Decided to pursue a career in IT but don’t know where to start? This is the article that you need to read! In just a short time we can give you 6 Practical Tips For Becoming an IT Professional. Whether it’s getting Cisco certified or studying C++, the same principles apply! So take a minute and peruse our guide, it could change your life!
Information Technology is one of the most challenging, rewarding, and fastest growing sectors in the job market worldwide. In fact, learning to work in-depth with computers and other devices boosts your skillset to be highly desirable in all career fields. That being said, the tech sector is one of the few job markets where you can find a dream job regardless of your likes and dislikes. Whether it’s programming for google or creating art assets for a Video Game company, the tech sector has unique fun jobs that are rewarding. Yet, it can be intimidating. Just the mention of the word IT makes many people think of a dark closet where a worker slaves over a desktop for hours in the dark. That may even be true in some cases! Within the computer-industry though are literally millions of jobs that can change your life and bring true satisfaction and joy. Not to mention great wages!
So come along and join us as we share 6 practical tips for becoming an IT professional!
Find a low-level entry job
First let’s dispel the rumour that only the smartest and most-qualified candidates can find a job working with technology. There are actually MANY low-level entry jobs that even a recent high-school graduate can start at. Really, this isn’t a challenging business to get into but the more training and quality that you bring to the table, the better your options and quality of jobs. Just like working in food service, entry-level jobs are less about equipping you to be the best and the brightest but rather exposing you to the working world in a specific career field and teaching foundational skills.
Many businesses have an entry level position that entails some basic training with computer repair or networking and learning to be familiar with the key concepts of different certifications (Such as CompTia 901 and 902 Exams). Some examples are the non-mobile Geek-Squad at Best Buy, an Apple Store, Microsoft Store, or even a store such as Staples. These office supply and electronics chains usually have positions involving basic computer skills and Many a great IT professional spent hours honing skills at a local computer shop before getting proficient enough to get a job in the Tech Sector. With big-business tech often you will have the benefit of paid for training sessions such as taking Microsoft certified courses. Instead of being intimidated, look around and see if you can find a foundational job to pay the bills and educate you while you study and learn!
The Job Market is full of positions but HIGHLY competitive. In fact some larger companies use software to automatically sort and discard resumes that don’t fit some reestablished guidelines such as using the right resume language. Many of the skills that you ALREADY know how to do are premium skills on a resume but to a techie seem like overkill to put down (Microsoft Office for instance). It seems ridiculous in this modern world that “Expert in Microsoft Office” would be important on a resume, but it is! Unfortunately though, many of us don’t realize what companies want. By looking at what programs you use, the technology you are proficient in, and the certs you know, you can make a resume shine or even take a couple of weeks to learn that one skill that helps you seal the deal in the job market. Sometimes an employer will hire someone just for having a specific certification over someone who doesn’t, regardless of many other important factors such as experience. Since the field is so specialized and intimidating, employers don’t necessarily understand what goes into Information Technology jobs and often have to guess at what the best employee would look like. This creates strange demands and expectations. You might not feel particularly skilled, but with the right focus you can make a stunning resume. After all they are looking for someone who knows something they don’t!
Purchase Parts, Build A Desktop, Install an OS, and Repeat
Building a computer is one of the most fulfilling Information Technology tasks that you can pursue. It appears the barrier to entry is years of experience with selecting parts, putting them together, and making it work correctly. Yet modern computers are a lot less like the primitive discombobulating machines from the last few decades. With the invention of the internet, a large consumer market, and the explosive growth of PC Gaming, building a computer has turned into a rite of passage for those in the IT world. Learning what each part does, why one part is better than another, which OS is right for the situation, and putting it all together is an invaluable experience that will boost your confidence and show you that you can find work in the ITech world. While on the surface it may not look like it, modern PC-Building is far closer to putting together legos than one usually realizes. There are specific rules and options that help guide you while giving enough freedom to really build many different styles of PC on a budget. Best yet, after building it, a PC can be disassembled and parts changed out to practice more and more. It’s even possible to finally start doing this with upcoming OSX models as Mac is now testing modular PC builds. The most practical thing you can do is get your hands on some parts and start learning what makes a computer function! You can also get some practice with a Virtual Machine if you are interested in a certification such as the VCP6-DCV to become a VMware Associate!
Find A Mentor
Find someone who can teach you the ropes on Tech in person! Perhaps someone in your social circle is looking for some help. Another option is looking into a local religious or community centre. In fact even local stage and theater companies love interns and volunteers in all sorts of technical capacity. There are numerous places across the world that use technology in an unpaid but professional capacity. Often these places have a rotating group of volunteers who maintain the systems out of passion and love for both digital living and the community. While each community is different, this can be a great place to find a mentor who is likely volunteering and willing to take someone alongside them to raise them up into a high-quality worker. Often these mentors have access to complex equipment and skills as well that you can apply in order to learn the trade. This is one of the most practical places to connect with a mentor and start your journey into becoming a professional!
Pursue a Tech Certification
Tech Certification is one of the key ways to enter the IT world. Currently there are many certifications that show whether or not you are proficient in some area, from Hardware to Software and far more. Learning a programming language and studying computer science is immensely practical if you are entering into a Tech field but for those looking to hit the ground running (Who doesn’t like a nice job WHILE they go to school) certs are one of the best options. Certs are basically certificates that state you are capable of handling specific Tech skills. Some certs are in demand more than others, some take years to achieve, but there are many that can be learned in a handful of weeks with rigorous studying and training.
For a general Tech we recommend starting any number of certifications. Really many of them teach a range of broad skills with some specific ones as well. With the CompTia 901 and 902 A+ certification you learn a good mix of skills. This basic cert walks you through Hardware, Software, Networking, and other necessary things to become a certified Tech. Other possible certifications include the Cisco CCNA courses that teach the in-demand skill of network management, create, design, engineering and more. ISACA is great for meeting the needs of IT security, a skill that is desired more and more as the world changes.
Take Some Online Tests!
Still, all of this, it’s a bit imposing. Learning about working with devices when you may not even know what you are supposed to learn! One our favorite resources is Exam-labs. They offer free Tech exams that walk you through HUNDREDS of current exam questions. Going online and taking one of the FREE practice exams, whether it is for 901 A+, ISACA, PMP, CISCO, Microsoft Courses, or HUNDREDS MORE, Exam-labs is an incredible way to get a practical view into the knowledge needed for becoming an IT professional. All you need to do is go to website and select from one of the many tests and in a few moments you can learn something new and see if you like a specific cert path!
Some paths to consider include VMware, PMP for Project Management, Citrix for Cloud based stuff, MSCE for Microsoft, CCNA, or many more. You can literally spend years studying on Exam-labs.com and not exhaust the amount of available curriculum, exams, and learning potential. Best yet, this means you have an incredible amount of opportunity when it comes to learning an IT trade. Don’t just take our word for it though, take some time and peruse the tests. Maybe you’ll find a burgeoning love for a Cisco Certified Network Engineer that you never knew, or see a career that you should avoid! There is so much to learn!
Thanks for joining us!
Hopefully this guide gave you some help by providing 6 practical tips for becoming an IT Professional! As one of the most rewarding fields to work in, we are excited to see people fall deeply in love with troubleshooting computers, building networks, making apps, and just changing the world. Be sure to check back for more Tech Tips and take some free exams! The worst that could happen is that you learn a few new things.