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How do i get started in IT Support?

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How to Get Started in IT Support: A Comprehensive Guide

IT support is sometimes referred to as the Help desk and is an essential component of every organisation. It is a field that offers a range of career opportunities, from technical support to help desk and system administration. The demand for IT professionals is growing rapidly, with the rise of new technologies and digital transformation. However, getting a job in IT support requires a certain level of technical knowledge, experience, and soft skills. Breaking into the industry can be challenging for those who lack experience or formal qualifications.

In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you kickstart your IT career in Australia.

Understand the Role of an IT Support Professional

IT support professionals play a crucial role in ensuring that an organisation’s technology infrastructure runs smoothly. On a day-to-day basis, they are responsible for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Providing technical support: This involves responding to user inquiries and resolving technical issues related to software, hardware, and network systems. Support professionals need to be able to troubleshoot and diagnose problems, provide solutions, and offer guidance to users.
  • Installing and configuring software and hardware: Support professionals need to have a good understanding of software and hardware installation and configuration procedures. They may be responsible for setting up new systems, updating existing ones, and ensuring that all systems are properly configured.
  • Maintaining and updating systems: Support professionals need to ensure that all systems are up to date with the latest security patches and software updates. They may be responsible for monitoring systems for performance issues, identifying potential problems, and proactively taking steps to prevent them.
  • Providing training and documentation: Support professionals need to be able to provide training and documentation to users on how to use new software and hardware systems. They may be responsible for creating training materials, conducting training sessions, and providing ongoing support to users.
  • Managing and monitoring backups: Support professionals need to ensure that all critical data is backed up regularly and that the backup systems are functioning correctly. They may be responsible for monitoring backup systems, testing backup procedures, and restoring data in the event of a disaster.

Examples of tasks that support professionals may perform on a day-to-day basis include responding to user emails or phone calls requesting technical assistance, troubleshooting software issues, installing new software or hardware, updating systems, providing training to users, and monitoring system backups.

Fundamentally, IT support professionals play a critical role in ensuring that an organisation’s technology infrastructure runs smoothly. They must have strong technical skills, be able to communicate effectively with users and be proactive in identifying and resolving issues.

Acquire the Necessary Skills and Knowledge

To become a successful IT support professional, you need to possess a set of technical and soft skills. Some of the technical skills required for IT support include knowledge of operating systems, networking protocols, and computer hardware. Additionally, IT support professionals must possess strong communication skills, and problem-solving abilities, and be customer-oriented.

Understanding the skills required for the job will help you identify the gaps in your skill set and work towards developing them. Here are some of the essential skills and knowledge you should possess:

Technical Skills

  • Proficiency in troubleshooting software and hardware issues
  • Ability to install software
  • Ability to troubleshoot technical issues
  • Knowledge of operating systems (such as Windows, macOS, Linux)
  • Understanding of networking protocols (such as TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP)
  • Experience with computer hardware (such as CPUs, RAM, and motherboards)
  • Familiarity with virtualisation technologies (such as VMware, Hyper-V)
  • Experience with server and network administration
  • Ability to configure and maintain backup and recovery systems
  • Understanding of cybersecurity principles and best practices
  • Familiarity with cloud computing platforms (e.g. AWS, Azure)

Soft Skills

  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stressful situations
  • Good time management and organisational skills
  • Customer service orientation
  • Patience and empathy when dealing with users
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team

By possessing both technical and soft skills, IT support professionals can excel in their roles and contribute to the success of their organisations.

it support customer service
IT Support is very much a customer service-based role

Get Certified

While a formal degree is not always required for IT support roles, it can help you stand out from the competition. Consider pursuing a degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in IT is by obtaining relevant certifications. Certifications show employers that you have the necessary technical understanding to effectively perform the role. Some of the most sought-after certifications are:

  • CompTIA A+
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Gain Relevant Experience

Gaining experience is an essential step in landing a job in IT support. Employers typically look for candidates with practical experience and a solid understanding of the technologies used in the field. Here are some tips on how to gain experience in IT:

  • Consider internships: Internships provide an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience in the field. Look for internships with IT companies, non-profit organisations, or government agencies. You can also consider applying for summer or winter internships.
  • Freelance work: Freelancing allows you to work on short-term projects and gain experience working with different clients and technologies. Freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer offer IT support jobs that you can apply for.
  • Volunteer opportunities: Consider volunteering with non-profit organisations, schools, or community centres to gain experience. These organisations often need IT support and can provide you with valuable experience.
  • Set up a home lab: Setting up a home lab allows you to experiment with different technologies and gain hands-on experience. You can build a lab using virtualisation technologies such as VirtualBox or VMware and practice configuring and troubleshooting systems.
  • Participate in hackathons: Hackathons are events where participants work on technology projects and solve problems. Participating in hackathons can help you build your portfolio, gain experience, and network with other professionals in the field.
  • Contribute to open-source projects: Contributing to open-source projects allows you to work with other developers and gain experience working on real-world projects. You can find open-source projects on websites such as GitHub or SourceForge.

By gaining experience in IT, you can build your portfolio, develop your skills, and demonstrate to potential employers that you are committed to the field. Whether through internships, freelance work, volunteer opportunities, or personal projects, there are many ways to gain experience in IT and kickstart your career.

Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Trends

The field of IT is constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. You can do this by attending conferences, participating in webinars, and reading industry publications. Joining professional associations and networking with other IT professionals can also help you stay informed and connected.

Job Hunting for IT Support Roles


Networking is an essential part of job hunting, and attending industry events and conferences can help you meet professionals in the field and learn about the latest trends and technologies. Join IT-related organizations, attend workshops, and network with professionals in the industry to gain insights and build relationships.

Tailor your Resume

Your resume is your first impression, so make it count. Tailor your resume to the job description and highlight your relevant skills and experience. Additionally, include a summary statement that showcases your strengths and how they align with the job requirements.

Apply for Jobs

Once you have your resume ready, it’s time to start applying for jobs. Use online job portals such as Seek, Indeed, or LinkedIn to find relevant IT support roles. Additionally, consider reaching out to recruiters and staffing agencies specializing in IT support.

Ace the Interview

Preparing for an IT support interview requires research and practice. Research the company and the job role, and prepare answers to common interview questions. Additionally, practice your technical skills and be prepared to demonstrate them during your interview or as part of the process.


What are different titles sometimes given to IT support?

Sometimes IT Support is referred to by different titles such as Technical support, Helpdesk support, Helpdesk, Desktop support, Customer support, End-user support, IT service desk support or IT operations support. Different organisations may have slightly different titles as the specific title does sometimes vary.

What is an IT support job, and what does it involve?

An IT support job involves providing technical assistance and support to computer system users. This may include installing and configuring hardware and software, troubleshooting technical problems, and providing guidance and advice to users.

What qualifications or skills are required to work in IT support?

To work in IT support, you will typically need a degree in computer science or a related field, although some positions may only require a relevant vocational qualification or experience. You will also need excellent problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and the ability to work well under pressure.

What kind of work environment can I expect as an IT support professional?

As an IT support professional, you may work in a variety of settings, including offices, call centres, or data centres. You may work in a team with other IT professionals or work independently to provide support to end-users.

What kind of challenges can I expect in an IT support role?

An IT support role can be challenging as you will be dealing with a variety of technical problems, and you may need to work under tight deadlines. You may also need to deal with difficult customers, so good communication and customer service skills are essential.

What career opportunities are available in IT support?

There are various career opportunities in IT, including technical support specialists, helpdesk analysts, IT technicians, and network support specialists. With experience and further training, you can progress to more senior roles, such as IT manager or network administrator.

What is the salary range for IT support jobs in Australia?

The salary range for IT support jobs in Australia can vary depending on your level of experience and the type of organization you work for. Entry-level positions may start at around AUD 50,000 per annum, while more experienced support professionals can earn up to AUD 90,000 per annum or more.


Breaking into the IT industry can be challenging for those who lack experience or formal qualifications.

To land a job in IT, candidates need to have a set of technical and soft skills. Technical skills required for IT include knowledge of operating systems, networking protocols, and computer hardware. IT professionals must also possess strong communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and customer service orientation.

Gaining experience is also an essential step in landing a job in IT. Candidates can consider internships, freelance work, volunteer opportunities, or personal projects to gain practical experience and build their portfolios. Additionally, setting up a home lab, participating in hackathons, and contributing to open-source projects can also help to gain experience in IT.

A career in IT offers a range of opportunities, from technical support to help desk and system administration. Possessing both technical and soft skills, gaining practical experience, and continuing to learn are key to success in the field.

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