Technical and Soft Skills for Ottawa IT Support Staff
Whether you choose to have an in-house IT support person or department or contract with an Ottawa IT support company, it’s important to know what skills to require. Your Ottawa IT support staff qualifications should include both technical and other office, managerial, and people skills. Professionals need the technical skills appropriate to the operating systems and software your company has. They also need work skills that will help them interact successfully with your employees or coworkers, and customers. The technology skills and certifications necessary will depend on what position is being filled and what types of duties will be performed. The right interpersonal and organizational skills will help whoever you choose fit in, and enable them to develop and grow with the company.
Different Positions Require Unique Technical Skills
Position Categories include:
- IT Beginner
- Help Desk
- IT Management
- Database Management and Analytics
- Cloud Computing
- IT Security
Each Ottawa tech support position requires different technical skills and certifications. Certification classes and tests are available from various sources, including Cisco, ITIL, CompTIA, Citrix, Amazon Web Services, Google, Coursera, edX, LinkedIn, and Udemy. If you need a developer or software engineer, for example, you need a professional who understands the basics of coding and preferably knows several languages. If you are looking for a cybersecurity expert and are concerned with Ottawa firewall security, look for someone familiar with the latest worldwide security issues, cybersecurity software, and best practices. A project manager should have the training and experience to successfully guide projects to completion. A help desk person, database manager, or IT manager should possess extensive Microsoft training and training in other whatever software your company uses. Regardless of what certifications someone has, the earning of the certificates indicates an ability to learn. Because courses and certification tests are so accessible, serious Ottawa IT support applicants should show a history of regular learning. The more certifications, the more effort and expense someone has put into their career, and the more able a person is to understand your business and learn the software systems your company uses.
The hottest trends seem to be cybersecurity and cloud-based technology. Different publications, professional organizations, and job source sites like the Association of Software Professionals, PC Magazine and Indeed, publish lists of in-demand certifications. According to Indeed, for example, the following are the ten most valuable IT certifications for 2021.
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
- Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
Ottawa Computer Support Personnel Need Soft Skills, Too
Your Ottawa IT support staff needs the technical training to work with your computer hardware and software, but they also need other, non-technical skills. They need to be organized and focused and have people skills, too.
Some non-technical or soft skills include:
- Ability to Learn– As discussed above, the ability to learn is basic for anyone in IT. New software and operating systems are developed, and things constantly change, so IT pros must be adaptable. The more skills they have learned in the past, the more easily they will learn new skills in the future.
- Time Management– When six different problems need attention, time management and prioritizing are essential. An IT professional must work well under pressure and know which projects are the most important.
- Interpersonal Communications – Communication skills are especially important for Help Desk personnel, but everyone in IT needs them. IT staff members should have the ability to be empathetic, listen well, and be patient with people who are less familiar and comfortable with technology. Someone with a short fuse can create more problems than they solve.
- Understanding of Your Business or Organization– Look for people who are familiar with your business specifically or at least your industry. The more familiar someone is with your business structure, product lines, and customer base, the more easily they will fit in and be able to run things smoothly.
- Analytical Mindset– Much of IT involves problem identification and solving. When it comes to debugging, being a good detective is step one. Coming up with efficient solutions is step two. If someone will be writing code, logical thinking and problem-solving ability are required. One proven indicator of an analytical mindset is a history of advanced math and science coursework in school. The more experience someone has solving different problems, the more honed their analytical skills.
- Detail Oriented—Higher math and science skills can also indicate how detail-oriented a person is. Technology means detail. Look at applicants’ previous project experience and determine how well IT applicants write and analyze reports.
- Good Collaborator—While some Ottawa IT services positions require someone to work most of the time independently, consider how often a team member will be required to collaborate with others. If team effort is needed, an ability to communicate and cooperate with others should be required. Project coordinators especially need these skills.
Top Ottawa IT Support Specialists Have Technical and Management Skills
To get the best Ottawa IT support staff, consider both their technical and softs skills. Look at how much effort and money applicants have put into their careers and education. Their professionalism can be judged by their memberships in professional organizations. It’s important to determine how well they know your industry. Hire someone who’s personable, patient, and interacts well with others. Soft skills like learning new software and operating systems, analyzing data, troubleshooting, and solving problems can be as important as technical qualifications. Ottawa computer support employees or companies must also manage their time well and manage projects effectively.