System support specialists are responsible for all aspects of help desk support and technical assistance. They must address a wide variety of user issues, including software problems, hardware failures, and network issues. They are responsible for creating and maintaining user accounts and information. When a user submits a ticket or otherwise contacts the help desk, system support specialists track the ticket/issue and work to identify the problem using standard practices and their own experience. Once the problem has been identified, they must address it. If it is a software or hardware issue, system support specialists may be required to install or repair the problem software or replace the malfunctioning hardware. If the issue is beyond their abilities, they must contact the appropriate department/personnel (such as a network specialist) or repair service. In addition to computer repairs, system support specialists may be required to troubleshoot other equipment, including printers, fax machines, and any specialized equipment their organization may use.
System support specialists typically work in an office environment and have a standard 40-hour work week. A typical day for a support specialist involves receiving user issues via a ticketing system or via phone or email, identifying core problems, and solving them. Continual training to maintain knowledge of all new software, hardware, and other specialized equipment is necessary to ensure system support specialists can resolve a range of customer issues.
System support specialists are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some employers require a bachelor’s degree as well. Demonstrable experience with computers and office equipment is required, and larger organizations may require several years’ experience working at a help desk to reach the specialist level.
System Support Specialist Tasks
- Troubleshoot, upgrade, monitor, and diagnose application and system problems to enable ongoing business.
- Respond to problems in workflow or unmet business needs with strategies and potential solutions.
- Train end users in access, security, use, and customization of programs and software.
- Design, develop, and test interfaces and upgrades to existing systems.
- Monitor the system, set up automated alerts, and performance notifications to proactively address problems.