IT help desk manager

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Carl French is IT help desk manager for Visit Britain, a worldwide organisation based in London. He manages a team of four people working with him on the help desk.

What does your job as an IT help desk manager involve?

My team are the first point of call for anyone working at Visit Britain who has a problem with their computer. Visit Britain markets and promotes Britain to potential business and leisure tourists throughout the world, so it's very important that our computer network, systems and website work smoothly and effectively.

What problems do you deal with?

Regular problems of users include the inability to find or receive a file from the system, send or receive emails or print a document. I have to make sure all the problems are rectified quickly and often have to co-ordinate with other IT teams here to do this, including technical and infrastructure and systems development teams.

Are you in the office all the time?

My job is very much based at my desk and computer, allocating team members to go to different departments, and liaising with other IT teams and outside suppliers. I also work on solving more complicated or longer-term problems. My team's work covers overseas offices as well, but I don't get the opportunity to travel unfortunately. Usually we manage to sort things out from here, but sometimes a member of my team goes to a European office to work on a particular system, its upgrade, or to solve problems.

What do you like best about the job?

I enjoy being in contact with so many different people and being able to solve their problems. It's very satisfying and always busy, so the time goes quickly. I also enjoy learning about the constant changes and developments in the IT world.

What skills and qualities do you need to be an IT help desk manager?

You need to be very systematic, to work through all the problem solving processes and be able to react quickly to urgent requests at the same time. You need to be a good listener, to find out exactly what the problem is straight away.

What work challenges do you face?

The conflicting demands on my time, and those of my team, are very challenging. You have to quickly analyse how important and complex each problem is, so you can prioritise dealing with them.

What do you want to do in the future?

I'm happy working for Visit Britain. I enjoy working in my team and the company is committed to staff training and career development. I'm able to go on regular IT courses to update myself and learn about new products and systems. I want to continue developing my IT skills and move on in the organisation.

Carl's route to his IT help desk manager job

  • A levels at school, including maths, and a Diploma in Business Studies
  • Worked for Tourist Board in accounts, using computers for the work
  • IT courses and workshops
  • Moved to IT department and promoted to help desk manager

Carl's help desk manager tips

  • Use a computer regularly, at home and at school/college – look at business applications on it and different websites.
  • Do research on possible jobs in the IT world and find out what qualifications and courses you need.

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Salary of an IT help desk manager

  • New team leaders/supervisors usually earn from £20,000 to £25,000.
  • With experience, this can rise to £35,000.
  • IT managers can earn £60,000 or more.

How to become an IT help desk manager

  • It is possible to become a team leader/supervisor by working your way up in an organisation, developing good IT skills and experience.
  • It is usually necessary to have at least MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) qualification.
  • There are a large number of degrees, foundation degrees and high national diplomas/certificates (HNDs/HNCs) in IT subjects, including business IT, IT network management, systems support and software development.
  • NVQs/SVQs in Developing IT Programmes/Systems levels 3 and 4, and Installing and Supporting IT Systems levels 2 and 3, provide useful knowledge and skills.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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