Desktop Support vs. Help Desk

Desktop Support vs. Help Desk

Salesforce Certification Guide Your...
Salesforce Certification Guide Your Pathway to a Profitable Career

Among the most common jobs that you can get after you get certified are the positions of desktop support and help desk. These two are often mistaken for one and the same, even though they are characterized by several differences. So, what are the differences between desktop support and help desk? 

In a company, desktop support and help desk have different roles and distinct responsibilities. Desktop support has the task to resolve any technical issues that customers might have, while the help desk aims to address customer requests and to provide a better experience for the clients.  

In this article, I will give detailed descriptions of the positions of desktop support and help desk. Even though they have a lot of similarities, these two jobs should not be mistaken for being the same. If you are interested in a career in IT, and you want to pursue one of these jobs, you should be familiarized with the responsibilities that go with each of them. 

Desktop Support 

Desktop Support Technician plays a crucial role in the IT industry, and a certain organization or a company cannot go on and function without one. In other words, we are talking about a professional who is needed each time there is a troubleshooting issue with a particular device, system, or network.

The main responsibilities of desktop support include maintaining, installing, and troubleshooting software or hardware in an organization, or a company. The employees in this job position are responsible for keeping the tech equipment up to date and they are supposed to monitor the performance of each device that is used in a workplace. The desktop support technician has to possess the knowledge of working with different operating systems, such as Linux, Windows, Mac, Unix, and so on. 

Desktop Support Technician Job Responsibilities 

A person who possesses the needed skills and qualifications for a desktop support technician is required in every company or organization since the digital world has been expanding on many levels. Technology is now present everywhere and in every field, therefore this position is wanted in every enterprise. 

The position of a desktop support technician requires the following responsibilities: 

  • Setting up and managing user accounts. 
  • Maintaining and testing the security of devices and networks. 
  • Designing plans to keep good performance of devices. 
  • Resolving issues on LAN/WAN, VoIP telephone, biometric, AV systems connections. 
  • Updating the equipment. 
  • Resolving connectivity issues. 
  • Training and guiding staff in using hardware and software. 

Desktop Support Technician Education And Certification 

When it comes to the educational degree of this job position, the requirement of it usually depends on the companies. Some companies hire technicians that have some computer knowledge, i.e. people who have taken some kinds of computer-related courses. 

However, some organizations hire only staff with bachelor’s degrees in computer science, information, or technology. So, the educational level you have achieved might or might not be crucial for the job you want. 

On the other hand, certifications can really be helpful in this situation. As you probably already know, IT certifications have a major issue in your job position and the salary for the same. Certifications that might be needed for a Desktop Support Technician are the following: 

  • CompTIA A+/ Network+, Microsoft, and Cisco Certifications. 
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCS).
  • Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST). 
  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). 
  • HDI Desktop Support Technician Certifications.

Help Desk

The primary role of a Help Desk is to ensure and provide customer support via telephone, email, or computer chat. The help desk position requires responding to clients’ requests or questions. The help desk is often mistaken for desktop support since they work closely together and that way provide the help that customers need. 

However, answering clients’ requests does not mean that the help desk is only the mediator between the client and the IT team. On the contrary, help desk support is required to possess skills for maintaining daily performance, troubleshooting, and the ability to provide answers to follow-up questions made by the customers. 

Help Desk Job Responsibilities

Firstly, it is essential to mention that a person working in the help desk position needs to have the ability to work with people. We are talking about customer service here which means that throughout the day this employee will be responsible for inquiring with a vast number of people. Therefore, other than IT skills, you will need to possess patience and hospitality. 

However, the general responsibilities of the help desk support are the following: 

  • Monitoring and responding to customers’ requests. 
  • Maintaining and supporting computer systems. 
  • Keeping the IT equipment in a good performance. 
  • Assisting in training the new users. 
  • Installing, configuring, and upgrading PC software. 

Even though the help desk collaborates with the IT team to resolve customers’ issues and requests, it is essential that this employee has a certain set of skills in the IT field that they are working for. 

Help Desk Education And Certification

Since this is an entry-level position, a college degree is not usually required. However, if you want to work in this field, you will need a certification or something similar that will prove your skills. You need to show certain documentation that validates your knowledge and provides you a good salary. 

For this purpose, you might opt for obtaining certifications for the IT industry, such as CompTIA A+, or Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). Both of the certifications are entry-level, and they ensure knowledge in the fundamentals of the IT field. Furthermore, they are accepted by employers, and they are surely highly appreciated. 

Certifications related to the IT industry are nowadays quite common and there are many of them. Many professionals choose to get certified because these certificates are highly valued, and provide a lot of advantages and benefits for the candidates. 

As seen from above, desktop support and help desk are quite different job positions, and they have different responsibilities. Even though they work closely together, they should not be mistaken for being the same since they are characterized by distinct roles, and they have different requirements. 

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