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In the US, over 18 million students are enrolled in close to 4000 colleges and universities. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are also 3.5 million staff members, including faculty and administration. 

Now add all their devices and technology to the mix, such as personal laptops and tablets, shared PCs, printers, smartboards, and networks, and the result is very busy, very buzzing IT departments.

Colleges come in all shapes and sizes. In 2023, Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona –  the largest in terms of enrollment – had 103,072 students. Contrast that with the smallest institution, Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina, with 410 students enrolled

However big or small, IT departments in higher education all face similar issues: cybersecurity, regulatory demand, and a never-ending flow of tickets.

Why college IT help desks are so busy

The typical IT help desk on US college campuses will always be somewhere on the spectrum of ‘buzziness’. Thousands of devices in use at any one time, several networks monitored and managed 24/7, multiple support tickets arriving every hour, plus staff, faculty, and students constantly knocking on the door, and never-ending emails and chat requests for IT support. 

The school calendar also comes into play. There are large fluctuations in active device-to-monitored device ratio, depending on the time of year. Spring break will of course be less buzzing than mid-semester. This phenomenon is not seen in other industries, where demand for IT service and support remains steady all year. 

Let’s not forget remote learning and flexible work arrangements, which have become more commonplace in higher education and put extra challenges on the plates of IT departments.

IT help desks at colleges in the US: the buzz factor

The size of the student body, the number of endpoints, how many IT teams are operating across campus, and the volume of IT support requests coming in – all affect what’s going on in the college IT department. 

There are other unpredictable and hard-to-measure factors that contribute to the load on IT teams, and these change from semester to semester, day to day, and even hour to hour. 

So we decided to wade through the data and quantify the buzz factor of college IT departments. It started with an analysis of online search data for IT help desks at hundreds of US universities, divided by the number of faculty. This led to a search volume figure for each institution, indicating how buzzing the IT department may be. 

College IT help desks: The rankings

Check out the results of the top 50 IT help desk departments at US colleges and universities ranked for buzz factor, according to online search volume. Where does your IT team fit?

What every education IT help desk needs: control and efficiency

IT professionals in the education space face a unique constellation of challenges. With the right approach, the incessant buzz of the college IT help desk can become a controlled hum, turning potential chaos into smoother efficiency. 

Explore IT in education today and contact Atera to find out how our all-in-one, AI-powered IT management solution can transform your IT department.  

Unlock the buzz: Top 50 Buzzing IT Help Desks in US Colleges & Universities

Discover which colleges lead in IT help desk buzz. Gain insights into the busiest IT departments in US higher education

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