How to get started with in this industry and move onto Linux?

JerryCallahanJerryCallahan Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, I'm a 24 year old guy from Buffalo. And I've taken a few demo classes with Unix/Linux, and I was absolutely blown away. The classes were very hands-on, technical and really intrigued me. And it sparked my interest in the field.

The thing is, I have absolutely no prior experience in working with computers. No certifications and no computer-related degree.

But I really want to get involved in the field. Would I initially have to start with N+ and A+ in order to get a basic knowledge of the fundamentals? And then move onto Linux+ and other certifications?

And would the fact that I have no computer-related degree hurt my chances in the job market? I know experience is really crucial in this field, but I'm willing to work as an Intern for a couple years for zero pay, or minimum-wage pay, so that I can get the skills and experience necessary to move up in this field. I know it's very difficult to break into this field, unless you have experience.

But what do you think is the best route for someone to take in order to progress here?

Thanks in advance


  • linuxloverlinuxlover Banned Posts: 228
    If you can afford not to work for few years DEFINITELY take that route and volunteer. You don't need any certs if you're going to be volunteering, work on your certs as you go. Otherwise, I don't want to discourage you but you stand very little chance if any to get into Linux field like you imagined.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    First step is to find a job any job to start building that experience. A degree would certainly help you find that first job, but it is not impossible without one. The A+ can help you here. I'm not a big fan of the N+ personally.

    Once you start building a resume and credentials you can then start to try to find the more specialized roles like a linux admin for instance.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    From personal experience, I got into a linux admin role with no certifications, a non computer-related degree, but several years spent in a help desk/junior sys admin role.

    To chomp at the bit you have to sharpen your teeth.
  • JerryCallahanJerryCallahan Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies!

    Also, since I have basically zero computer knowledge, I would really have to start from the ground up. Start from the fundamentals. So then A+ would be a good start for me, as I move on towards Linux, am I correct?

    I wanted to do something like this:

    1. Study A+ and then study N+. Just to learn the basic fundamentals.
    2. Study Linux+
    3. Go for the Linux Certification Exam, pass
    4. Work as an Intern for a couple of years, for no pay. Simply to gain experience
    5. While I'm working as an Intern, I can study for my Red-Hat Certified System Administrator Role
    6. Write the Red-Hat Examination, pass
    7. Then, if I'm so lucky to get a job as a Junior Linux-Admin, I can study for the RHCE role and then move on up.

    I'm patient enough to go through with this, even though this will take a few years. I could definitely take on a 2nd job in order to pay my bills, while I work as a Linux Admin for free, essentially working double work-shifts.

    What do you think about this plan?

    Thanks in advance
  • Cert PoorCert Poor Member Posts: 240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    At my past company we hired on Service Desk (Help Desk) employees with extremely little computer knowledge or experience (and some were horrible and helpless and never learned on the job, others were great).

    You can get a basic IT job (that pays your bills even!) with very little experience if you're lucky. Knock out the A+ in a month or two now and start applying for Service Desk/Desktop Support jobs. Continue to learn Linux/Unix on your own.

    If you're at an organization that uses Linux/Unix, you can ask for opportunities to step away from the job for a couple hours and shadow a Linux/Unix system admin. A lot of companies are really friendly like that and want to promote from within, so they let their entry-level Help Desk folks wander around the company if there's free time and if all the managers are OK with that.

    In short: I think you can break into IT much sooner than you realize. You don't necessarily have to get 2 jobs or burn yourself out. You can knock out the A+ now, get a basic Service Desk or Help Desk or Desktop Support position that pays your bills and gets good experience, and break into the Linux role after a year or so if you try hard enough.

    Good luck!

    And heck, even as someone who has quite a bit of computer experience, my jobs doing Help Desk and Service Desk were pretty valuable and got my foot in the door. Once I proved to my managers that I could kick some ass on the job, they saw my potential, and the promotions came after that. Just don't be someone who slacks off doing Help Desk. Just always work really hard and put the customer first.
    In progress: MTA: Database Fundamentals (98-364)
    Next up: CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ (CLO-002) or LPI Linux Essentials (010-160)
    Earned: CompTIA A+, Net+, Sec+, Server+, Proj+
    ITIL-F v3 2011 | ServiceNow CSA, CAD, CIS | CWNP CWTS
  • JerryCallahanJerryCallahan Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply!

    Yeah I think I'm going to do that! I'll enroll in a Basic N+ and A+ class, get the fundamentals down and understand the concepts. Then I'll progress to Linux+ and then immediately get a help-desk job. Any job, as long as my foot is in the door.

    Then I can slowly progress up in the company as I acquire more certs and more experience. I'm hoping to go for a Senior Linux Role in the future, although this may take many years
  • BryzeyBryzey Member Posts: 260
    If Linux is what you want to do I'd start on that straight away and not worry about a+ or n+..

    Just start studying Linux and look for entry level positions at all of the Web hosts in your area.

    Most of them would not require much tech skills as they would be customer support of plesk or C panel.. But you would have the opportunity to progress as your studies grow and learn from the Linux administrators around you..

    My understanding is that in the world of Linux, skills matter more than certs. Get yourself an entry level role and a subscription to and start learning as much as you can why you work on your Linux certifications.

    Just my 2c
  • geek4godgeek4god Member Posts: 187
    Learn to type!
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