How to Launch/Upgrade Your Career in ITSM


How to Launch/Upgrade Your Career in ITSM

IT Service Management, most commonly referred to as ITSM, may seem a simple profession, but it is more than just providing the IT services to users. However, the core concept behind ITSM is the belief that IT should be provided as a service. However, in a wider spectrum, ITSM means the management of end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers by the IT teams. It includes all the methods and activities to create, design, delivers, and ultimately support IT services.

The professional progress of ITSM has been encouraging over the years, and the demand for ITSM professionals is continuously on the rise. According to a report by with the title of Information Technology Service Management Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 – 2025), the IT Service Management (ITSM) market value is expected to grow from USD 6.41 billion in 2019 to USD 12.19 billion till 2025. This growth is powered by organizations preferring to implement ITSM solutions to standardize their processes through controlled delivery and documentation.

The following article is helpful for people embarking on the journey of ITSM or people who are already ITSM professionals. It’ll help you understand what you need to do for advancement.

Why Choose a Career in ITSM?

No matter what the industry sector is, in modern times, organizations heavily depend on their IT infrastructure. ITSM professionals are becoming vital parts of any organization’s success. They are involved in the processes of designing, managing, delivering, and troubleshooting the IT services provided to its end users. Moreover, they are also considered as valued assets in managing the business processes and decision making.

Because of the continuously growing demand for ITSM professionals, they get several job opportunities with high pay scales. According to the data provided by, the average base pay of an ITSM professional in the United States is $125,319 per annum, with the lowest being $68,000 per annum and the highest being $146,000 per annum. Not limited to that, these numbers increase by gaining more experience and certifications. For example, an Information Technology Manager with ITIL certification can earn $ 111,681.87 per annum.

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ITSM Processes

ITSM processes are a set of rules and principles used in the implementation of ITSM frameworks. Some of the core ITSM processes are as under:

  • Service Request Management: Addressing the various service requests by users
  • Knowledge Management: Process of creating, using, and managing the information and knowledge within an organization
  • IT Asset Management: Effective management of all types of IT assets
  • Incident Management: Process of responding to an unforeseen event or service interruption
  • Problem Management: Identification and management of the reasons for incidents
  • Change Management: Effective handling of all the changes that occur in the IT sector

ITSM Careers and Its Career Ladder

There are several ways to start and build a career in ITSM, depending on your qualification, experience, and expertise. The career path of ITSM is categorized into four different specializations:

  1. Service Strategy and Design
  2. Service Transition
  3. Service Operation
  4. Project Management

Most top-level positions fall in the category of Service Strategy and Design (Business Relationship Manager, IT Architect, etc.). In contrast, Project Management and Service Operation categories hold entry-level positions (IT Support Technician, Service Desk Technician, IT Project Support, etc.). Moreover, mid-level management roles can be found across all four categories.

To advance in your career from entry-level to the top-level managerial roles, attaining different levels of ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) certification or other relevant certifications during your career is highly suggested. If you are looking for more specific and specialized roles, other certifications like MSP or PMP can be beneficial for your growth. The right mix and match of qualifications and professional experience will eventually let you focus on the right path.

Let’s move forward and discuss some recognized roles in the ITSM field, the required skills, and useful qualifications that will help you boost your performance and efficiency level.

IT Project Support or IT Support

One of the entry-level positions that you can set your sight on in the ITSM field is IT Project Support or IT Support. As their names suggest, these supportive roles will require you to be involved with teams working on a particular project. You will also be expected to provide support in the various aspects of the project’s activities.

The typical roles that professionals can switch to after attaining adequate knowledge and experience are IT Project Manager, Service Level Manager, and Service Desk, Technician.

Useful Qualifications or Certifications:

The recommended qualifications that can help professionals to polish their knowledge and skills in an IT project environment at this level are:

  • ITIL Foundation
  • MSP Foundation
  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • Management of Risk (MoR) Foundation
  • P30 Foundation

Service Desk Technician

The job role of Service Desk technicians is to provide technical support to users with their software/hardware. The type of support can include: technical faults fixing, responding to a query, completing a service request, and even offering assistance with user accounts, user rights, passwords, and basic level administration. Professionals at this level require the skills of identifying and diagnosing issues, advising users with appropriate actions, record keeping of reported queries, and escalating unresolved problems.

After gaining sufficient exposure and experience as a Service Desk Technician, you can move to the next level job roles, which include: Service Desk Manager / Supervisor, Project Coordinator, Application Support Analyst, etc.

Useful Qualifications or Certifications:

The following certifications can be helpful for professionals to work and advance in their career:

  • Certification of Service Operation
  • Operational Support and Analysis certification
  • ITIL Intermediate (All components)

IT Operations Manager

The IT Operations Manager is considered a pivotal position in organizations. Depending on the organizational structure, the roles and responsibilities of this broader leadership role can vary in magnitude. Some of the tasks of an IT Operations Manager are:

  • Management and implementation of IT services in line with the benchmarked principles and methods of the (e.g., ITIL)
  • Management of the service desk and problem-solving
  • Monitoring and scrutiny of overall performance
  • Problem tendencies and user feedback
  • Development of Service Level Agreement (SLA) templates
  • Working as a point of problem escalation for IT services provided to the user
  • Ensuring service excellence and providing recommendations for on-going improvements in the strategy of service management

After gaining a significant amount of experience at this level with the exposure of problem handling, professionals are still required to get themselves certified with relevant training programs to fill in knowledge gaps to improve their performance. After getting relevant certifications coupled with ample years of experience, prospective professionals can jump to the higher roles of Business Relationships Manager or CIO.

Useful Qualifications or Certifications:

Some of the certifications that professionals can look forward to at this level for senior roles are:

  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Service Operation
  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Operational Support and Analysis
  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Service Strategy
  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Continual Service Improvement

Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer is considered a vital position among the top-level roles in the ITSM field. Some of the specific responsibilities of a CIO include:

  • Outlining the IT strategy of an organization
  • Risk management
  • Management of all activities of the Information Services (IS) department
  • Carry out and negotiate complex contracts
  • Giving recommendations for improvement to senior management
  • Guarantee of reliability and confidentiality
  • Providing security and integrity of all information systems in compliance with SLAs

Useful Qualifications or Certifications:

A professional working as CIO can hugely benefit from the following list of certifications:

  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Service Strategy
  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Service Design
  • ITIL Intermediate Module for Continual Service Improvement

What is ITIL? How It Can Help with Your ITSM Career

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a handy framework for organizations that wish to support their ITSM as per their needs. The implementation of this framework can also be beneficial in ensuring risk management, improving customer relations, and making cost-effective IT practices.

For many years and counting, ITIL has established itself as a benchmark and industry-standard best framework to manage, support, and align ITSM with the critical needs of any particular organization. ITIL certification is an excellent opportunity that provides ITSM professionals with a sound understanding of the framework, which is considered vital while building an ITSM framework.



What is ITIL?

In simpler terms, ITIL is defined as a set of rules and practices for ITSM. It covers every activity that includes planning, designing, operating, delivering, and managing IT services and products. ITIL is focused user-focused and accentuates on improving processes.

The latest version of the ITIL framework is ITIL 4 that aims to help organizations to increase the value addition of their IT products and services. It also helps to strengthen customer experience, process efficiency, and digital transformation. Furthermore, it lets organizations implement new ways of working, such as Agile, Lean, and DevOps.

How can ITIL Certification be Beneficial?

ITIL is designed in a way to help professionals to understand IT infrastructure and service management procedures better. Moreover, organizations that provide IT services should understand the ITIL framework to achieve its advantages of improved efficiency, process consistency, and effective change management. Besides being beneficial for organizations, from a professional’s perspective, ITIL is the most sought after certification that organizations prefer while hiring.

ITIL certification provides the following benefits to ITSM professionals:

  • Improved Knowledge and Skill: While preparing for the certification exam, professionals get more insights into ITIL and how to effectively use it to increase their productivity and being a valued resource.
  • Holistic Approach: ITIL lets professionals gain the handy skills that help in attaining a better understanding of the bigger picture and contribute accordingly. It, in turn, can boost the chances of better employment and promotion opportunities.
  • Higher Pay Scales: ITIL is one of the most preferred ITSM certifications by the employers, and professionals with this certification can get a substantial increase in pay scales.

The Roadmap to Become ITIL Certified Professional

If you are an ITSM professional and want to improve your skillset as an ITSM professional, getting ITIL certified is a recommended option. Let’s go into brief detail at the certification basics to help you get started.

ITIL 4 Foundation

ITIL 4 Foundation is the basic level of ITIL certification. It aims at the professional getting started in their ITSM profession. ITIL foundation serves as an introduction to the framework while providing the aspirants with a real-life operating model. With the help of this module, professionals can learn to create, deliver, and persistently improve the utility of IT-related products.

ITIL 4 Managing Professional

ITIL 4 Managing Professional is an advanced step module of this certification. This module lets the professionals pursue more in-depth and detailed knowledge of the ITSM frameworks. This particular module offers practical and technical knowledge and skills to run IT-enabled services, workflows, and teams.

There are four further modules within this level:

  • ITIL 4 Specialist Create, Deliver, and Support
  • ITIL 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL 4 Specialist High-velocity IT
  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve

ITIL 4 Strategic Leader

ITIL 4 Strategic Leader is the second intermediate course of ITIL 4. With the help of this module, professionals get insights on the increased value of ITIL for IT operations as well as tech-enabled products and services. Besides, this module imparts the knowledge of the importance of the need to align business strategy with IT strategy.

ITIL 4 Master

ITIL Master is the top-level certification of the ITIL 4 certification scheme. By attaining this module, the professionals can demonstrate their abilities to apply the ITIL framework in real-life conditions. ITIL Master professional comprehends all ITIL rules and processes that are offered in the Foundation to Strategic Leader modules.

The Bottom Line

ITSM is moving at the core of the organization’s modernization. Software-powered services are on a continuous rise, and so is the need for ITSM professionals. Starting a career in ITSM has a great scope in the future as it offers better job opportunities and higher pay scales, among other IT related fields.

Connect with our experts at QuickStart for more information. 

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