Career Options for Graduates

Where Do You Go After You Graduate

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Most IT-Ready Technical Support graduates find jobs on IT help desks, assisting business’ internal and external customers with their tech equipment – from laptops and cell phones to the software and apps that run on them. Some basic job tasks on the IT help desk include:

  • Diagnosing and solving computer, cell phone and internet connection issues.
  • Installing new technologies and training people in them.
  • Providing remote technical support over the phone or internet.
  • Backing up and restoring data files.
  • Repairing hardware and configuring software to maintain business operating systems.
  • Job titles on the IT help desk vary, but they all essentially do the tasks above. Specific titles may include:

  • Help desk technician
  • IT technician
  • Computer support specialist/technician
  • Help desk engineer
  • Desktop support specialist
  • Field service technician
  • What Can You Earn

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics posted that the median annual wage for a computer user support specialist was $52,270 in 2019. And more of those specialists are needed every day on the IT help desk, with those jobs forecasted to grow by 12% from 2020 to 2030.* CompTIA also can help you estimate your potential earning potential with its online IT salary calculator.

    *Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and EMSI

    Find out how much you might make.

    Are You IT Help Desk Material

    We know tech can be taught; we teach it every day. But reading people accurately and interacting with them successfully is a harder skill to teach, learn or deploy. Many of our students already have these skills from working in service and sales industries.

    You don’t need to be a math or science wizard. If you have empathy for helping people and like to figure things out, you’re already halfway there for working on an IT help desk. If you still have concerns, check out CompTIA’s career tests to see if your personality and career goals match with working in tech.

    Is IT Right for You Are you Ready for a Career Change

    Female student working in class
    Female students in class

    Skills Needed for the IT Help Desk

    After our intense 16-week IT-Ready Technical Support program, we’re confident our graduates are ready for work on Day One of their new jobs. The skills needed to work on an IT help desk are taught throughout our curriculum – all in preparation to test for the IT industry’s CompTIA A+ certification exam. To work at the help desk, you’ll need to know:

  • Hardware: Identify, use and connect hardware components and devices.
  • Networking: Explain types of networks and connections including transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP), Wi-Fi and small office/home office (SOHO).
  • Mobile Devices: Install and configure laptops and other mobile devices.
  • Network and Hardware Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot device and network issues.
  • Security: Identify and protect against security vulnerabilities for devices and their network connections.
  • Windows Operating System: Install and support Windows OS, including command line and client support.
  • Other OS Technologies: Understand Mac OS, Linux and mobile OS.
  • Software Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot PC and mobile device issues, including application security support.
  • Operational Procedures: Follow best practices for safety, environmental impacts, communication and professionalism.
  • What’s a Day on the IT Help Desk Like

    Your days and weeks are varied on the help desk. Sometimes you’re building laptops and getting them ready for users, other times you’re talking to people over the phone or internet to walk them through a hardware or software issue. But we think it’s best you hear from real IT help desk workers themselves. 

    Check out Creating IT Futures’ video series, Test Drive an IT Career, and hear from people like John, a web manager.


    Hear from our alumni like Navy veteran Brittian who’s combining his military skills and IT-Ready training on the IT help desk. 

    Where Can You Go After Your First IT Job

    Most IT technicians find their help desk job experience helps them identify the aspect of information technology that appeals most. You may learn you have a real knack for networking or servers. Or maybe you’d like to be a white-hat hacker and build your security expertise to protect companies and people from harm. You might find that cloud infrastructure is what you enjoy the most. You might spend your entire career on a help desk and find that completely fulfilling, whereas someone else might want something different. The beauty of the tech industry is that no matter what your individual interest — or your experience — you can find work that is professionally rewarding and that pays family-sustaining wages.

    If you know what tech specialties interest you most, CompTIA offers a career roadmap so you can understand what tech jobs you might want to do next and how to get there. 

    Advice on Working the IT Help Desk

    Sharpen your Emotional IQ
    August 24, 2020

    Sharpen your Emotional IQ to Succeed in Tech Jobs

    A tech career is not all about hardware and the latest gadget. Being human – exhibiting emotional skills – is critical in achieving long-term tech success.
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    Five Tips for your first year on the IT Help Desk
    June 22, 2020

    5 Tips for Your First Year on the IT Help Desk

    Getting started in tech with a help desk job? Hear from recent CompTIA Tech Career Academy graduates on how to successfully launch your career in tech.
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    Have more questions about what an IT help desk worker does? Attend one of our info sessions or contact us to talk to one of our career advisors one-on-one.