How did you get started?

importantbrianimportantbrian Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
I was wondering if any of you came from nontechnical educational backgrounds. I for instance majored in history with a minor in international relations. I would like to get into the IT field, and I was interested to see if any of you had a similar background, and if so how did you get into the field?

Comments

  • skrpuneskrpune Member Posts: 1,409
    I have a geology undergrad degree. I segued into IT after a couple years of doing some quasi-IT support-related stuff at previous jobs...I got my A+ and my first IT job was a very unglamorous tech position working with a small, home-based tech support company. The owner/boss was great - he totally took me under his wing and taught me whatever he could. I spent about a year there and learned a ton. I continued to get more certs, then after a relocation, I landed a help desk position with a university - been here just under a year now.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,144 ■■■■■■■■■□
    i didnt come from any other field, i started out at the age of 14 playing with an online compuserve account lol once i found out what the internet was then i started trying to figure out how a computer works and how to build them. Delved into computer 3d graphics, then graphic design, fell out of the IT scene for 2-3 years, got back into it but started from the helpdesk enviornment, went to system support, then to network admin, now im a network engineer. I am a CCNP so i know how to build networks , im going for my ccda and ccdp to better understand how to design a better functioning network. Next will probably be wireless technology.
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2020 Goals:
    Courses: VHL (completed), CQURE: Windows Security Crash Course (completed), BlackHills InfoSec: Breaching the Cloud (completed), eLearnSecurity: WAPTv3 (completed), IHRP (completed), THPv2 (completed), PTXv2 (completed)
    Certs: VHL: Advanced+ (completed), OSCP (completed), AZ-500 (failed 1st attempt), eWPT (failed 2x, no further attempts), eCIR (complete), eCTHPv2 (report: awaiting results), eCPTXv2 (Dec)
    2021: AZ-500, AZ-104, AZ-204, AZ-303, AZ-304, MS-500
  • jnwdmbjnwdmb Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I attended college part time right after high school while working in a factory but never completed my degree. I worked in manufacturing for nearly 13 years before deciding to get make the jump to IT. Not having a degree and lacking a strong technical background (even in the college courses that I had taken) was a legitimate concern for me. I self studied for my MCSE, and after aquiring it, distributed my resume to anyone who would take it......I eventually ended up getting some entry level contract work for a few months just to build my resume with some kind of technical experience until I was able to land a permenant position. It seemed like it would be forever before I landed a well paying non entry level job. In reality, it didnt take me that long to start getting job offers, and I attribute that mainly to my interview skills. My path was not ideal, but it worked for me.
    A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
    MCSA:M, MCSE:S
    (MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
    MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
    MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)
  • GrayhenTorGrayhenTor Member Posts: 43 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Funny, I was thinking about this today ...
    When I was 13/14 a friend had a Tandy TRS 80 and had that command line adventure game on it. I was amazed at the possibilities .. kind of virtual reality even 30 years ago.
    So I saved up for a ZX81 (actually my brother put me out of my misery and bought it for me in the end) . Well, I soon knew the ZX81 ROM pretty well and used to try and emulate the video games of the day.. of course 1K or even 16K of RAM soon got used up with Basic, so I learned Z80 assembler . Even before I had saved up to buy the assembler program I would write the code out on paper and then convert it all to hex characters and enter those onto the machine directly :)
    Then there was the Acorn Electron (couldn't afford a Beeb icon_sad.gif ) and 6502 assembler.
    Then a Comp Sci degree and IBM PCs with the new fangled 5 and a quarter inch floppy disks running DOS and Wordstar.
    Then the real world of work.. Cobol, Natural and C programming for a while for a big insurance corp. Then switched to LAN support to get back to those PCs :)
    Novell Netware was the big thing back then and MS had nothing to touch it in terms of AD/directory services. Sadly, as we all know, I backed the wrong horse there and soon had to cross-train to MS . No problem...
    Been doing various technical and consultant type roles since then...
  • binarysoulbinarysoul Member Posts: 993
    I was wondering if any of you came from nontechnical educational backgrounds. I for instance majored in history with a minor in international relations. I would like to get into the IT field, and I was interested to see if any of you had a similar background, and if so how did you get into the field?

    Just curious why don't you want to stay in your field? Aren't there a lot of jobs in non-profit sector? Or is it you're bored with your field.

    I've studied business, IT and computer science altogether, although I didn't like computer science that much. While in university I worked in IT.
  • importantbrianimportantbrian Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    binarysoul wrote: »
    Just curious why don't you want to stay in your field? Aren't there a lot of jobs in non-profit sector? Or is it you're bored with your field.

    I've studied business, IT and computer science altogether, although I didn't like computer science that much. While in university I worked in IT.

    Good question. There are quite a few jobs in the field if you have an advanced degree in IS or History otherwise you are stuck with management training programs like a lot of other liberal arts majors. So, I've done a little of everything from working on a political campaign to sales. I'm currently a management trainee at a retail company. I have always been the computer guy at the places I have worked, and I enjoy that aspect of the job more than anything else. Unfortunately, I'm not sure any of my experience translates directly to any IT jobs so I would be starting from scratch with no experience.
  • importantbrianimportantbrian Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It seems like a lot of the people here with nontechnical undergrads started out by getting an A+ and then doing a geek squad or help desk kind of job to start out in IT. I've been looking at that or possibly getting my masters in information systems? Is one of those a better path?
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    It's all about getting your foot in the door. I had no certs/no degree/no professional experience (but loved it as a hobby). So, when I moved to TN, I found a local computer company. Was hired on doing shipping/receiving in the warehouse. Got some certs, they moved me into a technical role. Got an associates, found a new job making much more money and much more technical.

    I would like to say, at least you have some experience and know what you are getting into icon_cool.gif There are a lot of people here in different career fields such as car sales, real estate, etc who see a late night ITT Tech commercial or some other IT training commercial, and think it is Easy Money. And once they get a degree, they are golden. It isn't all roses lol. IT is not easy money, and it isn't easy work. Just because you can swap out your RAM on your home PC doesn't mean you can go out and demand 80k/yr lol. The thing is, most of those people who come here thinking IT is easy money and want to get out of ____ career, usually don't stick around here long. IT is just like any other career... it requires long hours, being on call, countless hours of study, social networks, constant learning, etc.

    But you said you have some experience and enjoy it, so that always helps :) I would say the first thing is to get a couple certs (A+ and Net+ helped me get my first IT endeavor relatively quickly). Then find out what you like to do... networking? system administration? porgramming? etc etc etc... IT is a very broad term, there are many professions under the IT realm.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • importantbrianimportantbrian Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It's great to see another resident of the great state of Tennessee! Based on what I've done I'm probably most interested in database administration. Would you still do the A+, Net+ for that or would you jump right into something like the Oracle certifications?
  • steve13adsteve13ad Member Posts: 398 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I started off as a cubicle drone and got to know the IT guy. Eventually he started calling me to help him out around the office. Then he got promoted, and he hired me for his old position.
  • importantbrianimportantbrian Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    steve13ad wrote: »
    I started off as a cubicle drone and got to know the IT guy. Eventually he started calling me to help him out around the office. Then he got promoted, and he hired me for his old position.

    That seems to be a good way to go about it. Sadly my IT guys are in Houston, TX and I don't ever have a chance to speak to them let alone help out.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,360
    I started off as a high school dropout here: http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/5251-yet-another-advice-career-building-post.html

    Took 5 years of hard work in the military, but I'm finally getting to where I want to be.

    work hard, know the right people, never stop learning...oh, and did I mention work hard?
  • RomBUSRomBUS Member Posts: 699 ■■■■□□□□□□
    At my senior year of high school I didn't know quite yet what I wanted to do with my higher learning past HS. I mean I tinkered and read about PCs and PC parts and the amount of capabilites if had and will have but never took it that serious. I began troubleshooting and teaching friends and family on computer related issues and I loved the satisfaction of actually helping someone out that even if I had to take days to research the problem, I always had the "can do" attitude and it payed off!

    One day when I was in my vocational A+ class when we had various guest speakers talking about great IT schools and really wanted to pursue in IT since I thought I kind of had a head start.

    After I graduated from college, it was tough trying to find a job in IT...I worked a few part-time jobs at grocery stores and delivery companies for almost a year total. I finally landed my first IT job through a friend (who's mom was his accountant)...talk about luck. My experience with this job was great and couldn't ask for anything better, the owner of the company (we were a small group...really small) took me under his wing and basically mentored me the hard times and the good times of being in IT. It definitely was tough love because he was quite the hard ass but I think it made me a better IT person. Most of the things (if not all) I have on my resume were learned through this company and I am grateful for it. Even though I am not part of the company anymore I still have a close relationship with them and we talk often.
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