So, you’ve been considering it for a while, and you’ve decided to take that leap of faith and break into the IT field. Great! Information technology is an ever-evolving field with numerous specializations that are in very high demand. According to research from Fosster, the top 10 most in-demand IT jobs all have salaries in the 6-figure range. So, as the title promises, below you’ll find 4 easy steps to help you break into the IT field.
Step 1: Research Entry Level Positions (what are they and how much will you typically earn)
According to Monster.com, the following titles and job descriptions are usually associated with entry-level IT roles:
Computer technicians oftentimes have a broad set of responsibilities within an organization before settling down on a specialization. As a computer technician, you may work for a company, or you may work independently as a contractor or as your own computer repair business. Your main tasks will be diagnosing and fixing hardware problems.
Average Salary: $48,900 per year
Desktop Support Technician:
Desktop technicians troubleshoot everyday problems. As a desktop tech, you are usually the first person to respond to a problem within a company. You may be in charge of supporting both company employees and customers depending on the business. Your common daily tasks include troubleshooting wireless or network connections, configuring and testing software, setting up user permissions, and formatting devices.
Average Salary: $47,674 per year
Help Desk Technician:
As a help desk technician, you will be in charge of diagnosing technical problems. As a diagnostician, you may be working with both company employees and customers. While you will be the one diagnosing a problem, it will actually be fixed by someone else in the IT department, oftentimes the desktop support technician.
Average Salary: $50,889 per year
IT Support Analyst:
IT support analysts work to strategically improve company technologies. As a support analyst, you will have to predict potential problems and issues with technologies and how companies use those technologies and try to mediate them before they arise. For this job, you will need to have a very strong understanding of hardware, software, and applications.
Average Salary: $59,129 per year
As a system administrator, you will be in charge of creating and managing all of the networked computer systems in a company. You will have to adapt technologies to the needs of your company as it grows or changes, and you have to stay one step ahead by planning for future technology needs. In your day-to-day, you will be monitoring computer networks, keeping software up-to-date, and maintaining hardware and systems.
Average Salary: $81,100 per year
For a more detailed roadmap to your career, check out ITProTV’s IT career paths resources for certification and specialization paths. Also, if you are a premium member, you can schedule a private session with ITProTV’s Career Coach and get a personalized plan of action for the next steps in your career.
Step 2: Find the Best Certifications for Beginners
According to ITProTV’s career coach, Andrew Winchester, the top 3 certifications for beginners include CompTIA’s Fundamentals+, A+, and Security+, typically completed in that order. Certifications vary in the time it takes to complete them. It’s extremely important to have an action plan before diving into studying. Unlike traditional classroom training, online IT training providers give you the flexibility to study on-demand, at your convenience. But you have to be careful because not all e-learning platforms are the same. Consider the following when choosing one:
- Does the provider focus specifically on IT or is its content diluted with other skill sets?
- Does the provider offer live content or content on the newest certifications or technologies?
- Does the provider have a two-host format to help facilitate the best learning experience possible or are they a voice-over PowerPoint?
- Does the provider offer practice labs and exams for complete mastery?
Finding a provider who checks all the above boxes means you gain access to engaging content that will best prepare you for not only the certification exam but a full-fledged career in IT. If you’re ready to get started studying for CompTIA’s ITF+, A+, or Security+ certification exams, head to ITProTV, and start your free 7-day trial.
Step 3: Debunk Myths about Starting in IT
Let’s get straight to it. The beast of all myths is that you need a college degree to start a career in IT. But in the era of ever-changing technology, that is simply not true. Companies like Google have publicly announced that they consider employees with certifications more qualified and no longer require college degrees.
So, no, you don’t have to have a college degree to start in IT. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a degree. The best bet is to have both, but you can absolutely get hired in IT solely by earning some of the certifications mentioned previously. A college degree will help more in the future with management/leadership type roles within IT. So, it’s something to weigh the pros and cons of.
As for starting out, IT managers truly want to see certifications, and more importantly, that you can apply the learning at work. This is where virtual labs offered by an online IT training provider will help you to learn and practice these tasks hands-on. For more information on why you don’t need a degree to start in IT, check out the ITProTV Blog “Why You Don’t Need a College Degree to Earn Big in IT.”
Step 4: Believe in Yourself & Go For It!
You are making a huge change in your life. IT is an ever-changing arena the continually progresses. The world of IT means many things to many people. Whether it’s a significant pay increase you’re seeking, or freedom to work remotely, or just a new challenge to tackle- you can do this! It may seem intimidating or scary but take it step by step (steps such as those found in this blog –hint-) and believe in yourself.
When you’re ready to get started, head to ITProTV, and start learning!