Geeks have long reigned supreme in the IT sector. We’re the troubleshooters for offices, the programmers who build the systems, the software engineers, and so much more. Indeed, IT jobs are among the top careers for tech geeks, and in today’s all-digital society, there’s a growing demand for technical specialists. Among these, managed service providers (MSPs) represent one of the most significant new employment opportunities in technology, supporting a variety of critical business services.
What Is An MSP?
MSPs are a kind of third-party IT department. These companies offer everything from remote system monitoring and backup recovery to SaaS solutions, communications tools like VoIPs, and print services. Different companies manage different services, but across the board, MSPs provide businesses with remote service management that allows their clients to focus on what they do best and leave IT issues to the experts.
While MSPs obviously offer a wide range of services that would be in demand regardless of conditions, the fact that they offer remote support means that demand for their services is up since the start of the pandemic. With current conditions in mind, top MSPs are supporting clients during this transition, giving them the tools to keep operating despite the limitations of remote work.
The MSP Career Track
If a career with an MSP is appealing to you, there are several ways to approach this professional path. On the hiring side, managers say MSPs largely hire on soft skills, so if you’ve mastered the tech, you’d do well to focus on communication and presentation skills. This will allow you to demand a higher salary, compared to if you only boasted strong technology abilities. You’ve got the geek credentials – the question is, can you blend them with the client support skills that MSPs demand.
Another way to present yourself as an appealing applicant for a position with an MSP is by focusing on a specific service. Because you’re not acting as the in-house IT department for a small business, where you might be expected to be a jack of all trades, you can highlight your particular expertise. Maybe you specialize in a platform like Microsoft Azure, which drives a huge portion of MSP business. Very few companies expect to hire a staff member who can do it all with equal skill. Instead, you need to sell whatever remote programming skills you think will help you stand out from the pack.
Branching Out On Your Own
Applying to work with an established MSP means you have access to their client base, but it also means molding yourself to someone else’s business model. Given the high level of demand for MSP services right now, you could also consider starting your own MSP company. Such an approach allows you to tailor your offerings to your own skillset, develop niche market services, or anything else that appeals to you. Many clients prefer to work with specialty providers, so although this approach limits your audience, it can actually increase your appeal to those in your target industry.
MSP businesses provide critical customer interactions, but at its core, they’re tech companies, which is why IT geeks dominate the industry. As a growing number of businesses turn to MSPs to handle their core technology needs, knowing how to navigate this industry is a make or break skill. Is this what’s next for you?