In a world run on technology, IT specialist, aka information technology specialist, is what every organization needs in plenty. The individual caters to the technical needs of the employees. The main areas of focus for specialists are implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of IT systems. These professionals specialize in the field of network analysis, system administration, security and information assurance, IT audit, database administration, and web administration.
In fact, specialists can work in various areas of information technology. They work in the help desk to redress the problems that end users face. Specialists can also don roles of software engineers, software developers, database administrators, system analysts, computer security technicians, and network analysts, among others.
Whatever be the area they work in, specialists should possess strong analytical skills, be familiar with different operating systems, such as Windows, macOS or Linux, and have proficiency in one or more programming languages.
Usually, companies hire IT Specialists to solve technical problems, such as computer systems, software, hardware, networks, cloud platforms, etc. Many of them often work from the central office, or in some cases, these professionals also work remotely.
An IT support specialist must always be available to offer the necessary support to the employees. It can be both internal and external assistance. Apart from the regular reviews and supervision, particular roles and responsibilities come under their job purview. Here are some of the important ones:
One of the most important duties is to provide all the necessary assistance to the users round-the-clock. They can be hardware issues related to desktops, computer peripherals, such as printers, scanners, hard drives, monitors, etc., or software assistance concerning installation and updating of software. The technicians should keep track of all the IT-related issues in the organization. They should have good communication skills, as they have to interact with clients and their team members to coordinate on certain issues.
Update the systems
Professionals should keep track of the smooth functioning of the systems. They should keep themselves up-to-date with the latest components and other necessary aspects. Purchase of new software and hardware equipment is also their responsibility and support staff should not exceed the estimated budget.
Keep track of data
IT specialists must be informed of all the organization data that includes both internal and external information. They should oversee the maintaining, backing up, and securing of databases, as well as retrieving of files when needed.
An IT support specialist must be abreast with the latest developments and trends in the industry. They should be technology-savvy and be able to resolve all the technical difficulties. The core skills that employees should possess are:
- Extensive knowledge of information technologies and systems.
- Ability to coordinate at multiple levels and provide great customer service.
- Taking ownership of all IT related issues.
IT specialists need to train workers from non-technical workers backgrounds on information systems. They also work with vendors to understand what would be the most suitable systems for their organization. As information technology continues to transform exponentially, it is necessary for specialists to assess how these advancements would help their clients or organizations.
Apart from these, some additional skills that can give them an edge over the other job applicants. Additionally, these skills will help broaden their career options as well.
- Exposure to technical writing.
- Hardware and software certification.
- Program certifications from Cisco, Microsoft, Apple or others
Educational Qualifications & other Requirements
The interested candidate should have a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science or a related field. Technical courses in software and hardware installations, operating systems, spreadsheet applications, troubleshooting, networking, and advanced database manipulation will be advantageous, as they provide great exposure to the candidate.
If they have scripting skills, such as Perl, Python Or BASH, it will stand them in good stead.
The average salary of an IT Specialist is $66,200 per year in the United States, according to indeed.com. It is as per the data collected for the 36 months ending October 2018.
The career outlook for IT Specialists
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for computer support specialists are expected to increase 11 percent during the period 2016-2026, higher than the average for other occupations. It avers that more support staff would be needed, as enterprises upgrade and buy more software and hardware equipment.
Most importantly, IT specialists need to be always prepared to acquire new skills so that they can advance their careers by embracing new specializations which they may discover to be their true calling.
How Field Engineer can help
If you are mulling joining as a freelance IT Specialist in the Telecom Free Marketplace, visit Fieldengineer.com. This portal connects you with employers who are seeking candidates with the relevant skill sets. With over 40,000 engineers from diverse fields in more than 170 countries listed here, it is a comprehensive directory to look out for qualified people.