In the world of healthcare, 2020 was generally considered the Year of the Nurse. In the realms of business and commerce, though, 2020 might be considered the Year of the Remote Worker. After all, according to a Gallup poll last April, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic onset, around 51% of Americans reported they were “always” working remotely, and even as some employees start to head back to the office, the percentage of workers who have shifted to permanently working from home is expected to double this year.
Top companies like Twitter, Facebook, and REI have already announced plans to make full-time or part-time remote work an option for employees, and many others, especially in Big Tech, are expected to follow suit. Essentially, this past year turned working from home from a fun perk offered by a few select companies, to a permanent solution for many businesses as they saw it often resulted in better productivity and improved mental health for their employees.
But all of this upheaval in where and how businesses conduct work means new frontiers of growth and adaptability for IT support technicians and other IT support careers.
Even before the pandemic hit, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that computer support specialist jobs — like help desk technicians, desktop support technicians, network technicians, etc. — would grow much faster than average over the next several years. With more and more workers stationed in home offices, IT support technicians will be increasingly important to ensure everyone is up-to-date, connected, and supplied with the right tools for their jobs.
A lot of the tasks IT support and help desk technicians are used to performing will stay the same — things like:
- Listening to and diagnosing computer problems based on end users’ descriptions
- Walking end users through problem-solving steps
- Repairing computers and other related equipment
- Training end users on new software or hardware, applications, and devices
- Providing overviews of what computer or networking systems are giving end users the most trouble
- Keeping systems and applications updated and deploying patches as necessary
At the same time, there will be some new challenges on the horizon for IT support teams who are managing a remote workforce. Things like: helping users define their workspaces, advising and setting clear expectations for availability so that work doesn’t become a constant stream, and perhaps most importantly, helping ensure all these varied home office systems are secure from cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is often ranked among the top concerns for businesses in 2021, and the challenges presented by remote working will require an all-hands-on-deck approach to IT.
All of this just further reinforces the fact that IT support technicians are absolutely vital to this new phase of the workforce, and companies will be looking for skilled, trained job candidates to be a part of this evolution. If you’re interested in learning more about this field and how you can be a part of it, contact us here to talk to an advisor about our Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology Support Technician program.