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How would I start my career in IT?

As a college student working in a admin job. I have no prior experience in IT. Where would I start to get an entry level job in IT.

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Bill’s Answer

Hi Jordan,
I was in a similar situation, I was a clerk but wanted to get into IT. The branch office I worked at needed someone to volunteer to do mainframe backups on Friday mornings and load tapes from time to time during the week. By volunteering I got to know the IT team and they taught me more than backups over time and I applied for the first vacancy in IT that came up.
The point of this is that by volunteering I was able to give to the IT department without making them give something back to me who was an untrained person not ready for an IT position. There is value in goodwill in business as there is in making connections.
If you can do some vocational training course that would give you basic skills for IT and enables you to understand the language and acronyms that would also help.
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Natalie’s Answer

The field of IT can be overwhelming. I think the best way to approach this is by seeing if there is anyone around you that is currently doing an IT job you are interested in. Talk to anyone that is doing something in IT you are interested in and build a network or professionals that can give you face to face mentorship while you break into this industry. Think of the word IT like a university. In that university you have a lot of majors you can go into. IT is like that. You have a lot of areas you can specialize in. Like college you can get a general studies degree which helps you work on core classes and fundamentals you need while in the process of getting your degree. There are IT certifications that help you work on understanding core fundamentals while you take your time deciding what field you want to specialize in. They are exams you can take that give you an industry certification that will help you break into jobs as an entry level IT support person. If you are interested in this option then CompTIA is one of the certification types I would recommend as an entry level process for getting knowledge slowly and in manageable chunks. They have a roadmap to help with your journey in IT. When you study and feel like things sound like a different language remember to listen to the content again and again. It takes time to absorb alot of the fundamentals in IT. As you get more and more exposure to IT fundamentals you'll discover what part of IT draws your attention more. Whenever you get to this point you'll see what you may want to specialize in. Best of Luck!
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Brandon’s Answer

Gaining experience is one of the hardest parts of breaking into the job market, especially in the more competitive fields. I would recommend seeking out a company that has a culture of promoting from within and see what entry-level positions are available. In the tech industry, this often means a frontline job in customer support -- this is how I and many of my colleagues started out.

If you have the required skills and background, this provides a way to "get your foot in the door" and establish a reputation within the company. As you grow your skills, you can transition to the role that you really wanted all along. Depending on the company, they may even offer training or financial assistance towards career certifications.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Jordan,

Definitely a challenge, but here are some steps that can help to get you where you would like to go:

- A quick Google search will get you a list of free certifications. They will take some studying, but won't cost you anything.
- Go onto the typical job platforms and cross-reference the IT positions that you are looking for with volunteer opportunities. Use them as resume entries while you are volunteering your time.
- Consider locating an IT Internship in your area.

Good luck!
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Buddhima’s Answer

In addition to reading and learning, you can also try mini-projects at home.
- Opening up a computer and figuring out which part is which, which parts are upgradeable and which parts are not
- Setting up home networks (wired and wireless)

Ask your friends, family, neighbors, etc., if you can provide any IT support. It's a simple way to gain practical knowledge.

Do take necessary safety precautions, and be mindful about how to put something back when taking it apart :)
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Akos’s Answer

Hey Jordan,

I started my IT career at the high school actually where I studied and helped out with the sys admin tasks there. Perhaps you can also look at the college itself where you are going to if you can help out? Typically these are multi-product environments where you can learn different aspects of the technology. Once you found closest to your heart you can start moving towards software, hardware, networking, security etc, you can train even more on these and start applying to junior positions. If you get some industry certificates, like CCNA (for networking) that already shows you are able to learn and you are dedicated.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you are interested to work in Tech.
In Tech, there are many different careers, e.g. Development, Application Support, System System, Database Administrator, Network Administrator, etc. Have you thought about which Tech domain you have interest.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Explore on different aspects of Tech job and identify what you have interest
2. If possible, speak to someone who are working in these jobs to acquire better understanding
3. Attain relevant courses in the college
4. Explore any intern opportunities before your graduation
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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