How to Break into IT and Earn a Living Fixing Computers

The IT industry is thriving, and starting salaries are high. Although outsourcing was viewed as a problem in the consumer sector, the business sector has taken off largely because of the explosion in healthcare jobs. US officials predict that the industry will increase by 22% in the year 2020, so there is time to get in on this rising trend before it hits its peak.

If fixing computers, working with people and helping to build the networks and systems that people rely on for work and play, then you will need to know the springboards that will get you into IT.

Consider Your Path
IT is not as simple as applying for an IT job. There are desktop support specialists, who fix computers and assist in deployments in corporate environments. Software developers who build applications and code systems that companies rely on to track various aspects of their business. The list is not limitless, but there are many options to choose from. IT is a wide classification, so be sure that you understand the kind of work you want to do before you set out on your path.

IT jobs don’t require education in the conventional sense. Many entry-level positions are filled by hobbyists who may have held some other job before getting into the IT sector. There is definite room for growth, but that depends largely on the education you have. Multiple certifications, including the A+ certification by CompTIA and Microsoft Desktop Support allow you to prove on paper what you can do.

As an amateur, you can probably name ten times off the top of your head where you’ve solved PC problems around the house. Certifications help you get a foot in the door and an ear who will listen to those stories.

Finding Jobs
There are three main resources you can use to find jobs in IT, aside from your own personal networking.

·  Classified Ads: Easiest access, lowest opportunity for response. A classified ad will illicit hundreds of applications for the job and is one of the most competitive ways to find employment. The flipside is that it’s free to use and most people can apply in their spare time.

·  Internships: If you’re studying IT in college, internships may be available to you. Outside of students enrolled at a University, using an internship for college credit, your options for this path are somewhat limited. Those who do qualify for an internship get the opportunity to make a good impression and network. Use those connections wisely, get good resume experience and do more listening than talking.

·  Placement Services: Employers like agencies because the workforce is largely vetted for them. Jobs are distributed to a smaller pool of applicants, and employees benefit from another set of eyes out hunting for work to place them. Another benefit is exclusivity. IT staffing by Kelly Services, for instance, offers multiple job placements you can’t find on Craigslist.

Focus on entry level work during the early part of your career, and don’t expect too much up front. Know what the starting pay grade is for your position and use that as the basis for your salary negotiations.

Moving Up
If you continue to certify yourself in new areas, you’ll find your opportunities opening up. Every sector will have a ceiling, so it’s up to you to find the work you’re content with and build from there. You might start out doing Web development and find that you enjoy application development even more. That may lead to game development, hardware support or any one of a number of jobs. Stay motivated and remain willing to learn. Technology is always changing, so good techs need to stay adaptable.

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