The Information Technology (IT) industry is in a unique position where its jobs, research, and philosophy are able to elevate a completely untrained hire into a skilled engineer or industry leader at a consistent rate. There's a continuing demand for talent, a mostly mental barrier to success, and multiple opportunities to create new sub-industries to lead. To understand your career potential in the tech world from the entry level up to the entrepreneur, here are a few IT staffing concepts.
Entry Level Techs And Training
With no technical skill, the best thing to do is to learn computer use and troubleshooting skills. You'll need at least some familiarity with using computers to create documents and perform research, but if you're interested enough to read, you have most of what it takes to continue down the career path.
Technical support is one of the easier entry level positions to achieve. The most popular tech support jobs involve helping users use or fix their computers, peripherals, and software. You need a certain level of skill to enter the job, but part of your job will be learning how to become a better entry level technician.
If you're not skilled enough to take an IT tech support job, take tests anyway. By looking at the tests for some technical support jobs and simply searching for the answer on a search engine, you can at least know how to answer interview questions and perform basic tasks such as changing Internet Protocol addresses, clearing the cache and cookies in internet browsers, or accessing a router.
For most technical support companies, the entry level training is similar to the first semester or so of college IT training, or IT-related military job specialties available after basic training. Working at these companies even as an inexperienced novice will give you the training that some people pay for, and all you'll need afterwards is more certifications and experience.
Certifications, Degrees, And Experience
Many jobs in the IT field require specific certifications to show that you at least know of the specific task. General IT support usually asks for certifications such as CompTIA's A+ or Microsoft's Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
These certifications show that you did a bit more than Googling the right answers and going through the motions. They can allow a certified professional to perform repairs without supervision, participate in complex configurations, or be trusted with general IT tasks within other disciplines with supervision.
There are some more specific certifications, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) for working as a network administrator, or the CompTIA Security+ for professionals who want to protect the business from hackers.
Some jobs will reimburse you for passing a certification, but you need to make sure that the reimbursement agreement is in writing. If nothing else, working in an IT job is a way to study for a new job while getting on the job training and getting paid for it instead of studying and hoping to get a job later if you pass the certifications.
Don't study without gaining valuable, practical experience. Contact a staffing agency, like Bishop & Company Inc, and discuss IT entry level jobs to figure out what you need to know and how you can get under the training and financial protection of a business that can take your career forward--or at least pay you while your skills grow.