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

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

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

[Featured image] A service desk analyst is sitting at her desktop in an office performing her duties.

A service desk analyst is an integral part of any organization that uses or offers technology functions to its customers. They’re responsible for resolving staff and customer technological questions. They typically troubleshoot network, hardware, and software problems. 

In this article, we'll review what a service desk analyst does, the skills you'll need in the role, and ways to get started.

What does a service desk analyst do daily?

Service desk analysts work closely with the information technology (IT) department and with the end-users, whether that’s 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

How to become a service desk analyst

You’ll need related education, experience, and skills 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. Experience requirements will vary by the level of position you apply for. 

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

Consider a degree.

A degree is not a requirement to become a service desk analyst. However, most employers will require you to complete a college program or coursework in computer science, computer programming, or network administration. Some employers may also require vendor-specific certification and training.

In Ontario, this is a regulated industry, so you will have licensing or certification from their regulatory body. 

Different majors to study.

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.

Essential skills of a service desk analyst

Skills and experience are important criteria for becoming 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 

Typical career paths to becoming a service desk analyst

Different roles will ask for various levels of education, certifications, and experience, but getting an entry-level service desk analyst role is the typical starting point and has 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 service desk analyst position and involves troubleshooting simple questions and escalating anything more advanced to level two. After level two support, there is a level three and sometimes higher. 

Levels four and five are typically management levels, and level six will be the head of a department. These levels vary according to the company size and function 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, but you may also need certifications or 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 can acquire 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:

Service desk analyst 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 professionals. 

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

Professional certificates

  • The Google IT Support Professional Certificate is a beginner-level certificate that can take about six months to complete, providing the knowledge to be successful in an entry-level IT role and providing customer support. 

Typical job titles of service desk analysts

Service desk analysts can have various titles, but they’re typically the same role. However, the average salary varies with the change in titles, so when looking for service desk analyst jobs, remember to check these titles too. 

Here are their average salaries in Canada according to Glassdoor as of June 2024:

  • Service desk analyst (CAD): $49,644 CAD[1]

  • Help desk analyst (CAD): $49,071 CAD [2]

  • IT support analyst (CAD): $49,071 CAD [3]

  • Help desk technician (CAD): $47,759 [4]

  • Service desk technician (CAD): $50,573 [5]

Similar job roles

Working as a service desk analyst and completing relevant certifications and qualifications can open doors to similar roles and career advancement opportunities.

According to Glassdoor, many of the roles carry strong average salaries, as of June 2024:

  • Computer network architect (CAD): $85,871 [6]

  • Information system manager (CAD): $105,357 [7]

  • Computer programmer (CAD): $70,628 [8]

  • Information security analyst (CAD): $75,589 [9]

  • Help desk manager (CAD): $73,570 [10]

  • Web developer (CAD): $63,066 [11]

  • IT Consultant (CAD): $63,704 [12]

Build your IT skills today

If you’re ready to start your career as a service desk analyst and have a relevant degree, earning the 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. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. How much does a Service Desk Analyst make in Canada?,6_IN3_KO7,27.htm” Accessed June 10, 2024.

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