Help desk specialists work for companies and organizations answering computer questions and resolving problems. A person in this role is sometimes called a help desk technician or help desk analyst depending upon the organization. To become a help desk specialist, strong computer proficiency with a variety of hardware and software and a custom-service oriented personality generally are required. A two- or four-year degree in information systems, information technology or computer science might be required, depending upon the position you are seeking.
Professional information technology certifications might also be desired or required by employers. An example of an international certifying body is CompTIA, which offers CompTIA A+ certification that shows competence in troubleshooting, preventive maintenance, networking and other areas. Some hardware and software vendors also offer certifications for their products.
Even without a college degree or professional certificates, you still might get in the door with some employers by demonstrating your understanding of information technology in your résumé. You can do this by showing a wide range of knowledge of different software, hardware, the Internet and other computer areas. If you've taken classes in high school or at computer schools, list them. If you've created your own web page or web pages for others, include that information.
Also include any experience you have training or teaching others about computers, which can demonstrate your abilities to become a help desk specialist. If you ever tutored or trained other students while in high school, highlight it. Maybe you volunteered at the local senior center teaching adults how to use computers. If you had a job where you were called on to troubleshoot or fix computer problems, include it on your résumé even if troubleshooting wasn't formally part of the job.
Good problem-solving skills and being able to think and make decisions under pressure are important if you want to become a help desk specialist. Help desk specialists sometimes can be required to handle dozens of questions and problems a day. Sometimes you might have to assist people who have little computer proficiency, so having a patient personality is important if you want to become a help desk specialist. Good communication skills to ensure that you are explaining yourself clearly to other people also are important.
Depending on the position, you might have to physically move computer hardware and peripherals. Being fit enough to lift equipment and push rolling carts from place to place might be important. For another job, your only task might be answering questions from the telephone or over a computer, so being able to sit still for long periods of time while staying focused on the tasks at hand can be important.