How did you get into IT?

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSMMember Posts: 2,712 ■■■■■■■■■□
I originally graduated with a lame duck bachelors in management from a state school and because of my poor decisions I ended up working in HR/supply chain for ~5 years and sales another 5 before eventually scraping my playbook at age ~30 and rebooting on the help desk.

I reached out to a contracting agency and was filled for a position tier 1 help desk, making 15.50 an hour..... A huge pay decrease from where I was at before.

In the end it paid off, but it took a lot of work and patience.

I'd like to hear you story how you got into technology. I always enjoy reading these types of "stories".


  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    I was a data management assistant for my lab. They needed a laison for the main office in regard to connectivity. I volunteered. The rest, as they say is history.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • LonerVampLonerVamp OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nothing special. Long-time video gamer from the 80's and 90's that had moved into PC gaming in the mid 90s; lost in college. Decided technical stuff was ok for a career as I had some experience getting games to run/work. Got an MIS degree and kept with it.

    More specialization: Fast forward to graduation and job-hunting, I picked up a "Hacking Tools" sort of book from Barnes & Noble, and fell in love with information security.

    (And by "decided," it was a pretty low period of time for me and having no real idea where to go with life and a career.)

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCMember Posts: 897 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I was walking down the street one day and someone said "Hey, you're tall and handsome, I have a job for you!". I was expecting the worst, and then they put me on the helpdesk and it was ooohhhh so much worse.

    Just kidding, always into tech, got a CIS degree, got IT jobs. Some sucked, some were pretty great.
  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 179 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Worked in telecom as a field tech for several years and always enjoyed the networking side. Finished my A.S in Network Infrastructure and got my first IT gig. Hopefully it pays off.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    IT was always just a secondary aspect of my actual job.

    Since my department worked with computers we were tasked with fixing all things technical. After enough years of this I got certified for A+ and eventually IT became a part of my job. In the near future I plan to transition into my second career as an IT professional.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Went to college for a BS in Information Systems. Got an internship working on websites. Got an entry level help desk position after graduating.

    I know what you're thinking... pretty exciting! I know
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I was very fortunate because I've always liked computers as a child. I learned about computers by reading Circuit Cellar and other columns in Byte magazine. Steve Ciarcia's was someone that I considered very cool.

    Computer tech has always been a hobby and I am very lucky that it's also a big part of my career.

    The first computer that I had access to was a friend's Sinclair. And I used to spend hours on it.
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 495 ■■■■■■□□□□
    LonerVamp wrote: »
    Nothing special. Long-time video gamer from the 80's and 90's that had moved into PC gaming in the mid 90s

    Around 2000 I got my hands on a windows ME Pentium 4 machine and tried to figure out how to get PC games to work. I got hooked on technology and the rest is history. Landed my first IT helpdesk job with an A+ cert and worked my way up from there.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • rj1790rj1790 Member Posts: 110 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Was working in Manufacturing doing manual labor, got tired of working and started studying and got my A+, N+, and Sec+. That led me to get hired as a Desktop support.
    WGU: Network Operations and Security - COMPLETED
    Current Certifications: A+, N+, S+, CCNA R+S, and CCNA Security, CCDA
  • Mike RMike R Member Posts: 148 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I worked my teens through 20s in agriculture. I got into networks and WAN troubleshooting though troubleshooting our connection in World of Warcraft. Eventually I learned enough to talk intelligently with the engineers and found some larger routing issues and local DSLAM issues. Everything kinda grew from there and when my family got out of agriculture I moved across the US and got into IT.

    Still working at my first IT job 2.5 years later. It's that time to move on just haven't had good prospects.
  • ErtazErtaz Member Posts: 934 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I robbed a liquor store. The judge said join IT or go to jail.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,062 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I first got interested in computers in highschool, after highschool I worked as an electricians helper during the day and I attended
    a voc-tech school at nights for two years learning computer programming. I got laid off about 6 months before I gaduated, it was the resession of 1990. After I graduated, I couldn't find a job in IT anywhere, I ended up getting a summer job at Great Adventure (Amusement park) as a security guard because my unemployment ran out. A few weeks before I would have been laid off from the summer job, I got a job as a Computer operator at a Casino in Atlantic city at $7.85 a hour working grave yard shift. (Minimum wage was $4.25 at the time), after a year I was promoted to Lead Operator at $9.00 a hour, but was still stuck on grave. After another year, I was finally able to get off of Grave shift and started working Swing shift. From there it was four years on swing shift, till I got promoted as the Hardware Tech at 32K a year I think, I learned a lot after that, network wiring, configuring network swithces, managing servers. etc.

    The interesting part of this story was when I worked in operations, we would post openings for computer operators and NO one would apply. People were able to earn more money selling change ($10 a hour) for the slot machines on the casino floor then working in a skilled job like computer operations. In the end this wasn't the wisest things to do, career wise. In a few years change was replaced with bar coded tickets that people could redeem for cash in an ATM type machines. The Casino's once provided a lot of people a good living, from selling Change, Slot attendants, Slot Techs, Dealers, security, with tips these people were earning 40k+ a year, at that time average wages were around 20k to 25k. Those days are long gone, there are a lot few jobs, and a lot less tipping. It's a struggle to make a good living in the Casino Industry, where once it was easy street.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • JCloudJCloud Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I was a Radioman in the military, but a new IT rate opened up around 2000 and jumped on board. They sent me to college for 2 years to complete my degree. Retired and moved right into a contractor sysadmin role. Worked out great.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Member Posts: 363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Wasted my youth working retail, decided to go back to college with the intent of learning programming. Predator IT coordinator for the local community college never let it slip that the CS program in another college was I what I wanted.

    And that's how I ended up at a Help Desk at an MSP doing things that no sane person would ever let Tier 1 Help Desk do in-house.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • MattFranks94MattFranks94 Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    IT apprenticeship for entry level help desk
  • RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
    1) Tech support for an ISP in high school.
    2) IT analyst for state government while in college
    3) Unix admin straight out of college... and for 7 years over 3 companies
    4) Promotion to senior infrastructure engineer... 1.5 years
    5) Sr. Consulting engineer (just starting)

    Salary has risen 5x more than first sysadmin job out of college
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandMember Posts: 430 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I struggled for years. Always been into IT since I had been a child. By the time I had finished college in 2003, no one was interesting in employing me because the IT boom in the 2000's had happened and it was over saturated with people who only worked in IT for the money and had no passion for it. Which leads onto the problems we have today in the industry but that's a different story.

    So queue the few years of working in dead end call centre jobs until I got for my first IT role doing 2nd line support for a law firm because I got on well with the supervisor.

    A small case of not what you know but who you know.
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP, Azure Fundamentals, Security+.

  • MattFranks94MattFranks94 Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Flunked college. My two years there I did A levels and just messed around. Didn't get enough of a good score to go to a good Uni, and I didn't like the idea of getting into debt either. So I started an IT apprenticeship which turned out to be the best decision of my life.

    Came out of it with my A+ and 2x MTA's. Got my 'second' IT job as a junior sysadmin (after working in an IT repair shop). Started off on a basic salary and did my Net+. After being made redundant I hoped around a couple of jobs while getting more certs under my belt. 5 years later and a lot of hard work later and I'm now a sysadmin working on an MoD site earning a decent salary (literally tripled from my first sysadmin job).

    Did you do an Apprenticeship level 4? I'm in the same position as you but just starting out.
  • PseudonymousPseudonymous Ninja Member Posts: 78 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As a kid I had dial up internet and a slow family PC with a 20GB hard drive (that I kept filling up with Age of Empires saves). Honestly I was kind of a bad kid. I spent most of my free time trying to learn to be a hacker (mostly just to the family computer by bypassing logins, privileged access, and installing keyloggers), but I really had a passion for learning how computers worked in general too.

    As I got older I realized exactly what I want to do. Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking has ALWAYS been something I've been fascinated with. Not because I want to do anything illegal. I just like finding flaws in programs and finding ways to exploit them. I still feel like I have a long road to getting to that point in my career, but I'm learning as I go and I love it.
    Certifications: A+, N+, S+, CCNA: CyberOps, eJPT, ITIL, etc.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm curious about the various folks that mentioned IT apprenticeships. I wasn't familiar with it and from what I've read around so far - it looks like a great concept for people to start. Is this a common method in the UK? And are there other folks here in other countries that started in IT through apprenticeships? The apprenticeship model looks to be a lot more structured than the internship concepts in the US.

    This has been an interesting thread to read.
  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Moved to an area where IT is #1, so switched career to IT.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    Natural passion. Started messing with a Commodre 64 at the Sears display back in the 80s. I was hooked right there. Fast forward to high school and due to being a nerd opportunities came left and right to make money via my tech skills. I ended up designing and operating a complete video post-production and 3D graphics systems for my high school. This got me a job secured as soon as I went to college (word spread that I knew this system better than anyone). College was a big deception as my tech skills were light years ahead of what I was "learning". Quit college 2.5 years in (completed it many years later), went to do dekstop support at a Fortune 500 (sub contract) and never looked back. From there I did desktop > network > servers > and now security.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,712 ■■■■■■■■■□
    dave330i wrote: »
    Moved to an area where IT is #1, so switched career to IT.

    Dave I work with a few people who have bachelors and some masters in mechanical engineering. They are now software developers, ETL devs or architects. Truth be told, they are damn good at their jobs too.

    Sounds like they may have run into the same scenario you did.
  • Basic85Basic85 Senior Member Member Posts: 176 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As a first job going from a useless bachelors degree, I put my resume up on job boards than got called from a recruiter for an entry level help desk job. Unfortunately, that only last for about 6 months than I got a call center job that lasted for 2.5 years until I got laid off.
  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Dave I work with a few people who have bachelors and some masters in mechanical engineering. They are now software developers, ETL devs or architects. Truth be told, they are damn good at their jobs too.

    Sounds like they may have run into the same scenario you did.

    Engineering is all about problem solving systematically. That skill translates well to IT.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,233 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Word of mouth. A college professor recommended her top 3 or so students to a local company looking to fill a temp hire slot in business/systems analysis. I bested the other 2 students in the interview. Brick and mortar does have its benefits sometimes. From there a couple years leapfrogging jobs/companies to get better pay.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • jwdk19jwdk19 Member Member Posts: 70 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Joined the Navy and chose the IT rate (job, mos etc.)
  • mzx380mzx380 ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM New YorkMember Posts: 453 ■■■■□□□□□□
    From a post I made a few years ago

    "I've been in IT for over 12 years or rather IT has been in me, but I've never been in it. Personal computer ownership exploded while I was in High School and when it came time for me to go to college, I thought that my love of technology would translate into a steady paycheck for the rest of my working life. When I graduated from college, the job market for IT was in bad shape, and I did not receive my first tech job for close to a year."

    Plugging away ever since
    Certifications: ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I went to a state school as well and got a BS in Accounting. In my junior year I got a job with the campus Computing Services department, doing desktop support for Windows 95 PCs and VAX/VMS terminals. A couple of years after graduating I HATED working in accounting and after having dinner with my friends from the computer lab, I decided to get some formal training and made the jump.

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • Domm362Domm362 A+, Network+ Long Island, NYMember Posts: 26 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I went to college for music education and after student teaching and subbing for a couple of years I realized that I really didn't like it at all. However I've always had a hidden passion for technology and networking, so I recently made a career change into IT. Got my A+ certification in July of this year and plan to take the Network+ exam in a couple of weeks. I start my first IT job next week; really looking forward to it. Eventually I would like to get into cybersecurity but want to solidify my foundation of IT knowledge first.
    "Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners."
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