Staying in Desktop Support forever???

passcert23passcert23 Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
I met some people in their 50s who are doing DS. Don't let the title fool you b/c some are making around 75-80k+. DS is pretty easy and you don't have the stress that SA or the Engineers has. What do you guys think about this?

Comments

  • pham0329pham0329 Member Posts: 556
    Most desktop support don't make 75-80K. Heck, I'd say a lot of SA don't make 75-80K. Even if that guy does make that much money, what would happen if he got laid off/fired? Good luck finding another desktop support job paying that much.

    If you like working with end users and having a more hands on approach, go for it.
    DS is pretty easy and you don't have the stress that SA or the Engineers has

    Don't want to sound like an ass but it seems like you're in IT for the wrong reason. Sure, SA and Engineers is more stressful at times, but it's sooo much more rewarding and challenging. Rather than having to escalate a problem, you get to tear it apart and figure out whats wrong with it. It may take some time, but once you figure it out, it's like...WOOHOO!! icon_cheers.gificon_cheers.gif
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    My experience is actually the inverse of what you describe. I did desktop support for a number of years with constantly increasing responsibility. Pretty easy? Try answering to 400 users, dozens of managers, directors, etc.

    I have been a Windows engineer for several years now and it's actually more relaxed. As pham0329 mentioned, I get to dissect issues and find what is really going on. When you don't have the pressure of "figure it out in x minutes or image the PC" you can apply a systematic approach to problems and most of the time find a solution. In my case I get to do a lot of research without anyone breathing down my neck and asking me "Is it done yet? How about now?" Absolutely the most fulfilling, less stressful job I've ever had.

    Finally, you have to understand that not everyone has that burning desire to climb the IT ladder that some of us have. I have friends that have been doing desktop support for 10 years because they like it and are exceptionally good at it. They believe they don't have the capability of becoming sys admins so I don't question it. As long as they are happy with what they do and do it for the right reasons, it's fair game.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    pham0329 wrote: »
    Don't want to sound like an ass but it seems like you're in IT for the wrong reason.

    Not at all, it's just not the reason why you're in IT. To some people it's just a job to punch in until beer 0' clock. Nothing wrong with that; it's just another office administration position. Not everyone wants to climb the greasy pole.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    passcert23 wrote: »
    I met some people in their 50s who are doing DS. Don't let the title fool you b/c some are making around 75-80k+. DS is pretty easy and you don't have the stress that SA or the Engineers has. What do you guys think about this?

    If it's what you like to do just stay there.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    Lots of people on our help desk like that. In there 40's and 50's, been in the same job for 10-20+ years. They have no ambition. A lot of them are lazy, and do a half assed job too. They do just enough to get by, and don't put any effort into troubleshooting unless someone higher up forces them to.

    Then there are a couple that just like the work. They're happy with their jobs, they don't want any more responsibility than what they already have, but they still do a good job with the responsibilities that they do have.
  • xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    As long as you're happy with your position/pay, more power to you. However....if someone has been in desktop support for 10 years I would expect them to be GOOD at it. I worked with a couple of guys who had been doing desktop support for a loooong time, but never should have been moved off the helpdesk. They didn't have A+ level knowledge and had no hardware troubleshooting skills.

    The problem is, most of the people I know who are happy staying in helpdesk/desktop are not continually learning. That's not to say that none are, but not the ones I've met.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
  • drew726drew726 Member Posts: 237
    I wouldn't say people in DS are lazy. There are people that genuinely enjoy supporting folks over the phone and by their side. If they're financially sufficient for themselves and their families then what else can they ask for?
    Completed Courses:
    SSC1, SST1, AXV1, TTV1, ABV1, TNV1, AHV1, BAC1, BBC1, LAE1, LUT1, GAC1, IWC1, INC1, HHT1, LAT1, QLT1, CLC1, IWT1 TPV1, INT1, TSV1, LET1, BOV1, AJV1, ORC1, MGC1, BRV1, AIV1, WFV1, TWA1, CPW2
    Incompleted Courses:
    nothing :)
  • ccnxjrccnxjr Member Posts: 304 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I won't restate the philosophical issues (goals, happiness, etc).
    Working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I started out as an "IT Support Specialist" , it was a GS-9/11 job, with locality pay the dollar figure was $53k/yr to start and as a GS-9 that was $65k, however progressing in that arena is challenging, many are content to staying as IT Specialists and accepting annual raises/step increases.
    One drawback I've found that is that team I worked with busted their a$$ more than at other sites and rarely rec'd annual bonuses, whereas management always rec'd theirs.
    It does take a special personality to survive in government customer service, let alone as IT Support, then again, some would say my experience was unique to that particular facility.

    I would also have to say , depending on where you work, the role of "Desktop Support" may take on additional meanings.
    Consider that environment, 2-50 users with no specialized infrastructure, 50-300 specialized infrastructure no specialized desktop applications, etc...
    In an environment where you have a specialized IT Infrastructure and specialized desktop application even if you are troubleshooting a host system, how would you escalate a ticket to a sys admin to prove that there is a legitimate system issue as opposed to lazy desktop troubleshooting?
    Within the first 5 minutes of of meeting with a net/sys admin to escalate an issue I had to tell them why I believed it was a network issue and not a host issue, describe my troubleshooting, describe how it deviates from "normal" behavior and whether or not there was any impact on business.

    Not all titles directly reflect job functions, and consequently we see that reflected pay wise. I've been to one interview for a Network "engineer" role where i was offered $35k as a full time employee. As much as I need the experience I can't commit to the role on a full time basis at that rate, I did offer to work at the same rate per diem.

    On a side note, I think it's awesome that this board has so many people from diverse system backgrounds helping each other.
    I've seen individuals on other boards put down other professionals within the IT field, making wide sweeping generalizations that border on a "caste" system.

    To put a few earlier points in perspective also be aware that some people have the luxury of changing careers. One of my favorite coworkers (in her 50's) had her first child at 15 and herself was the daughter of abusive parents, her current career was partly because the opportunity presented itself, working in IT, keeping a stable job (even if viewed as entry level by most) was the culmination of years of sacrificing for her children under less than ideal circumstances.

    I've also know many people that took on Desktop Support roles to pay their way through college and ended up in completely different careers (well, mostly sales, and i met one doctor who earned his bachelors in C.I.S. before going to med school).

    I suppose i did end up talking philosophy after all .... :P
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    My experience is actually the inverse of what you describe. I did desktop support for a number of years with constantly increasing responsibility. Pretty easy? Try answering to 400 users, dozens of managers, directors, etc.

    I have been a Windows engineer for several years now and it's actually more relaxed. As pham0329 mentioned, I get to dissect issues and find what is really going on. When you don't have the pressure of "figure it out in x minutes or image the PC" you can apply a systematic approach to problems and most of the time find a solution. In my case I get to do a lot of research without anyone breathing down my neck and asking me "Is it done yet? How about now?" Absolutely the most fulfilling, less stressful job I've ever had.

    Finally, you have to understand that not everyone has that burning desire to climb the IT ladder that some of us have. I have friends that have been doing desktop support for 10 years because they like it and are exceptionally good at it. They believe they don't have the capability of becoming sys admins so I don't question it. As long as they are happy with what they do and do it for the right reasons, it's fair game.

    +1

    I'm a manager over a desktop /deployment team and I get stressed a lot. When I visit the system admins they are generally free of stress.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    ccnxjr wrote: »
    On a side note, I think it's awesome that this board has so many people from diverse system backgrounds helping each other.
    I've seen individuals on other boards put down other professionals within the IT field, making wide sweeping generalizations that border on a "caste" system.

    Such people wouldn't last in my team. I may be a Network Architect but I started in desktop support. I earned all the stripes on the way up. Desktop support can be a very demanding job.
  • higherhohigherho Member Posts: 882
    N2IT wrote: »
    +1

    I'm a manager over a desktop /deployment team and I get stressed a lot. When I visit the system admins they are generally free of stress.

    I think their is different types of stress between the two. For me, I am the only SA in charge of the whole network (servers , clusters, switches, firewalls, SAN, VPN, IIS, security issues, EPo, hardening, IAVMS, etc). When I was on help desk I liked it because I really enjoied helping people and it can be very irritating sometimes because of the volume of people but when I went to SA that volume of people dropped drastically. The only IT support I do is for Developers and IT support for Technical people is a lot different then IT support for non technical people.

    So it really matters on the situation and what type of stress we are talking about. I think the stress from doing System Administration / Engineering side can be more rewarding imo.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    drew726 wrote: »
    I wouldn't say people in DS are lazy. There are people that genuinely enjoy supporting folks over the phone and by their side. If they're financially sufficient for themselves and their families then what else can they ask for?

    +100000000000000000000000000000

    I don't get people who disparage folks who choose to stay in helpdesk and/or desktop support. I know people who have been doing support for the better part of two decades. They excel at what they do and would rather work directly with the people, out in the trenches. Yeah, you have your lazy folks with no work ethic, but that is not unique to support positions, believe me.

    There are times I would give my left arm for a couple of competent, engaged, personable, experienced desktop guys. Sometimes, companies are willing to pay for them, though it seems to be less common these days.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • higherhohigherho Member Posts: 882
    blargoe wrote: »
    +100000000000000000000000000000

    I don't get people who disparage folks who choose to stay in helpdesk and/or desktop support. I know people who have been doing support for the better part of two decades. They excel at what they do and would rather work directly with the people, out in the trenches. Yeah, you have your lazy folks with no work ethic, but that is not unique to support positions, believe me.

    There are times I would give my left arm for a couple of competent, engaged, personable, experienced desktop guys. Sometimes, companies are willing to pay for them, though it seems to be less common these days.

    By far. Having a great help desk will make things on the top end much easier to deal with. I can see people staying in the trenches because I honestly think helping people with IT issues shows your passion for teaching / helping the non technical become some what technical.

    If it was not for the front lines the people on top would be very annoyed. Plus if it makes you happy who cares what people have to say. Most of the time those people are elitist.
  • TesseracTTesseracT Member Posts: 167
    I have utmost respect for desktop guys. I started in desktop support and moved to a sysadmin role and now I'm a network admin. Dealing with cisco ios all day is easier to me. It used to be a nightmare troubleshooting a lot of desktop crap as every computer can have any amount of software installed that could be conflicting with anything. Now I just deal with cisco. There's no third party software installed over the top and no stupid end users screwing anything up. Fair enough if **** hits the fan it's my head on rhe chopping block, but the desktop guys at my job are worked a lot more than the sys admins and me. It depends what you want to do, but I'd much rather climb the totem pole getting paid more while working less *shrugs shoulders*

    This of course is not the same for every company tho
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    I know a Helpdesk guy for the state here that made $88K last year. His teamleader made $74K, but he has much less time in. While I don't know all of what they do, I know it's more than just resetting passwords and forwarding tickets to the specialists. ;)
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I understand that people like to do that, but I did Helpdesk for one month and had done Desktop Support (amongst everything else) for 5 years, don't miss it now to be honest :)
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    blargoe wrote: »
    +100000000000000000000000000000

    I don't get people who disparage folks who choose to stay in helpdesk and/or desktop support. I know people who have been doing support for the better part of two decades. They excel at what they do and would rather work directly with the people, out in the trenches. Yeah, you have your lazy folks with no work ethic, but that is not unique to support positions, believe me.

    There are times I would give my left arm for a couple of competent, engaged, personable, experienced desktop guys. Sometimes, companies are willing to pay for them, though it seems to be less common these days.

    What bothers me is the ones like Nick Burns - "Jeez louise, I can't wait to get my MCSE and quit this job." Bitter and always talking about escaping the hell desk but never able to do it.
  • ZzBloopzZZzBloopzZ Member Posts: 192
    Really enjoyed reading this thread. I may get my first full time job (not working for myself) as DS. Interview is tomorrow.

    I'm excited. The job involves VMware too, something I really love!
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    Folks,

    I started my IT career as a programmer, moved out of the field and into deployment/DS - I did that for approx 5 years before moving into Telecom (NOC Engineering) - I'll tell ya what. I'd rather support End-Users any day.

    My role is in Operations really - so I deal with a lot of outside customers (paying ones at that!) so you get a lot of suits asking why this and why that but dont hold the technical competency to understand it.

    I'm actually looking to move back into DS - life was much simpler!
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    I've met plenty of desktop support guys and help desk people that have been at it for 10+ years.. Hey if your happy doing it then by all means. Just don't think you can start anywhere and make that kind of money doing it, that's pretty rare to get paid that much in that kind of role.

    Myself I strive for something more so I'll keep climbing the ladder, till I hit the top of burn myself out lol.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have a buddy who will probably be deskside for his entire career and he is great at it (plus he works for a school district so the current sysadmin will have to die before he can take over lol). If you like it and are good at it, I see no reason not to continue. We have a helpdesk team lead here who has been in helpdesk roles for over a decade and loves it. His people skills are awesome (he can talk customers off a ledge anytime) and he is a great tech. I always find you get a couple types of people in IT:

    1. It's a job people - just there for the paycheck, won't go anywhere unless laid off or fired
    2. Go Getters - take whatever job they can get to get started and start flying high, try to move up asap
    3. The Rocks - there are the people who stay in their position and are good at it, they bring the experience to the team and keep things from getting escalated when they can be handled locally
    4. The IT Guys - don't have to move up (their not oppossed to it), but will learn every piece of technology to make life easier for the team and themselves. These people follow a ticket through it's life and will talk to the engineer who fixed it to find the who, what, when, why, and how.


    I think some people get to a point where they don't believe they could move up or into a new position. It is a different skillset dealing with servers and networking equipment, stress can double considering it probably effects more then just the one user. My company encourages us to learn new technologies and move around. They want to move people from the NOC to the helpdesk and helpdesk to field engineering. To do this they will help you in anyway you like (shadow a tech, work on projects, get certifications). At our reviews, they ask how are you feeling, what do you want to do, what are your certification plans? Obviously, it is in everyones best interest for you to suceed and it is the hope that when you do you continue on with the company. If not, I don't feel there would be any ill will, but I can say that since I have been here no one has quit (two years in Feb). Did we lose people? Yup, two to be exact, but it was a question of direction and work ethic.

    Like others have said, if you are happy and want for nothing, no reason to move up or around if you don't want too!
    WIP:
    PHP
    Kotlin
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
  • whatthehellwhatthehell Member Posts: 920
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    I have a buddy who will probably be deskside for his entire career and he is great at it (plus he works for a school district so the current sysadmin will have to die before he can take over lol). If you like it and are good at it, I see no reason not to continue. We have a helpdesk team lead here who has been in helpdesk roles for over a decade and loves it. His people skills are awesome (he can talk customers off a ledge anytime) and he is a great tech. I always find you get a couple types of people in IT:

    1. It's a job people - just there for the paycheck, won't go anywhere unless laid off or fired
    2. Go Getters - take whatever job they can get to get started and start flying high, try to move up asap
    3. The Rocks - there are the people who stay in their position and are good at it, they bring the experience to the team and keep things from getting escalated when they can be handled locally
    4. The IT Guys - don't have to move up (their not oppossed to it), but will learn every piece of technology to make life easier for the team and themselves. These people follow a ticket through it's life and will talk to the engineer who fixed it to find the who, what, when, why, and how.


    I think some people get to a point where they don't believe they could move up or into a new position. It is a different skillset dealing with servers and networking equipment, stress can double considering it probably effects more then just the one user. My company encourages us to learn new technologies and move around. They want to move people from the NOC to the helpdesk and helpdesk to field engineering. To do this they will help you in anyway you like (shadow a tech, work on projects, get certifications). At our reviews, they ask how are you feeling, what do you want to do, what are your certification plans? Obviously, it is in everyones best interest for you to suceed and it is the hope that when you do you continue on with the company. If not, I don't feel there would be any ill will, but I can say that since I have been here no one has quit (two years in Feb). Did we lose people? Yup, two to be exact, but it was a question of direction and work ethic.

    Like others have said, if you are happy and want for nothing, no reason to move up or around if you don't want too!

    Great thread and great post above! +1

    I really liked the "types of IT people" as I can recognize some here at work already! :)

    One of my first IT jobs was desktop support for a university --- wasn't too bad, except for the times when a non-technical professor, who happened to teach technical classes, felt they knew what the issue was, argued with you on it, and you had to convince them that they are wrong and you know how to fix it, despite not having the same educational background as them.

    Moved into an IT Admin/Network Admin/Desktop support role for a small company (jack of all trades type deal). This was a lot of hours and a good amount of stress, as I would be typically battling 50+ users who somehow all hated anything technical. It was hard to learn things here, as it was constantly putting out fires, instead of having time to learn, full understand, and be proactive.

    Slid into a phone support role for a software company, and been here for almost 5 years now. The thing that is the best is the team effort, as I am part of a team supporting a specific add-on component for our main software suite. This position has been great in terms of learning, and, though the stress level can be high at times, there are times where the stress can be low, and you have time to learn new things.
    Don't really know how long this can go on, but it seems relatively stable. Just in case, I am going for more certs, another degree in computer networking, and considering a focus on network engineering, as a backup or career to eventually slide into.

    There are other IT positions I have had, but the reason I bring up these three is to make the point, and support the other replies, regarding being happy at a job and being able to learn. There is always going to be some stress, some idiots to work with and deal with, and always coworkers who are not qualified and should not be working with you. It's almost like marriage --- you basically marry someone you love and who you can stand the most (and vice-versa). With jobs, you stick with the one you can stand the most without overextending your stress threshold and still being able to learn and move upward (hopefully).

    Just my 2 cents! :)
    2017 Goals:
    [ ] Security + [ ] 74-409 [ ] CEH
    Future Goals:
    TBD
Sign In or Register to comment.