To be a standout desktop support analyst, you’ll need to bring a host of relevant skills to the job — including nontechnical abilities like a customer-service mindset, top-notch problem-solving skills, flexibility, a willingness to learn and more.
Here’s a closer look at what a desktop support analyst does and what core skills these pros need to succeed. This information can help you better prepare to pursue desktop support analyst roles, confirm that you have the right skills to excel at your current level in this profession, or determine what you need to do next if you want to take your desktop support analyst career to the next level.
Typical duties of a desktop support analyst
Desktop support analysts are among the busiest people in any IT organization, and the long list of responsibilities outlined below is evidence of that. In this role, you’ll likely be expected to handle all or some of the following duties:
- Diagnose and resolve unique, nonrecurring problems associated with application software and operating systems, identify the source of problems, and classify their level, priority and nature.
- Configure, deploy, maintain, troubleshoot and support computer workstations, laptops, printers, mobile devices, phones, and other computer and telecommunications equipment.
- Install and support desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile hardware and software.
- Create alternative methods of completing tasks, correcting user errors and system inconsistencies to improve the desktop team function.
- Participate in hardware and software reviews and recommend purchases.
- Maintain an inventory of installed software, manage software licensing, and create policies and procedures for upgrades.
- Work with hardware and software vendors to verify timely product delivery and ensure that new equipment is installed and ready to operate on schedule.
- Analyze and make recommendations for hardware and software standardization.
- Ensure desktop computers interconnect seamlessly with diverse systems, including associated validation systems, file servers, email servers, computer conferencing systems, application servers and administrative systems.
- Document procedures, standards, best practices configurations, settings, installation sequences and back-out instruction.
Access the latest Salary Guide From Robert Half now to see 2023 starting salary projections for many technology roles.
Foundational abilities for a desktop support analyst
The following is an overview of basic skills and experience you’ll need to work effectively as a desktop support analyst:
You must have a comprehensive understanding of computer hardware and software, including operating systems, networking and security.
Desktop support analysts must be able to diagnose and troubleshoot computer and network problems.
You’ll need to share information and resources, collaborate on problem-solving, and lend colleagues a helping hand when required.
Employers typically look for candidates with a degree in a computer-related field, such as computer science, information technology or network engineering.
Other qualifications may include relevant software and hardware certifications, such as Microsoft certified solutions associate (MCSA), CompTIA A+, and CompTIA Network+.
Skills and abilities that can set you apart
A commitment to continuous professional development is vital to excelling in any profession — but especially in technology, where change is constant and rapid. Here’s what you need to take your desktop support analyst career to new heights:
Never stop updating and expanding your hardware, software and systems skills through your own efforts and company training.
Also, learn the specifics of your industry. For example, if you work in manufacturing and logistics, observing the physical processes and talking to those working in the warehouse will give you precious insight into the flow of materials and goods throughout the facility. It will also help you to build stronger working relationships with those who rely on your support.
Be proactive in anticipating and resolving issues. Take ownership and initiative for problem resolution, spot potential problem areas, analyze solutions, propose resolutions and help ensure their successful implementation.
Embrace working in a team setting — including if you’re part of a virtual team. Get to know your teammates, be quick to give them credit for their successes and don’t wait to be asked before offering your assistance.
Get another degree or earn relevant credentials. Attend trainings offered by your company and study for other certifications. Look into whether you can engage in job shadowing arrangements in other departments so you can build skills in other areas.
As you’ve likely gathered by now, if you want to become a great desktop support analyst, you need to take the initiative to invest in yourself. You must do more, from increasing your knowledge to becoming a stellar teammate. Seeking new assignments and additional duties, especially those outside your normal work area, is another way to amplify your skill set.
Desktop support analysts play a critical role in helping organizations and their technology to operate smoothly. With a well-rounded set of abilities and experience and a commitment to professional growth, you’ll become an even more valuable asset in the IT organization and be well positioned to advance your career.
Looking for desktop support analyst jobs?
Check out the latest listings for remote or on-site desktop support analyst positions on the Robert Half website.