So you want to work in IT.

You have decided on a career change, and you choose an IT career to be your next adventure. Good for you! Are you ready for the uphill learning curve? Have you decided what path within IT you want to pursue (help desk, sys admin, networking, developer, tester, QA, DBA, business analyst, security or consultant)? What have you done to start preparing for this new path? Do you know what resources are available? Where do I start?

A career in IT offers a lot of benefits. There is always new learning opportunities, pay is usually pretty good, job markets most everywhere, not going anywhere anytime soon and fits within all industries to name a few of those benefits. There is also the opportunity to be the company villain, and the hero in the same day (more on that in a minute).

With that said, I have 18 years working in the IT field and with the exception of developer, I have worked in almost all aspects of the IT field. No reason to keep all of the knowledge bottled up, I have decided to spread the wealth for anyone that is interested.

Above I asked some questions that you may be thinking as you start this process, allow me to break them down and help you out.

  • Where do I start?
    • More than just messing with your home computer for gaming or fixing your neighbors computer or adjusting your home WiFi network. IT is something that you have to integrate into your life. You should be constantly learning about new technology, how systems work, or the integration of a thing.
  • Have you decided what path within IT you want to pursue (help desk, system administrator / engineer, networking, developer, tester, QA, DBA, business analyst, project manager, security or consultant)?
    • This is crucial, knowing which path you want to follow down the road will help direct how you get started in this new career field. In IT, not all roads lead to the same place, and some routes are shorter for success than others.
  • Do you know what resources are available?
    • More than I can list, though a good start down below.
  • What have you done to start preparing for this new path?
    • You should be working towards some certifications (A+, Sec+, Net+, Microsoft or networking related)
    • You should start reviewing interview questions / answers and getting a solid understanding of why the answers are what they are
      • You don’t know what you don’t know, and it is OK to say you don’t know during an interview; however be ready for anything
    • Perhaps building a home environment playground
    • Modify your resume to reflect your IT / customer service related skills
    • Work with some recruiting agencies to help get your foot in the door at companies.
  • Are you ready for the uphill learning curve?
    • Taking on this career field is by no means an easy feat. It can resemble the American Ninja Warrior wall climb. When you are brand new the acronyms can be overwhelming and just grasping the basics can be daunting. You should find a mentor and hang on for the ride.

You have chosen a path that can take you far (IT isn’t going away, unless the power goes out). You have multiple avenues available depending on your interest. This career field can possibly help improve your financial stability and provide you with a brain numbing learning experience. It’s not for everyone, though that is a good thing as it keeps the available employee numbers lower.

Free online training materials

Comptia A+

Cybrary

Comptia

ProfessorMesser

4Tests

ExamCompass

Comptia Sec+

Comptia Net+

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Juniper Networks

Cisco

Hopefully this information gets you started in the right direction. Good luck and don’t let it get the best of you!

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