Service Desk Analyst: Jobs, Courses, Salaries, and Career Paths

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Understand the service desk analyst role, how to qualify for this position, essential skills you should build, and salary information.

[Featured image] A female, wearing an orange outfit, is sitting at her desktop performing her duties as a service desk analyst.

Service desk analysts are an integral part of any organization that uses or offers technology functions to its customers. They are responsible for resolving staff and customer technological questions that need technical support. Typically they troubleshoot network, hardware, and software problems. 

Service desk analyst positions are expected to grow by 9 percent in this decade, a rate faster than the national average [1]. With various certifications and courses available to enter the profession, and levels of support, salaries can vary, and a range of options for employment are available. 

What does a service desk analyst do daily?

Service desk analysts work closely with the IT department and communicate with the end-user, whether staff within an organization or external customers. Day-to-day duties and responsibilities include:

  • Managing, prioritizing, and documenting incoming questions and support requests by phone, email, chat, or in person. 

  • Resolving technical issues quickly and efficiently 

  • Installing and configuring necessary software and meeting end-user needs

  • Escalating any serious problems to relevant departments and teams

  • Ensuring optimal network performance

  • Performing system updates, tests, and maintenance to avoid service interruptions 

  • Monitoring and reporting service desk tickets

  • Analyzing IT incident reports and questions to identify any trends to make recommendations for changes and to prevent future problems 

  • Producing user manuals and guidance for end-users 

Read more: 7 In-Demand IT Skills to Boost Your Resume

Requirements to become a service desk analyst

A certain level of education, experience, and skills are required to work as a service desk analyst. Most service desk analyst jobs ask for an associate or bachelor’s degree, especially for more senior-level roles. 

Experience is also essential. This could be an internship as part of a degree or an entry-level IT role in the field. Depending on the level of position you apply for, experience requirements will vary. 

For some roles, employers may require specific certifications, and even if they don’t, having a service desk analyst certification is a great way to increase your employability. 

Do you need a degree to become a service desk analyst?

A degree isn’t essential to work as a service desk analyst, but it’s generally preferred, and most positions will ask for either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. There is no specific subject requirement, but it must be relevant to the profession.

Majors of service desk analysts

A degree in a relevant field may help you become a service desk analyst. You may consider the following disciplines:

  • Bachelor of Information Technology: This degree typically takes four years to complete and covers topics such as coding, network design, and ethical hacking. 

  • Bachelor of Computer Systems: This degree focuses on information systems, business analysis, and programming and usually takes four years to complete. 

  • Bachelor of Computer Science: A computer science bachelor’s degree generally takes four years to complete and focuses on the theoretical and mathematical grounding of computing, programming, algorithms, and data structures.

Read more: Computer Science vs. Information Technology: Careers, Degrees, and More

Essential skills of a service desk analyst

Skills and experience are important criteria when you’re looking at how to become a service desk analyst. Technical roles such as this one demand an understanding and practical skills relating to IT and computer systems, as well as some transferable skills: 

  • Technical and system expertise (networking, active directory, DNS)

  • Computer skills

  • Customer support

  • Problem-solving and troubleshooting abilities

  • Communication

  • Time management

  • Teamwork and collaboration 

Read more: 7 In-Demand IT Skills to Boost Your Resume

Typical career paths to becoming a service desk analyst

Different roles will ask for various levels of education, certifications, and experience, but generally, starting as a service desk analyst in an entry-level position is the starting point, with a clear path for advancement. This position is a great way to get into an IT department. Continuing from work as a service desk analyst, you have opportunities to advance with the proper education and experience.

Companies typically organize technical support into levels. Level one is an entry-level position and involves troubleshooting simple questions and escalating anything more advanced to level two in the case of a service desk analyst. After level two support, there is a level three and sometimes higher. 

Levels four and five tend to be management levels, and level six will be the head of a department. These levels vary according to the size and function of a company, but having levels means it’s possible to advance in your career and move to other companies, with a clear distinction of the level you’re working at. 

Moving up levels typically requires more experience and possible certifications specified by your employer or even advanced education such as a master’s degree. Holding certifications or a master’s degree can often help you advance more quickly. 

Certifications and certificates for service desk analysts

You have the choice of acquiring many relevant service desk certifications or certificates to help boost your career or get you into your first role. Some employers will suggest specific courses, so consider the following ideas:

Certifications:

  • Network Computer Technician (NCT): A certification to demonstrate skills in computer electronics, network technology, and the internet. 

  • HDI Support Center Analyst (SCA);  A two-day course verifying the skills of front-line technical support professional. 

  • HDI Support Center Manager (HDI-SCM): For support center managers to verify the technical management skills of a support organization. 

Read more: Are Certifications Worth It? When to Get Certified in Your IT Career

Professional certificates

  • Google IT Support Professional Certificate: Beginner-level certificate that takes up to six months to complete, giving the knowledge to be successful in an entry-level IT role, and providing customer support. 

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professional certificate

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1,010,711 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Debugging, Encryption Algorithms and Techniques, Customer Service, Network Protocols, Cloud Computing, Binary Code, Customer Support, Linux, Troubleshooting, Domain Name System (DNS), Ipv4, Network Model, Powershell, Linux File Systems, Command-Line Interface, Directory Service, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Backup, Cybersecurity, Wireless Security, Cryptography, Network Security

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Google IT Automation with Python

Learn in-demand skills like Python, Git, and IT automation to advance your career

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435,241 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 8 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Using Version Control, Troubleshooting & Debugging, Python Programming, Configuration Management, Automation, Basic Python Data Structures, Fundamental Programming Concepts, Basic Python Syntax, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Setting up your Development Environment, Regular Expression (REGEX), Testing in Python, Automating System Administration Tasks with Python, Bash Scripting, Using Git, Version Control Systems, Interacting with GitHub, Reverting Changes, Creating Pull Requests, Improving Software Performance, Managing Scarce Resources, Advanced Troubleshooting, Understanding Errors, Finding the Root Cause of a Problem, Automation at Scale, Basic Monitoring & Alerting, Cloud Computing, Using Puppet, Serialization, Building a Solution, Creating and Translating Media Files, Interacting with Web Services

Read more: 10 Essential IT Certifications 

Typical job titles of service desk analysts

Service desk analysts can have various titles. These are typically the same role but with a different name. A service desk analyst's salary varies with the change in titles, so when you’re looking for service desk analyst jobs, remember to check these titles too:

  • Service desk analyst: $45,454 [2]

  • Help desk analyst: $47,406 [3]

  • IT support analyst: $54,180 [4]

  • Help desk technician: $42,501 [5]

  • Service desk technician: $44,768 [6

Similar job roles

Working as a service desk analyst and completing relevant certifications and qualifications can open doors to similar roles. This means you’re not limited in the direction you take by preparing for a service desk analyst job, and it may also mean you can step up with experience. 

Ready to start a service desk analyst career?

If you’re ready to start your career as a service desk analyst and you already have a relevant degree, a certification such as Google IT Support Professional Certificate will verify your skills and boost your resume. If you don’t have a degree, take some time and do some research to find a program that suits you. 

Placeholder

professional certificate

Google IT Support

This is your path to a career in IT. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.

4.8

(133,674 ratings)

1,010,711 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Debugging, Encryption Algorithms and Techniques, Customer Service, Network Protocols, Cloud Computing, Binary Code, Customer Support, Linux, Troubleshooting, Domain Name System (DNS), Ipv4, Network Model, Powershell, Linux File Systems, Command-Line Interface, Directory Service, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Backup, Cybersecurity, Wireless Security, Cryptography, Network Security

Related articles

Article sources

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook - Computer Support Specialists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm.” Accessed May 3, 2022. 

2. Glassdoor. “Service Desk Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-service-desk-analyst-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,23.htm.” Accessed May 3, 2022.

3. Glassdoor. “ Help Desk Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-help-desk-analyst-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,20.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed May 3, 2022. 

4. Glassdoor. “IT Support Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-it-support-analyst-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,21.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed May 3, 2022.

5. Glassdoor. “ Help Desk Technician Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-help-desk-technician-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,23.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed May 3, 2022.

6. Glassdoor. “Service Desk Technician Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-service-desk-technician-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,26.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed May 3, 2022.

7. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Handbook: Computer Support Specialists, Similar Roles, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-8.” Accessed May 3, 2022. 

8. Glassdoor. “Help Desk Manager Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-help-desk-manager-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,20.htm.” Accessed May 3, 2022. 

9. Glassdoor. “Web Developers Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-web-developer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,16.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed May 3, 2022. 

10. Glassdoor. “IT Consultant Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-it-consultant-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,16.htm.” Accessed May 3, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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