Seeking Career/Education Advice - Breaking into the IT world

EvanM29EvanM29 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, new user here. First I just want to thank you all for taking the time to read my post, I really appreciate it. I'm basically at a crossroads in my life, and am just seeking some advice and/or direction given my current situation.

I'm currently 27 years old, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Geography some time back. I enjoyed this, but my main passion since I was young has always involved technology and computers. I can't say exactly why I didn't study this in college, but for one reason or another I chose to go with the liberal arts degree (geography) as this has also always been of interest to me as well. After realizing I may not be able to do too much with the BA in Geography on it's own and after trying my hand at some random jobs after college (restaurant management, benefits admin company, mortgage sales) I've come to the realization that maybe the best path for me to take may involve doing what I always have loved the most - working with computers.

The problem is, I'm completely self-taught as of right now and have no experience in the workplace involving IT or support, and I'm worried that this may be a problem considering my age (27). As it stands my knowledge base isn't enormous by any means, but I've built a few computers from scratch, upgraded several, and can generally troubleshoot and solve any basic issues myself or friends/family may run into (this obviously isn't worth anything, but just trying to provide background information).

There are a few things I'm considering given my situation, and this is where I'm looking for advice. Please keep in mind my undergrad GPA was a 2.5 (I know, I should have done better). Anyways, what I'm thinking is I could either..
  1. Apply to Masters programs in IT/Networking at accredited universities in the area and give it a try despite the 2.5 GPA, and work on certifications as soon as I can. Prerequisites may be daunting though, as my Bachelors degree I already have is in an unrelated field.
  2. Go for an Associates Degree in networking or Information Systems at a local community college and spend significantly less money/time. I would of course supplement this with as many certifications as possible.
  3. Not even try, and look elsewhere for work since I'm probably too far behind already at 27 to get moving in the IT/Network admin world.
Any advice (positive or negative) is greatly appreciated, as I am willing and ready to work my butt off (even at very low pay for quite a while) to try to break into this world, but I cannot figure out what path (if any) would leave me with a realistic opportunity to build a career given my situation. Many thanks.


  • Options
    JaneDoeJaneDoe Member Posts: 171
    You not going to get into a masters program worth your time with GPA of 2.5, but you could do another bachelors in computer science in the same amount of time it would take you to get your associates. If you don't want to go back to school, getting certified and starting at the bottom is a good way to start. Certifications will be more important for you because you have an unrelated degree, but lots of people are successful in IT without a computer science degree.

    If you work for a small business and you take care of their tech, put that on a resume for IT jobs. Try to help the people who fix computers at your office when something breaks, and see if they'll show around and/or provide a reference for you. Take the A+ exam and apply for basic help desk jobs, then work your way up in the IT world while going for more advanced certifications.
  • Options
    TybTyb Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    27 isn't late, I had didn't get my AAS in IT until 39. I luckily landed a decent job 2 months after I graduated, so don't rule out because you think you're too old. If that is what you want to do and enjoy the field, go for it.
    WGU BS:IT Security (March 2015)
    WGU MS:ISA (February 2016 )
  • Options
    mjdbb1mjdbb1 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You said you have a decent knowledge-base with systems, troubleshooting, etc, and supporting friends and family. I was in a situation not totally unlike yours and put a brief ad on Craigslist about computer help and, through good work and word-of-mouth, now function as a consultant for many small businesses (as well as home users). I tried to focus on small businesses because it gave me a lot of experience with more complicated situations. I've learned more through this process than I would have ever imagined. Granted it's not my full-time gig, but it's given me invaluable experience. I also earned a few Microsoft certifications, to try to put some of my skills on paper (also a great learning experience).

    The lack of a degree may limit you somewhat down the road, but you mentioned having the option of looking at a community college associate's degree. If I were you, I'd consider that, but in the meantime try to get some experience out there with businesses, home users, whatever you can get. Doing good work and having people willing to recommend you or put your name out there can really work wonders! Good luck!
Sign In or Register to comment.