Helpdesk professional

IT helpdesk analyst
Computing and ICT
Support

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help people solve problems with their computers and software. You’d explain to them how to do different tasks with the computer.

You could work in the IT support department of a large company and help your colleagues with their technical problems. Or you could provide a service for customers after they have bought a computer from a manufacturer or shop.

You would:

  • Get information from people to identify the issue
  • Explain to them how to sort out their problem
  • Update online ‘knowledge banks’ with information so that enquirers can look up the answers to common problems
  • Make arrangements to send a field engineer to visit if they are unable to fix the problem

You’d need to be patient with people and be able to explain technical issues to people who may be confused or frustrated.

As well as helping people solve their problems, you would:

  • Log all enquiries
  • Keep records of previous customer contacts
  • Run reports on common trends to identify underlying problems
  • Track work in progress

You’d chat with customers over the phone, by email or instant messaging. Alternatively, customers might have access to an online fault-finding program or you could use the same program to fix their computer problems remotely.

You need an in-depth knowledge of the computer systems and software that your clients use. You’d also need to continually update your information technology (IT) skills and knowledge.

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work 37 to 40 hours a week, but your pattern of work would vary between employers and may involve shifts, including evenings and weekends.

Environment

Your job would be office-based and you would spend most of your time at a computer.

Travel

Your role could involve some travel if the company you work for has users at different sites.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Explaining things
  • Helping customers
  • Accuracy
  • Using computers
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Planning and organising

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There are no formal entry qualifications for this job however many employers ask for some qualifications at SCQF level 4/5 in particular if applying for a Modern Apprenticeship where you work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification.

Some employers ask for a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in an IT subject.

Some companies offer graduate training schemes for those applying with a degree (SCQF level 9/10).  

To enter a computer software or technical support Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) courses requires National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers (SCQF level 6) at Grade C or above. 

Entry to a degree requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers. With a suitable HNC or HND, you can enter year two or three of an ICT degree.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Technologies subjects such as Computing science

You will also need

 Some employers also ask for you to have relevant workplace experience. 

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based qualifications such as Scottish Vocational Qualifications in business and administration, ICT or customer services or specific industry-recognised qualifications such as Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST).