Transitioning Careers from Human Services to Entry Level IT
Hopefully I'm not beating too much of a dead horse here as I know these sorts of threads are remarkably common from my searching.
I have roughly ten years of experience in the human service industry working with people with Developmental Disabilites. Most of this has revolved around group home/ direct care positions. For the past year, I have been working in a more administrative position managing a caseload of individuals, ensuring service/benefit continuation, writing plans and conducting meetings with clients and their service teams. A lot of my job revolves around scheduling meetings, managing multiple priorities and essentially maintaining the level of care they need. I've had a good amount of exposure to Basic HIPPA and the regulations surrounding it (mostly from a "boots on the ground" sort of perspective, as well as a fairly good understanding of the needs of human services agencies and non profit organizations in that field. I'm looking for a change of pace and have been a hobbyist with IT for probably the past decade or so, playing with various flavors of Ubuntu and Windows on my own, building/repairing my own and family systems etc. I have a very basic knowledge of Python and some other languages, but nowhere near anything useful at this point.
I'm currently studying for the A+ 1001 and hope to finish out the cert within the year. I have a BA in Psychology (AAS in Liberal Arts-Social Science as well) and no other real credentials outside of my experience in my current field, so I'm looking to try to leverage this experience into a career in IT if at all possible. I'm not really concerned with starting from the bottom, as I'm not really too deep in my career at the moment, currently making about 40K gross. So long as I can survive on whatever I make, I'm good.
Are there any particular certifications I could get to complement my experience in human services? Perhaps relating to Health IT/ HIPPA? My current agency is under DOH in my state, as well as some other regulatory groups for folks with ID/DD, which leads me to think I can fit that into my resume and apply to non-profits/HS agencies to get a foot in the door.
I'm also considering a move to Texas (notably the DFW area) to be closer to some friends, and I'm likely planning this within a year or two. If I were to get a help desk/ desktop support position and leave the position in 6 months to a year, would that be frowned upon in the industry after the move? I know people change positions often in IT, but I want to make sure I won't be shooting myself in the foot if I manage to get a position in IT in my current city and then move in 6 months and look as if I am job-hopping. The rest of my resume shows dedication to the companies I've worked with, with my only real move being a state-mandated move to a different agency due to regulation changes.
TL;DR: How can I leverage my non profit/human service experience outside of pointing out my soft skills? Are there certifications or other professional development options I should consider? What length of employment is typically necessary to not seem flaky to employers if I were to try to find a position before moving cross-country? The move would likely require me to make ~15/hr, but I'm told from a friend in a position in DFW that this salary is relatively easy to find in the area. Most agencies in my area don't seem to have internal IT and instead contract with other companies to cover their support needs, so I don't know how I would directly leverage my experience outside of targeting myself towards NP/HS providers. Should I wait to make the career change until after I move? Or would any experience be beneficial, regardless of whether I left in 6 months to a year?
I will also likely be losing access to the people I know within the DD field, though outside of supervisors and colleagues, I'm not too deeply entrenched in my field to begin with aside from length of service. I sort of fell into it and it's not really engaging to me anymore. I don't really know too many folks in the IT field in my current area either, so there isn't a professional network that I have here either.
Edit: Thank you for any help you folks can offer. Just looking for as much advice as I can get in the meantime while I consider my options. I accidentally posted this while trying to add tags before I could write this. Whoopsie.