Is it possible to get an IT job with no experience?

Connor2kwikConnor2kwik Member Posts: 43 ■■■□□□□□□□

I want to get into IT, but I have no certs or work experience. Is it possible to land a entry level job with no experience. If so what certifications should I get?



  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,485 Mod
    It is. We all started with zero experience!

    What other experience did you have so far? Do you have any customer service experience? (retail/hospitality/Sales?). Do you have a non-IT degree?

    You can land a helpdesk role if you have a customer service experience but it's going to be tough. It's even harder now due to covid but not impossible. Think how you can leverage your non-IT background. If you have any contacts in the industry, reach out to them and see how they can help.

    CompTIA A+ seem to be good for that purpose. I don't know what your background is, but if can learn A+ & Network+ material that will help. Then learn something like Windows support, or Mac OS, or even Linux. It's possible.

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • Neil86Neil86 Member FLMember Posts: 181 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Do you have any work experience at all? It will be very tough, but not impossible. I found that some computer/electronics recycling facilities sometimes offer positions to recondition computers and what not to resell/reuse. Maybe check in your area for an opportunity like that to learn. Even check nonprofits in the area and see if they offer any opportunities.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Senior Member behind youMod Posts: 2,780 Mod
    no experience at all? no classroom? no labs set up at home?
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,485 Mod
    Have you held any job at all before? Have you finished High School?

    I'm asking because perhaps you'll benefit from joining a community college, and you'll benefit from using previous experience.

    If you share more of what you did in the past, we'll be able to help you more. At the moment, we can't provide more help as we don't really understand your situation.

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT Reticulating splines... Member Posts: 1,317 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Sure however there is typically a lot of competition for entry level IT jobs.  Have you reviewed the job postings for the types of positions you want? How do you plan to develop and demonstrate you have the required skills for the position?
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA 
    2021: GRID | GDSA | Pentest+ 
    2022: GMON | GDAT
    2023: GREM | GCWN | GSE

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security | SANS Grad Cert: Cyber Defense Ops
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,485 Mod
    Cool so you're starting like we all did. It's tricky, you'll need to find a way to gain education to learn, that can be through certificates, community college, or university. That can be online, or through night classes or day classes.

    Try out for helpdesk roles and if it's hard then you need to plan to get income somehow while you build your knowledge to get your foot in the door

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • Neil86Neil86 Member FLMember Posts: 181 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited August 2020
    It's NEVER a waste of time to learn something. We all started where you are at one point.

    CompTIA A+ certification will get you familiar with computers, hardware/software, networking, etc. Very well known certification. I think it's a great starting point in my opinion.

    Edited - i noticed in your previous discussions that you've already started a degree program?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,485 Mod
    edited August 2020
    Patience! you might get a helpdesk opportunity but the odds are against you. You may need to get a non-IT job first while you build your knowledge. There is no easy way.

    What steps have you taken so far that will lead you to get a job in IT? What are you willing to do get there? You'll need knowledge, certs, some degree (optional), networking/contacts.

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Senior Member behind youMod Posts: 2,780 Mod
    I lucked out, I was a Data Management Assistant at a lab and there was a need for a network admin, I volunteered. It helped that I had a AA in computer applications. From there, I gained a wealth of experience.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • --chris----chris-- Senior Member Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
    @Connor2kwik I worked for free (for a few months) when I was in a similar position as you, just to get some experience to put on my resume.  It helped, a lot and I landed a paying gig a few weeks after leaving that spot.  I made a video about my experiences with that if you want to check it out.

  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Senior Member Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited August 2020
    @--chris-- Makes a good point.  

    Here are my suggestions

    Short term contract.  weeks, month or even months.  These are usually hard to find people to work the contract and a lot of times they will hire people with little to no experience.

    For free sucks, but.....   You can sometimes expedite your learning curve by jumping into something a little more challenging which in turn gives you some experience which can then later be parlayed into a real paying job.  A few of my friends from India did this, work for a friend for 3 - 6 months for free and then apply for a position in development or something  in that space and a lot of times they ended up getting a job paying 90+ right off the bat.  

    Help desk.......   
  • --chris----chris-- Senior Member Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Free sucks, really sucks.  BUT...I don't regret doing it.  Like @DatabaseHead mentions, because I worked for free they never felt like giving me tasks that should be "over my head" would be waste because...they don't pay me lol.  Like I said in the video, in this situation...its 100% up to you to make the most of your opportunity.  Get EVERYTHING you can out of the experience.  
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,523 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Difficult but not entirely unheard of finding work in the field when jobs are plentiful, maybe not so much when jobs aren't so plentiful as today's market. You need real IT skills to do anything. I suggest finding a junker or two to learn your way around unscrewing covers, removing cards and memory and learning the very basics to see how these things really work. Memory is easy to crack, video cards can be a pain to replace. How much tension is needed before you break something, all those things.

    Learn how the operating systems really work and why they break. Again, very basic but most people in IT don't have a clue and make the same basic mistakes over and over again because they don't really understand what they are talking about past installing applications - don't be that guy.

    Chances of being able to support yourself as an analysts while going to school are slim to none unless someone feels real sympathy toward you. Not that it can't happen but be prepared for a life of working Mc-jobs till you have enough education to warrant an IT job or position, they are different things. A job is basic, low level work, while a position is more career orientated. Positions also involve more business and business means politics. Something IT people are famously bad. LOL.

    Worry more about basic skills, less about the certification of the month club and you do fine. If you love the field you will likely stay in the field, if you dislike the field after a year or so, get out and find something that suits you. Nothing worse than devoting yourself to something you will learn to hate.

    Good luck and continue to ask questions!

    - b/eads
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,828 Admin
    Volunteer opportunities are also a "working for free" situation that helps you build experience and make contacts that can help you find a paying job opportunity. There are many professional organizations looking for people to help organize online activities, contact people (marketing/advertising), maintain Websites, and create content for presentation. It's all work worthy of including on a resume or CV.
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,523 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Better off getting your degree and a bit of experience based on your continuing education. If you can find work working a PC lab, mentoring IT subjects, etc., will be worth far more in the long term than the half-in, half-out of career/college methodology. Few people pull it off as life has a habit of throwing obstacles and complications in our life's path. My advice would be go big or go home, when it comes to completing a bachelors, as the vast majority of IT people have technical degrees. Bachelors with Masters not uncommon.

    IT has always been a difficult field to break into save the dot com era which was an anomaly. I heard the same horror stories from Data Processing folks back from the 60s and 70s, graduating into the worst IT market on record in 1987. Where we were often offered jobs and positions for minimum wage ($3.35, at the time) due to low demand. No apologies. No one on this board should have the gall to say IT positions are easy to get or they have been at the same job too long and haven't interviewed recently or at least seriously looked.

    Treat certification as part of your personal learning journey and you will do just fine. Treating certification as market tool or substitute for either experience or education and you will be disappointed.

    Good luck navigating your own personal path.

    - b/eads
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you do switch, I recommend going for the CompTIA A+. I did that back while in college for about 5-6 months of studying. Also had no experience in IT at the time. It gives you an edge over other students. In a choice of college graduate A with a degree and no experience compared to college graduate B with the same degree, no experience, and a cert or two, I'll pick B.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Senior Member Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I guess I didn't explain my situation enough. I'm  currently attending a community college and thinking about changing my program to Computer Technology. What I was trying to ask was is a good idea to get a cert or two while im in college so that way I can have a little bit of experience before I graduate. 
    Usually you'll have several classes that align with a certification.  In that case it might not be a bad idea, but 1 would be max IMO.  Especially if you are just starting off.  

    Of course you'll have to find what interest you.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Senior Member Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■

    while im on the subject does having an associate degree only get your foot in the door? 
    As opposed to nothing, yes.  I think it most certainly does, may I ask what is your associate degree in?  Networking, Programming, PC Tech?
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Another thing that you could do, to help you build your experience, is to contact IT recruiters in your area or the unemployment office. Let the recruiter know that you are looking for anything that they feel you would qualify for. That might mean doing operating system migrations at night for  a week or two per contract. While that isn't the most ideal employment situation, it will give you vital skills you can put on a resume, experience, and possible sources of recommendations for future jobs. Another type of business to look into is printer/copier repair places. They often need people to travel around and help customers with their print related problems. I have a former student who worked for a company like that. He had no IT experience but he got the job simply because he was willing to do the job (a lot of IT people think that printer repair is beneath them). He met many, many business owners who, after finding out he was taking classes in IT, wanted to hire him because he proved himself working on their printers and copiers. 
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Senior Member Member Posts: 2,745 ■■■■■■■■■■
    i was thinking about the programming route. these are the degrees they offer.
    Lots of nice looking programs offered. 

    This one here looks like a nice program and looks like is might partner with some local universities.  

    • Become a software developer, web developer, PC application specialist or database administrator
    • Transfer to a bachelor's degree at select 4-year colleges and universities.
    NoneTechnical degree with transfer options

    Associate Degree in Applied Science

    Computer Technology, Programming/Database Electives

    You get a Computer Science Bachelors you will be in FANTASTIC shape, forget the certifications. 

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