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 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 organisation that uses or offers technology functions to its customers. They are responsible for resolving staff and customer technical questions that need technical support. Typically they troubleshoot network, hardware, and software problems. 

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 organisation or external customers. Day-to-day duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Managing, prioritising, 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

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

  • Producing user manuals and guides for end-users 

Requirements to become a service desk analyst

Many service desk analyst jobs require an undergraduate 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. 

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 one. While there’s no specific subject requirement, it must be relevant to the profession.


Service desk analyst degree options

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

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

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

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

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Essential skills of a service desk analyst

Skills and experience are essential criteria when 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 

Typical career paths to becoming a service desk analyst

Different roles will require various levels of education, certifications, and experience. 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 organise 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 where you’ll be working. 

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

Qualifications for service desk analysts

You can acquire many relevant service desk qualifications in the form of certifications or certificates to help boost your career or qualify you for your first role. When applying for jobs, be on the look out if some employers suggest specific courses.

One certificate to consider is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera. This is a 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. 

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 in the UK 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: £24,732

  • Help desk analyst: £26,402

  • IT support analyst: £28,149

  • Help desk technician: £25,7777

  • Service desk technician: £24,820

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 limitless in the direction you take by preparing for a service desk analyst job. 

  • Computer network architect: £57,305

  • Information system manager: £50,408

  • Computer programmer: £40,859

  • Information security analyst: £43,064

  • Help desk manager: £36,281

  • Web developer: £35,567

  • IT Consultant: £42,478

*All salary data represents the average base salary in the United Kingdom according to Glassdoor (June 2023).

Ready to start a service desk analyst career?

If you’re ready to start your career as a service desk analyst and already have a relevant degree, a qualification, such as Google IT Support Professional Certificate, will verify your skills and boost your CV. If you don’t have a degree, it will provide you with the basics for an IT support role as an excellent starting point for your career as a service desk analyst.  Upon completion, you’ll have exclusive access to a job platform with over 150 employees hiring for entry-level IT roles and other resources that will support you in your job search. 

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