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What is a helpdesk job actually like?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Juelz, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    What is an IT helpdesk job actually like? many job adverts for help desk roles dont even ask for experience nor qualifications, all they require is someone who is interested in IT, so can I assume you actually need next to zero knowledge of IT? this baffles me as its like asking for chefs who cant cook but enjoy eating to come and work at a restaurant... any experience you can share of having worked in these roles would be good insight.
     
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  2. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I think a number of helpdesk jobs ask for experience and you need more than just an interest in IT to land the role I think mate. If a job says no experience required, that's usually because they have a training program laid out for you, usually shadowing someone on the job. I've never worked on a helpdesk but have a load of mates who have. I think they start you off learning first time fixes, password resets etc. It looks like a great place to start your IT career, learning from the ground up. Hopefully I'll see a post from you telling me how it really is soon :)
     
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  3. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Yeah it does really seem like a role I would like to start of in, I'm hoping after I finish my MTA and Comptia A+ to start applying for these types of roles.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration Basics 10.12
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    So in general EUC \ Service Desk jobs are broken down to level 1, 2 and 3 roles.

    Level 1 are your ticket handlers, they generally log calls, reset passwords etc, nothing too hands on.
    Level 2 are you visit the desk and fix something \ install software etc. It could even be to replace toner etc.
    Level 3 are the guys who deal with the nitty gritty, they fix the problems that level 2 can't fix, are the escalation points and usually SME (Subject Matter Experts) who liaise with the vendor support staff.

    Now the job levels usually stay around for other roles, it's not just EUC \ Service Desk roles, however you may find that they get called Associate, Engineer and Senior Engineer, generally the same thing just named differently.

    Some places go beyond the Senior Engineer and create a Level 4 or Principle Engineer role, these guys generally have multi-discipline skills, they aren't just MS Server Engineers, they could also be Storage or Network or Virtualisation engineers as well. Not only do these guys work directly with vendors but they may well have a small team of engineers report to them.

    The only role I haven't held was the Principle Engineer role, instead I went in to management (it was a toss up between Principle Engineer or Team Manager).
     
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  5. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    You actually used a really good analogy. You know why? Because no one is invited to cook in a restaurant with zero experience.

    You'll usually start of as a prep chef. That is essentially first line. You'll chop things up, get yelled at a lot, and learn from the other chefs around you actually cooking things.

    From there you'll go to line chef, where you're working as part of a section. You'll cook basic components of a dish, under guidance and instruction. This is 2nd line.

    Then you get a sous chef, who oversees the other staff in the kitchen. This is third line.

    You get where I'm coming from ;) no career is black and white - there are all sorts of levels and elements.

    If you're heading for a helpdesk role demanding zero experience and it's a big company, expect scripts and a high staff turnover. The smaller the company, the more exposure you'll get to learning and real hands-on experience - in general, that is.
     
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  6. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    As has already been said, all jobs have levels, and as someone who has worked as both a Chef and in IT, I can relate to both.

    It's pretty much already been hit on the head so to speak but when I started cheffing, I started as doing Prep first thing ready to open, this included cutting of salads etc, as well as turning equipment on, cleaning Deep fat friars if needed etc, then I moved on to what we used to call MIC's and Friers, which pretty much explains itself, then moved on to Griddle cheffing, again self explanatory and then Head chef so doing all the ordering and stock and so on.

    I went into that job with zero experience, and I learned as I went and moved up.

    Help desk was the same, as has been covered a lot of 1st line roles are really just call logging, and as such it can be boring and repetitive, but that's good, because it motivates you to learn and to speak with colleagues to see how they resolve issues so that you can also.

    Honestly I think there are a very large number of helpdesk roles that don't need experience, I've said it time and again on here that many many 1st line roles are really just looking for people with good soft skills. It's customer service and learning basic tasks for fixes.

    On the help desk I worked on there was a large amount of people who had little interest at all in IT, were happy as call loggers and were simply hired as they had good CS skills.

    Again I have said many a time that people should apply for 1st line roles, even without any certs, some places really will want that experience but many won't, so you have nothing to lose by applying and just sell your soft skills.

    I'm now working as a Network engineer and I still don't have any certs. So it can be done, and I also know many others who I have worked with that also have very similar stories.

    I know at least 3 controlM specialists, several operators, server engineers and network engineers all without any certs.
     
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  7. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Thanks to all who replied very useful information, thanks very much.
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration Basics 10.12
  8. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Tick all the boxes you fella, fair play to you!
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
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  9. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    Haha, Jack of all trades and master on none my friend. My work history has been quite diverse to say the least.

    I also used to make pharmaceutical drugs and top fashion label aftershave/perfume! That didn't seem so relevant to this conversation though! Lmao.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
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  10. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Must be a plus having experience in all areas though!
     
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  11. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    It's all about life experiences, I spent 10 years in the Army, have worked in Central Government, Charities, Banks, Insurance, NHS and Gaming environments, they all bring different things to the table, all have different ways of doing things that allow you as an individual to grow.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
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  12. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    Haha, Kind of, learned different things in different environments, would perhaps have been more useful had some of them been in at least similar areas though, as they are all quite vastly different. Always things to learn though.

    Exactly this, another Jack of all trades in our midst. The world will soon be ruled by Jacks! :D
     
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  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Would have to agree :)
     
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  14. smiff_50

    smiff_50 Bit Poster

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    I worked on service desk for 7 months before getting promoted to 2nd line and I really enjoyed it. It gave me the perfect start to IT and helped me learn the IT setup from the ground up. If you do start on helpdesk the only advice I would give is there will be times when you will not be able to get a 5 minute break but there will also be times when you have nothing to do for hours depending on time on year etc. Take advantage of that down time to study etc. The guys that did are all 2nd line now and the guys that surfed the net are still there. Enough said.
     
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