are the most essential skills;

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Empathy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Analytical Abilities
  • Project Management
  • Perseverance
  • Problem Solving
  • Resourcefulness
  • Time Management

How to get IT jobs

If you’re just about dipping your toes into the water and looking to land your first IT job, you need to;

  • Earn at least a bachelor’s or associate’s degree
  • Develop skills required by your desired IT role
  • Gain experience through internships
  • Certifications are key. Get some
  • Get a well-written tailored resume/cv
  • Start with entry-level positions
  • Build a network with professionals in the field
  • Don’t be afraid to freelance while applying to IT jobs

Where can you get an IT Support job? 

Global Technology Solution (GTS) specializes in recruiting for IT Jobs across the UK and beyond. GTS clients include top companies and organizations looking to fill their IT Support roles.  

No matter your experience level or skills, with over 200 IT Jobs available, GTS has an opportunity for you.

What should you include in your resume for an IT job?

While there is no one size fits all for this, here are some of the things you should include in your resume to increase your chances;

  • Your area of specialization
  • IT skills you possessed
  • Soft skills you possessed
  • Professional experiences
  • Link to your LinkedIn profile
  • Link to your portfolio if you have one

Tips to excel in your chosen IT Support career path

It’s one thing to find your way into a career, it’s another to excel. So how do you excel in an IT Support career? 

  • Effective communication is key, work on it
  • Learn to be flexible and willing to adapt when necessary
  • Don’t be a jack of all trades. Stick to a specialty
  • Always go the extra mile to help others.
  • Keep developing your IT skills
  • Be curious and never stop learning.
  • Understand your role and how it relates to the business

Conclusion

The market for IT Support professionals is one of the most dynamic in the UK. The demand for skilled IT workers is fast growing. Businesses are continuing to invest in technology and become more digital. As a result, the demand will soar over the next few years.

Due to this growth, there are many opportunities for IT support professionals in the UK. Many of these opportunities come with the option to work from home. You can find the right fit for your skill set and passion, and earn yourself a great living.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start your career in IT?

You’ll need to follow a step-by-step career path to become an IT support specialist. You have an option of taking some IT skills courses or going to college in your field. So, you can also start your career with an employer that requires little or no technical training at all.

How long does it take to become an IT support professional?

Though it depends on the degree you get, it usually takes between 2 to 4 years to become an IT support specialist. An associate’s degree in an IT-related major takes about 2 years while a bachelor’s takes 4 years.

Are there IT Support jobs in the UK?

The IT Support industry is fast growing in the UK, creating more jobs on a daily. For example, there are openings for First Line Support in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire  and  Bracknell, Berkshire and  also   Second Line Support in Reading.

How much do IT Support Specialists earn?

While this may vary depending on your region, according to Glassdoor, the average salary of an IT Support Specialist in the UK is £30,928/year. Also, other factors that will determine your earnings include qualifications, experience level, and IT skills. 

What is the best IT career path for beginners?

Though you can choose any career path in the IT field depending on your interest. The best, to begin with, is Web Development; creating web-based solutions for businesses