Applications support: A rewarding career path for non-coders
November 9, 2017 | By Lisa Dare, TEKsystems Digital Content Strategist
There are lots of reasons someone might want to move into applications support, according to Amy VanderWilk, an end user services recruiting lead:
- You’re working in tech support and want to transition into networking or development
- You’re a developer who woke up one day and realized…you don’t really like to program
- You want to make more money than end user support jobs usually pay
- You’re an introvert stuck in a customer service role
What does an applications support analyst do? The job typically involves implementing, testing and troubleshooting applications on operating systems. Typically, the role doesn’t provide much end user support, but may interact on the phone to answer questions for other technical team members. Applications support professionals are generally employed in large enterprises that have lots of custom and off-the-shelf applications.
An applications support position can lead to a variety of career paths, including application development, application engineering, networking and systems administration, database administration or management.
“Applications support can be an interesting job and great stepping stone to other careers,” says VanderWilk. “I’ve seen people move from POS support, help desk, even programmers who don’t like to code. It’s a good resume builder.”
Breaking into applications support
If you’re looking to move into an applications support role—which may include titles like application analyst or specialist, or reference specific technologies—you should emphasize applications exposure on your resume. You may have more than you think.
“I recently got an applications support interview for a desktop support analyst, the role required him to complete Windows 10 testing for over 800 applications,” says Vanderwilk. “He was nervous that he didn’t have applications support experience, but I pointed out that even MS Word is an application. And the hiring manager liked him because he was detail-oriented and willing to learn—and because we could vouch that he’d performed well in other assignments for us. He was the first pick for the job.”
What to include on your resume
We’ve seen hiring managers looking for these skills for applications support resumes:
- Scripting and queries, especially SQL, PowerShell and Python
- Support for Microsoft Office Suite, SmartLab, ServiceNow, Autodesk suites, Adobe suites, Worksoft Certify or proprietary applications
- Active Directory experience, even if you’re just adding and deleting users or adjusting permissions
- Running reports
- Documenting issues and resolutions
Common apps support interview questions
- How many applications have you supported?
- What kind of application errors have you resolved?
- What kind of scripting experience do you have?
If you’re still wondering whether applications support is the right career for you—or how to land an interview—you can talk to knowledgeable end user services recruiters across North America. You can speak to one of them about your career aspirations by calling your nearest TEKsystems office. Or search hundreds of applications and tech support jobs now.