Are you working in an entry-level help desk job that offers no real chance of career advancement? It can get frustrating, handling the same problems day in and day out. However, the skills you’ve gained have real value, and you can translate them into a more challenging and lucrative career in IT with a little help.
In this blog, we’ll show you why it’s so hard to escape the help desk, how to make help desk experience on your resume shine, and how certifications for current and new skills can provide a path to a better career.
Help Desk: The Black Hole of IT
There’s a good reason the help desk is notoriously hard to escape. Companies that find competent help desk employees rarely want to let them move to other roles. This is especially true for those who work nights or weekends. Many companies will make promises of a path to advancement during the hiring process but refuse to allow any movement once you’ve become good at your job. This kind of role is so hard to escape because once a company finds a competent employee to fill the role, they really don’t want to let them go. The best help desk employees have a unique combination of communications skills and technology skills, and companies worry about being able to find another person to fill their shoes.
Of course, not all companies are like this. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that promotes from within and sees the value of your contributions, you may be able to move within your company. In this case, much of this advice still applies to you. You’ll have to prove that you’re ready to expand your role and take on new challenges. Certifications are a tangible accomplishment that can show management you’re ready and have the knowledge they need.
If your company isn’t open to advancement, though, the best option is often to look for a new position elsewhere.
Polish Your Resume
Help desk experience actually provides many skills you can add to your resume to make it shine. One huge asset is problem-solving savvy. Being able to think on your feet and find solutions is vital.
Help desk staffers can also claim a powerful commitment to providing fantastic customer support that exceeds expectations. Employers want to know you always have the customer in mind. This will give you an advantage over other IT professionals applying to the same position because they will have no frame of reference for customer service. Finally, your technical ability and familiarity with various business systems can give you a leg up on the competition.
Here are some bullet points to polish your help desk experience for your resume:
- Problem-solving savvy and solutions expertise
- Powerful commitment to providing fantastic customer support that exceeds expectations
- Expanded perspective that includes the customer experience
- Technical ability and familiarity with various business systems
Legitimize Your Experience
Putting a good spin on your previous experience is important, but you can also use the skills you’ve acquired to pass exams for valuable IT certifications. Some of the most common certs that you likely already have the skills to pass are ITIL and A+. By getting certified, you show employers that you’ve mastered these skills in an official capacity and increase their confidence that you’ll be a great hire. For many IT roles, candidates who don’t have certifications are sorted to the bottom of the list and don’t get considered for the position. When compared against an uncertified individual, certified professionals are the obvious choice.
However, ITIL and A+ may be below the level that you seek to work at. If you already have mastered these skills, more advanced certifications can provide a path to more advanced positions.
Choose Your Path
Building on your help desk experience, you have a few options for training that can quickly qualify you for new positions. In this blog, we’ll present two career paths that help desk workers are poised to move into by training in networking or cyber security.. Networking it a highly technical field where the correct certifications can open many doors. Cyber security is seeing a huge growth spurt and has thousands of job openings for qualified individuals.
Certification training is focused on helping you gain the skills and knowledge to pass certification exams quickly. By combining a few highly-sought after certifications with your experience, you’ll become a desirable candidate for jobs in your new area of expertise.
Either of these paths will help you increase your earning potential and make it much easier to find a great position. But, beyond that, they provide a clear path for continued career advancement the longer you’re in the industry.
Network Support Specialist
If you’re interested in cabling, network protocols, and how systems communicate and interact, this could be a great path for you. This program starts with Network+ training, which develops foundation-level networking skills to help you understand how networks operate. CCNA training will help you develop hands-on skills required to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks and resolve connectivity issues. Finally, CompTIA Security+ training covers the anticipation, identification, and prevention of threats and vulnerabilities as well as basic cryptography concepts.
Our Network Support Specialist program targets entry-level CCNA jobs such as Network Support Specialist, Network Technician, Network Administrator and similar IT job roles. This program combines CCNA, Network+, and Security+ to create a well-rounded network skillset that arms students with the know-how to handle myriad projects. This includes assembling and configuring secured networks, addressing existing network security issues and more. Network Administrators are listed as one of the most in-demand positions for 2019, so it should be no surprise their salaries range from $70,000 to $120,000.
Information Security Analyst
If you like the idea of securing networks and systems and preventing cyber attacks, this program might be ideal for you. With more cyber attacks happening every day, the need for security professionals has skyrocketed. This program starts with Security+ training, which will help you understand the field of network security and how it relates to other areas of information technology. CND instructs entry and junior-level network security administrators on Defense-in-Depth network security preparedness. It covers the protect, detect, and respond approach to network security. Finally, CEH is the most comprehensive ethical hacking course in the world and is a must-have for every cyber security professional’s portfolio. This course immerses students into a hacker mindset where they are shown how to scan, test, hack, and secure systems. The includes a live lab which is an intensive, interactive environment that gives students in-depth knowledge and practical experience with current essential security systems.
Our fifteen-day Information Security Analyst program is ideal for those interested in becoming Network Analysts, Network Technicians, Network Administrators, System Administrators, System Security Engineers, Firewall Administrators, Network Security Engineers, IT Managers, IT Professionals, Security Specialists, and other similar job roles. Security professionals in roles like these most often make between $115,000 and $160,000.
There’s never been a better time to gain cyber security skills as nationwide demand for these roles is soaring. Between hacks like Equifax 2017 and ransomware such as the WannaCry attack, digital security is getting a huge amount of attention. Many companies are seeking to protect their networks and data before the next big breach. By adding these powerful certifications to your resume, you’ll be ready for many of these positions.
Are you ready to start a new career?
It’s time to leave the help desk nest! LeaderQuest offers training online or on campus to make it easy to get the skills you need. We also offer our classes in a one-week daytime format or you can take classes in the evening over two weeks while keeping your day job.
Our industry expert instructors will make sure that you learn not only what you need to pass the exam, but the know-how to need to excel in your new role. With the cost of the test included and an on-site testing facility, we make getting certified a snap.
Don’t wait to start on your future IT career. Email us today!