5 Oct

What Does an IT Technician Do?

Posted by John Brandwagt

https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/technology/digital-world/the-history-of-computer-viruses/The title of IT technician sounds straightforward enough until you take a closer inspection. A technician is someone who provides tech support of some kind, right? But exactly what kind of support? Is it the same as a customer service representative? Or is it more complex than that because they are dealing with computer hardware and software solutions?

What exactly does an IT technician do? Well, as it turns out it’s a tricky question to answer since the role has evolved along with the role of IT businesses themselves.

The Tech Experts

IT technicians originally dealt with the installation of hardware and software for businesses. Additionally, technicians handled the connecting of computers to a network. In the 1980s and 1990s, this title was considered a specialist one because not as many people had rudimentary IT knowledge.

Technicians were also the ones to call when computers were being ravaged by viruses, which became more prevalent in the mid to late 90s. Businesses had to rely on technicians to make sure that hackers didn’t impact the quality of their computer service or steal vital proprietary or financial information. As you might imagine, before people learned to do basic routine checkups on their computers themselves, technicians were the ones who did general maintenance on hardware and software.If you have ever watched a geeky sitcom like Big Bang Theory or The IT Crowd and heard the phrase “Have you tried turning it on and off again?” you probably have a basic idea of what an IT technician does for a company.

From Experts to Geniuses

Today’s technician title has changed due to the fact that most people have become relatively tech savvy regarding general IT maintenance. IT staffs have become much smaller, and technicians are often more akin to freelancers that are outsourced by companies who need their expertise for specific solutions that cannot be handled internally. Technicians operate similarly to the Genius Bar employees at the Apple store; specialists that run a help desk who can be booked for specific cases of troubleshooting. 

As a related aside, let’s clear up some confusion with the various titles a technician is sometimes called by nowadays. If someone’s role in IT is along the lines of web administrator or IT support technician, this is the same job we’ve been discussing in this article. The difference in names is often just because different companies refer to the role according to what service that role is providing. It is common for companies to employ technicians to facilitate a live help chat function on their websites, making customer service on business sites more streamlined and intuitive than fishing through long FAQ lists or forum threads.

Software Development and Web Site Content

Although a lot of administrative roles are shrinking since cloud-computing can take care of help desk needs, IT technicians are still important in the area of software development. There are templates for simple web and mobile apps now, but for anything more intricate, businesses will still need someone who is proficient in web site design and writing site content. In a way, it is not that IT staff are no longer relevant in today’s job market, it is just that the role has become much more diverse. A technician is no longer the go-to individual for every service, but instead for specific tasks they specialize in such as security, software development, or troubleshooting. Even in 2016, technician related jobs are among the most sought after IT jobs in various capacities. Computers may be automating many company tasks, but some IT problems will always need a human touch for solutions. Technicians are never redundant because they possess one of the most essential skills for the IT job market: adaptability.

Information Technology Jobs Canada

Topics: IT Jobs

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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