Looking for IT career: where do I start?

techbballtechbball Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
hi, I'm a 29 year old with a BA in Communication. I'm into computers and mobile technology and have a knack for technology in general. As far as experience goes, I don't have much job experience, no certificates, and not a ton of knowledge in networking, programming, etc. I know basic things and can navigate my way around differing technologies. I do have some experience with tutoring in a community college computer lab and I can type over 70 WPM. I don't have too many skills with specific programs or hardware.

What I have been wanting to do is get a help desk position, as a friend had advised me a while back. From there I figure I can venture into another field in IT. Now what I'm wondering is, based on my experience and skills, how do I successfully get into the IT field or get a help desk position? I've looked at various job descriptions for help desk, and I lack many of the skills and knowledge they ask for. Skills such as knowing how to use Active Directory, Network/Client Operating Systems, any programming, troubleshooting problems, network and computer security, MS Office (I know some things, but I'm not advanced in it), etc. I know the help desk is there to help resolve computer issues, which I might have some basic skills in, but I tend to seek help online for any computer problems I encounter or help others with.

I have had an interest in Android mobile phones and would like to work in that field such as in programming for Android. I have been wanting to get into programming in general because of the pay. I'm unsure what specific area I should go into though. I might want to venture into web design or networking too.

So anyways, where do you all suggest I start? I appreciate any help.

Comments

  • tjh87tjh87 Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Without experience or basic knowledge in any one technology, you should start by looking online, picking up books, and doing self training. If you can afford it, take formal classes. Look at studying for and obtaining the basic CompTIA certifications (A+, Network+, Security+). Keep your eyes open for entry-level help desk positions that require no prior experience (good luck). I don't know where you are located but look into volunteering for local computer repair shops. You have a degree in something somewhat relevant, so that could help. Those basic CompTIA certs will help get your foot in the door, but finding any position these days without experience is hard. Talk to people in your area to see if you can get a "hook up" on a basic desktop support position. I don't know if you are employed now or what you have been doing for the past few years, but don't expect anything even remotely high paying starting out. From what I am hearing, 20-30k (depend on location) is the average for entry-level help desk.

    Once you get your foot in the door, learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. Also, try to figure out which area of IT you want to lean toward (servers, networks, security, etc.) and take off in that path. I, and most people on here, would suggest specializing in one of those areas. Specialties tend to pay more and are in more demand once you get relevant experience. Good luck!
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
  • TechGuy215TechGuy215 CISSP, CEH, CHFI, CCNA: R&S, CCNA: Security, ITIL-F, LPIC-1, A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Projec Philadelphia, PAPosts: 404Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    First and foremost, figure out your direction. Take a look at the different IT positions available, i.e. Networking, Programming, InfoSec, etc...and see which one of those positions interest you most and that you have the highest aptitude for.

    Next, either pursue a Degree in IT, take some boot camps, or self-study/lab some certs. Not to be offensive but your WAY to green to start applying, even an entry-level job would be out of reach.

    Bottom line is you need some experience, if not from work then AT LEAST from schooling or studying.

    You're going to have to put in some serious work!! Wish you the best!
    * Currently pursuing: PhD: Information Security and Information Assurance
    * Certifications: CISSP, CEH, CHFI, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:R&S, CWNA, ITILv3, VCA-DCV, LPIC-1, A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Project+, and many more...
    * Degrees: MSc: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; BSc: Information Technology - Security; AAS: IT Network Systems Administration
  • tjh87tjh87 Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    TechGuy215 wrote: »
    Not to be offensive but your WAY to green to start applying, even an entry-level job would be out of reach.

    Bottom line is you need some experience, if not from work then AT LEAST from schooling or studying.

    You're going to have to put in some serious work!! Wish you the best!

    I don't think it hurts to apply. I've seen true entry-level help desk positions that required zero prior experience. My previous company offered these every once in a while. They took pride in developing people from the ground up and those people often ended up doing really well. Granted, these are few and far between. But yes, to the OP, I hope you realize just how high of a hill you have left to climb on this one. As TechGuy215 said, you are the definition of "green."
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
  • techbballtechbball Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the advice guys!

    What do you guys mean by me being "green"?

    As far as other experience that's job related, I have good customer service skills as I've worked customer service jobs in the past. I currently work in hospitality. I also have basic clerical skills, such as filing, typing, faxing, and some copying. Do you think these skills will help with an entry-level help desk job?

    Let's say I wanted to do Android programming. Where do you think I should start? Obtaining certificates and studying books on programming?
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Posts: 1,210Member
    It really is a very good idea to figure out where you are heading to. In other words the area of IT that you wish to pursue a career in.

    If that happens to be programming and developing apps for android, you can do that from home. For example, if networking turns out to be the choice, the most important thing will be to get a job and start gathering experience + studying for certs. However, in order to learn how to code, you need a lot of work that you can do at home. Choose a language, get a few books, sign up for courses and code code code.

    Check out udemy, coursesa and edX - a lot of great free courses that can teach you a great amount of stuff.

    stackoverflow - probably the most popular site out there. It's full of a lot of knowledgeable people who provide great advice and help people. You can read a lot of code there + problems with different solutions.

    Other free online documentation and websites - for instance, Overview — Python v3.3.2 documentation for Python.
    Once you choose a language, take a look at the Head First books for that language - I like them a lot and they are highly recommended by a lot of people. Although, once you make your choice, I'm sure you will find the most suitable books.

    The most important thing is to code. Don't get caught up in reading. When you read a piece of code, write it out on your own and play with it.

    EDIT: When it comes to programming, certs aren't that important.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • tjh87tjh87 Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    techbball wrote: »
    What do you guys mean by me being "green"?

    You're brand new with no experience; new to the industry.
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
  • techbballtechbball Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the advice. I'll have to do some more thinking on where I want to go with IT.

    tjh87, oh ok. I do have some experience with building computers from various parts. I took a look at some sample questions of a comptia test and some of them were familiar to my knowledge, but others I guessed an answer or didn't know. I'll have to look into some of these things you guys suggested. Thanks!


    As far as job requirements go for a help desk position, how much knowledge and experience do you guys think a person would need to obtain that type of job? Do people really have to know and have skill in all the requirements of a particular help desk job, or can they have some of experience? For example, let's say the job asks for Problem solving of computer issues, network and security experience, active directory, microsoft office, customer service, etc. What if a person has experience with resolving computer problems and network experience, but doesn't know anything about active directory? From your guys experience, do you all know what businesses would do in terms of whether to hire or not a person with the above experience?
  • tjh87tjh87 Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Companies usually post job descriptions with wish lists. Meaning that the requirements are a best case scenario. So no, the person they normally hire does not meet every single requirement. Its best to meet as many as those as possible and show interest in learning the other areas.
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
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