For a rising variety of IT professionals, help or help desk jobs functions as a profession launch pad. These organizational models often belong to a bigger IT group, and their job is to offer info and support to customers. These job capabilities have lots in widespread and are in sturdy demand. In its present Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics describes these positions as "Computer support specialists."
"Employment of computer support professionals is projected to develop 12 % from 2014 to 2024, quicker than the average for all occupations. Extra assist companies will likely be wanted as organizations improve their laptop gear and software program."
The same supply additionally signifies that average pay for such positions is $51,470 each year, or $24.75 an hour. It is the lowest pay charge for all the computer jobs they cover, which explains why it is such a typical level of entry for IT professionals simply getting began.
The Help Desk Institute (HDI)
Based in 1989, HDI is each knowledgeable affiliation and a certification sponsor. (HDI is the group's authorized title, although it started because of the "Help Desk Institute.") Its entire mission is to facilitate skilled growth and to foster organizational success utilizing exception customer support, with a concentrate on help and help desk operations.
Along with its certification and coaching efforts, HDI additionally hosts conferences and occasions across the globe, produces publications and analysis, and gives ample alternatives for professionals to community and collaborate with each other. HDI is part of UBM Technology, which additionally runs the Black Hat, Fusion salary and Interop conferences, and produces such on-line publications as Information Week, Dark Reading and Network Computing.
Overview of Core HDI Certifications and Job Roles
HDI certifications are primarily organized around help core job roles. Although HDI does supply some credentials outdoors this area, their nine core credentials can only be organised as a quasi-ladder or -cascade of assist desk/help Centre positions
HDI Customer Service Representative (HDI-CSR): An HDI certification for frontline customer service representatives, designed to assist them catalog wants and supply high-quality service. The HDI-CSR goals at help professionals from customer support facilities, call centres and help services. (Course + examination: $795 (members)/$895 (nonmembers), $145 examination solely)
HDI Desktop Support Technician (HDI-DST): An HDI certification for technical help professionals who present in-person help to within or distant workers or staff, or exterior prospects. The HDI-DST emphasizes methods to enhance buyer interplay, understanding of service level agreements and their influence on workflow and request priorities, root trigger evaluation, ITIL processes for incident, problem, change, launch, asset and configuration administration. (Course + examination: $645/695, $145 examination solely)
HDI Support Center Analyst (HDI-SCA): An HDI certification that goals at frontline technical help workers looking for to discover ways to handle and prioritize incidents and scale back escalations. The HDI-SCA focuses on critical customer support abilities for managing tough prospects and bettering total buyer satisfaction. That is probably the most sought-after credential. (Course + examination: $645/695, $145 examination solely)
HDI Support Centre Director (HDI-SCD): This pinnacle stage HDI certification identifies people with critical expertise and information concerning service administration, associated greatest and customary practices, the flexibility to align the division with organizational objectives, and to achieve senior administration buy-in for service enhancements and support centre worth. The HDI-SCD introduces subjects associated with data administration, methods for workforce management, teaching, group constructing, succession planning, understanding of the development of enterprise circumstances, use of reporting instruments and dashboards, and deciding on main and lagging indicators. (Course + examination: $225)
HDI Desktop Support Manager (HDI-DSM): An HDI certification that focuses on desktop help, together with help for laptops, notebooks, printers and different objects for which a company plans to offer a face-to-face desktop support. A desktop support manager is answerable for executing operational and tactical plans for a desktop help, and assembly buyer and business wants. This certification helps candidates perceive and grasp traits of efficient desktop administration, alignment of desktop help companies with enterprise technique, plus ways for hiring, coaching and main high-performance groups. (Course + examination: $225)
HDI Problem Management Professional (HDI-PM): Developed in partnership with Propoint Options, this HDI certification goal at professionals concerned in planning and implementation of a proper downside administration. Performing proactive and reactive problem management, prioritizing and categorizing issues, investigating and diagnosing issues, coordinating or performing root trigger evaluation, growing workarounds and fixes, and proposing modifications to assist in drawback decision. The HDI-PM relies on quite a few ITSM networks, together with ITIL, ISO/IEC 20000 and COBIT. (Course + examination: $225)
HDI Support Centre Team Lead (HDI-SCTL): Team leads present the communication hyperlink between help staff members and their supervisor, and act as the primary level of inside escalation for patrons. HDI certification candidates should perceive team lead administration and management abilities, service stage and operational phase agreements, ITIL processes for incident, problems, change, launch, asset and configuration policy, battle administration methods, and other people management fundamentals, together with hiring, scheduling, evaluating and retaining employees. (Course + examination: $745/795; $145 examination solely)
HDI Support Centre Manager (HDI-SCM): This HDI certification identifies people who possess the abilities and information wanted to achieve managing operational and tactical parts of a help group and aligning with business wants. Profitable candidates know easy methods to create service and operational agreements, normal working procedures in supporting a service catalogue, steps concerned in formulating cost-benefit analyses, TCO and ROI calculations, and relationships amongst IT service administration processes, and more. (Course + examination: $225)
Outside the core certification choices from HDI, you will additionally discover an HDI Certified Instructor, some teaching credentials, numerous Knowledge-Centered support (KCS) credentials (Foundation, Principles and Coaching) and ITIL Foundation. The HDI-SCD (Director), HDI-SCM and HDI-DSM (Support Centre and Desktop Support Manager, respectively), and HDI-SCTL (Team Lead) credentials all expire after three years, topic to persevering with schooling or retesting necessities. Different objects within the core don't expire.
Job Posting and Wage Info for HDI Core Certifications
Wage does increase with seniority: solely the HDI-CSR falls beneath the median, with a low average salary of $24,715. Not surprisingly, it additionally accounts for a high fraction of the general HDI certification-related job postings.
Solely the HDI-PM posted a wage lower than $60,000 (just lower than $59,000, to be more precise). The Team Lead, Supervisor and Director certs averaged between $62,000 and $65,000. However, all had peak values into the six figures. I assume this explains why many help centers and help desks are located outside main metro areas. This tells me potential senior help desk professionals want to observe their wage choices and places rigorously to make the most efficient of their alternatives.
HDI Certification Works
HDI doesn't require certification candidates to buy and complete coaching, apart from these of its core certs that expire after three years, which embody Director, Supervisor and team Lead designations. For different matters, candidates can elect to omit to coach and buy solely the examination. Those who do buy training get the worth of the certification examination included in that purchase. General, this makes HDI certifications and coaching relatively cheap, as such issues go.
Exams cost $145 by themselves when available, and coaching provides not more than $650 (members) or $750 (non-members) to that cost. The place some costs seem, the lower cost displays a typical low cost for people who belong to HDI or who cater for HDI organizations. For many certifications, there's a set of "Certification Standards" (well-defined, extensive examination aims) that candidates can use to organize for the corresponding test.
HDI Certification Preparation Sources
HDI gives review/cert targets (Certification Requirements), low-cost coaching, and practice tests ($69/79 for 90 days, $50 extension payment). The corporate additionally makes a broad assortment of resources out there (registration required) to college students who join its coaching programs. Exams and coaching can be found on-line in digital and bodily classroom codecs, and entry to check, follow and prep supplies is all on-line. That is an excellent factor, as a result of little or no aftermarket materials for HDI certifications is accessible, so far as I can inform.
In General, the HDI certifications look like an excellent guess for 2 types of IT professionals: IT newcomers and people shifting into senior roles. First, it is a good guess for these simply beginning out within the Team and looking for an edge in a touchdown a help desk or tech support job. This applies to the primary two or three objects within the core record preceding. Second, it is a good guess for these looking for to advance to senior positions in assist desk or tech assist hierarchies, on the Group Lead, Supervisor or Director ranges. Because the wage information reveals, that climb to such ranges on this IT area of interest can anticipate beating the median wage reported within the U.S. BLS Outlook by a huge margin.