A support technician can work within a company or as a freelancer who helps businesses or individuals when they need someone with the expertise to fix any problem arising with their computers or IT systems. The job involves a variety of tasks from answering simple questions to performing complex maintenance on individual computers or entire networks. With technology becoming increasingly prominent in everyone’s lives a career in technical support offers plenty of opportunities.
Gaining a university degree is a solid indication to employers that you hold the technical ability to be able to perform the tasks required of you. There are lots of different courses available that will prepare you for a career in IT support which all offer slightly different emphases on different aspects. Some universities offer sandwich courses where you will be able to do a year in industry and learn first-hand how IT is used in the business world. You may also be able to study a joint honours degree where half of your study will be in IT and the other half will be in another subject such as business, English, Media or telecommunications.
Most universities require at least five GCSEs graded A*-C including ones in maths, English and science and having one in IT would be an added bonus. Typical offers require at least two A levels, including one in a related subject, or a B-TEC totalling 280 UCAS points. It is important to have a good knowledge of computers before starting a degree course as a lot of the teaching will be quite in-depth.
It is a great help to have some prior experience in technical support even if this is just helping friends and relatives fixing their computers. However, if you can gain experience in a part time job universities and employers will value all references you can give. Try asking local businesses if you can gain experience with them, even if this is unpaid, in order to put yourself ahead other candidates.
Career pathways after graduation
The world of IT is growing all the time and there is a constant demand for trained professionals. Many companies offer graduate schemes where you can go straight into employment after you finish university and gain experience and training as part of an established company. After you have gained some professional experience you may want to start your own business and become a freelance technician and offer your services to companies, individuals or both.