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The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.

Salary Range
€22k - €50k
Job Zone

In Brief...

Computer support specialists offer telephone, email or web-based support to people who are having problems with computer hardware or software.

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Skills

  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

In Summary - Computer / IT Support Specialist

Videos & Interviews

Lorraine O'Leary, IT Support

Lorraine O'Leary is an IT Support Engineer with Lidl Ireland. She studied at IT Carlow in Computer Systems Management and IT, which included a 6-month work placement, after which she knew she had chosen the right career path. She is currently looking into completing some Oracle DB administration courses.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Computer / IT Support Specialist

The problems that a computer support specialists deals with may be related to the computer itself, the organisation's network or specific applications and services.  
 
The purchasers of the hardware and software products may ring or email with technical queries on how to install the system or how to operate the software; it is now your job to assist them with this. You may also be troubleshooting to solve technical difficulties or glitches in the systems.  
 
In some cases, problems may be due to mistakes made by the user, in others, they may be caused by a fault in the user's computer or software, or on an organisation's network. In some cases, agents may have to advise users to return the item concerned to the supplier for a repair or refund. In others, they may arrange for an operator or field engineer to visit the customer to find out more.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Oversee the daily performance of computer systems.
  • Answer user inquiries regarding computer software or hardware operation to resolve problems.
  • Enter commands and observe system functioning to verify correct operations and detect errors.
  • Set up equipment for employee use, performing or ensuring proper installation of cables, operating systems, or appropriate software.
  • Install and perform minor repairs to hardware, software, or peripheral equipment, following design or installation specifications.
  • Maintain records of daily data communication transactions, problems and remedial actions taken, or installation activities.
  • Read technical manuals, confer with users, or conduct computer diagnostics to investigate and resolve problems or to provide technical assistance and support.
  • Refer major hardware or software problems or defective products to vendors or technicians for service.
  • Develop training materials and procedures, or train users in the proper use of hardware or software.
  • Confer with staff, users, and management to establish requirements for new systems or modifications.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interests - Computer / IT Support Specialist

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Investigative

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Qualities

As an Computer support specialist, you will need an interest in computers and a good knowledge of the applications concerned (though training will normally be provided).  
 
You will need a logical, patient, methodical approach, because identifying the cause of a problem sometimes requires detective work.  
 
Good communication skills are important, and you will need a calm, clear telephone manner. You will need to be able to explain information in simple language, as callers may not always have a high level of computer skills.  
 
Your work environment will usually be a brightly lit and air conditioned office. You need to be able to sit still in one position for long periods using a computer for enquiries. You also need to be able to work quickly.

Entry Requirements - Computer / IT Support Specialist

Pay & Salary - Computer / IT Support Specialist

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €22k - €50k

Helpdesk Support 22 - 50

Data Source(s):
Sigmar / CPL / Hudson / Abrivia

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Computer / IT Support Specialist

This occupation has been identified as a Job in Demand by the most recent National Skills Bulletin.

This occupation had the highest rate of employment growth amongst the IT occupations. Only two-thirds of those employed were Irish, most likely related to the language requirements for a large number of these roles.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Computer / IT Support Specialist

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