Career Change into IT

Forest76Forest76 Posts: 5Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm looking to change careers. I've been teaching (English) for 18 years but always been the "unofficial tech guy" in my building (so basically when people can't find the "ANY KEY" I handle it instead of work orders for the IT dept being filled out.)

I know I'll probably lose some money starting a new career and I'm okay as long as I can make 40k+ the first year and move up rapidly. My theory is that in a few years I can be where I was (62k) and move up much more quickly after that. I decided to go into IT because I've always tinkered with it and I'm always reading up on it in my free time (so I guess I'm passionate about it) and of course I enjoy being a fixer.

My question is, where do I start? I've been told A+ Net+ and MCSA, is that the way to go? I'd like to get into the field ASAP (need money coming in) but I have to look to the future as I have a family to support!

Thanks for the help.


  • Jim PruittJim Pruitt Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Here's a thread that just got started and will probably help answer your question:
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,117Mod Mod
    Welcome to the TE forums! Congratulations for making the jump into IT. One of the first things you might want to do is figure out which part of IT you want to get into. You could always be a generalist (less money but a tendency to play with more toys) or specialize (more money but much more specialized and narrow technologies). Most people recommend the CompTIA trio (A+, Network+, Security+) to get their feet wet and help them figure out where they want to go in IT. That Trio will probably run you close to $1000 total for the tests plus the materials to study. It might help you get an entry-level job into the Helpdesk, but if money is an issue or you know where in IT you want to go, it might be better for you to just study the materials, get an idea for what you want, and start studying for more specialized certifications.

    It's up to you but if you want to get into networking, the CCNA is going to get you a LOT more hits for quality jobs right off the bat or if you want to get into system administrator, the MCSE/MCSA will be the way to go to get more hits. I would consider both entry-level certifications,they cost a less than the CompTIA trio exams will, and their ROI will be longer-lasting than the CompTIA trio.

    Also, I would advise you to manage your expectations on pay. A lot of the time, your first IT job isn't going to be making you big bucks. If you're lucky, you might be able to bypass the Helpdesk with some good planning, a little luck, and the right certifications but don't set your expectations to be making a lot of money or even more money than you are now in your first year in IT. I went from a banking job making $35K/year to my first IT job making $24K a year. I was able to go way over double that amount for my second IT job after a year of experience.

    Anyways, good luck on whatever you decide!
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
  • vanquish23vanquish23 Posts: 224Member
    You are already above 90% of the people working in IT since you have taught English for 18 years!
    He who SYNs is of the devil, for the devil has SYN'ed and ACK'ed from the beginning. For this purpose, that the ACK might destroy the works of the devil.
  • W StewartW Stewart Posts: 794Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I agree with Iristheangel. The CCNA is probably going to get you better paying jobs starting off. Prior to my current role, I left a NOC job where I was hired alongside a recent college grad who had no experience and his CCNA. The job was only paying 15 dollars an hour but it's more than what you would start off making as helpdesk in this area. If you start off going the help desk route than you're sure to not only have a difficult time getting your foot in the door, but you'll most likely be making a lot less when you do.
    Being a sys admin sucks but I love it
  • Forest76Forest76 Posts: 5Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the advice from people who have actually gone through the process. I'm okay starting at a low wage (might need a second job) if I can reasonably expect to increase rapidly. I like tech and I want to get in the field but obviously we all have bills and mouths to feed. :)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    You can advance rapidly in IT if you're willing to put in the effort. You'll need to study constantly, accumulate many quality certs and leverage your previous career as much as possible. That's how I did it.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • RenewedRenewed Posts: 7Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Can't really speak on the cert. aspect as I'm a novice to that myself but depending on your specialization, your writing background is excellent for jobs that require technical writing so maybe that's something to start off with.
  • diggitlediggitle Posts: 118Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Do you want to be an engineer, IT project manager, technical writer, Programmer? I assume you already have a masters degree in Teaching.

    --Engineer ---> Comptia Certs/Linux/Microsoft/Cisco/Juniper/etc --> Long time to get out of entry level

    --IT Project Manager ---> Security+ ---> PMP ---> Six Sigma --->CISSP Associate --> Real quick to move up and out especially with your MS degree in teaching (If applicable).

    --Technical Writer ---> Use your Masters Degree in Teaching (if applicable) ---> in high demand.

    I like the military road maps (Information Assurance Managers) (Information Assurance Technician)

    Entry Level Engineer salary start -- 18k (technician/helpdesk)
    Entry Level Manager salary start -- 30k
    Entry Level Technical Writer start - 50K
    c colon i net pub dubdubdub root
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