getting to the level 1 helpdesk

pbankeypbankey Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys,

I made another smiliar thread a couple of days ago, but I wanted to go into the meat of a certain aspect of my "dilemma" that I'm hoping might allow me to ask my questions and get answers more directly about what I hope to achieve.

My goal is to get into IT. I graduated college in May (marketing/management double major), the job experience I've had are pretty much a typical part-time job at a grocery store -- checking groceries and operating a photo lab, and a freelance photography business that focused mainly on portraits and weddings. Basically, my experience with IT in a working-sense is little to none, and I'm worried about even entry-level IT things.

I'm going to buckle down and get A+ out of the way -- ideally before the new year to secure the lifetime certification. I have study materials for Network+ but I plan to secure the A+ before I delve into that world.

I've talked to a couple of people and they say I might be okay with those certs to get a level 1 helpdesk position, but I've heard others tell me I need experience even for level 1. I've looked at job listings in and around town for level 1 helpdesk and they generally require 2 years of prior experience... which has me baffled. I've read a lot of the posts in these forums too about helpdesk positions and it seems that even experienced individuals are having a hard time getting a job like this which, quite frankly, scares me to death.

Basically, I have a couple of questions: what do I need to secure a position like level 1 helpdesk? Is A+ plus my non-related college diploma and retail experiences enough? (I want to make sure I understand this before I dive head first into the IT waters). How hard is it to move from a helpdesk-type position later on to something else, like network administration, or maybe more relevant from my education, IT management? Finally, I just have to ask out of curiosity, what does a level 1 helpdesk position usually pay? I'm in central Texas but I see industry average for positions like these show night and day differences.

I just feel like I'm behind the curve and it's kind of overwhelming. I really want to start and I KNOW I can do a great job, but the entry points seem to always raise the water a little above my head. Just thinking about how I'd even structure my resume to look appealing for a level 1 helpdesk position seems very challenging. I guess I'm just generally curious also about how other people got started andwhere you are now if you started with level 1 helpdesk or something similar.

Input is appreciated as always. Thanks everyone!

Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    pbankey wrote: »
    what do I need to secure a position like level 1 helpdesk?
    The minimum you need are people skills, personality, and enough spare neurons to accomplish the job -- or a family member who owns the company.

    It's not necessarily the best technical person who gets the job -- it's the person who's best at hunting down the jobs, getting the interviews, and closing the deal during the interview (and after) that gets the job.

    Additional items that could be useful are a college degree, certifications, 2+ years industry experience.

    Unless a job posting states that Job Candidates WITHOUT the REQUIRED Education, Experience, and Certifications WILL BE SHOT, you don't have anything to lose applying even if you don't meet 100% of the "requirements."
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    mikej412 wrote: »
    The minimum you need are people skills, personality, and enough spare neurons to accomplish the job -- or a family member who owns the company.

    It's not necessarily the best technical person who gets the job -- it's the person who's best at hunting down the jobs, getting the interviews, and closing the deal during the interview (and after) that gets the job.

    Additional items that could be useful are a college degree, certifications, 2+ years industry experience.

    Unless a job posting states that Job Candidates WITHOUT the REQUIRED Education, Experience, and Certifications WILL BE SHOT, you don't have anything to lose applying even if you don't meet 100% of the "requirements."

    +1

    Awesome post and true nontheless!
  • pham0329pham0329 Posts: 556Member
    From my experience, tier 1 help desk is nothing more than logging tickets, escalating them to level 2, and password resets.

    At my old company, none of the help desk "tech" there had any real IT training. No certification and their degree was in English, Art, etc. I think if you have good customer service skills, and good communication skills, you should be just fine.
  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Posts: 403Member
    I'm somewhat in the same boat. I volunteer at the IT department at my local hospital to gain experience. I'm going to get my A+ soon and start job hunting after a month or two.
    On the plate: AWS Solutions Architect - Professional
    Scheduled for: Unscheduled
    Studying with: Linux Academy, aws docs
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Posts: 661Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    A+ and Network + should be enough to get you an entry level position with some type of formal education.
  • Repo ManRepo Man Posts: 300Member
    pham0329 wrote: »
    From my experience, tier 1 help desk is nothing more than logging tickets, escalating them to level 2, and password resets.

    It's going to vary by company. I know my company troubleshoots VPN, Citrix, Lotus Notes, Network connectivity, printers etc etc

    Help desk jobs expect/pay more where I live though(Mass)
  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Posts: 506Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Repo Man wrote: »
    It's going to vary by company. I know my company troubleshoots VPN, Citrix, Lotus Notes, Network connectivity, printers etc etc

    Help desk jobs expect/pay more where I live though(Mass)

    Yeah some places consider any type of tech support (whether in person or remotely) to be helpdesk. I work at a fairly large company in first level support where I have a limited amount of time to troubleshoot before I send the ticket to the second level of support.

    To the OP, check out colleges. My first support gig was at a large UC doing tier 2 desktop support. Interestingly enough since then I haven't been able to find that sort of work again and took other IT related but not support type jobs until this month when I started at a level 1 helpdesk position.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Posts: 973Member
    Well I dont know how is it in other places
    but coming from a country that has the biggest unemployment rate in all US (we're kind of part of US)
    getting to that level 1 was really hard for me
    To be considered at places like "Best Guy" (not real name) you need A+, it doesnt matter if you are good or not, you need it.

    The problem with tier 1 is that anyone can do it, heck even that 15yr old kid standing over there.
    I think you need to do voluntary jobs, go around ur neighbor and charge 15 bucks for repairing computers. Help in your college (yes even for free).

    I got my first it related job because I knew the owner of the place, it doesnt mean I didnt worked my arse off, it just means it was shoveled.

    I think I would have had more luck If I began applying around with A+ and Net+, at least for tier 1 support.

    Right now I have around a yr and halfish? IT specific experience, like a year and half of other stuff, 3 certs, doing a master and I cant find a job outside the Tier 1 scope.

    A bit of experience (voluntary/freelance/ or anything), A+ and Net+ would be my recommendation for you.
    meh
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    It's pretty hard to get helpdesk when the posting says "entry level" but also say "2-3 years helpdesk experience required" and I still apply. I've had more phone interviews and regular interviews for desktop support jobs than I have for helpdesk. Hopefully I'll be working in IT by the time I finish my degree (by February) but it's not looking good so far.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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