I want to go into IT – Where do I start?

Ah yes, an age-old question asked by young go-getters right out of junior college, massively in-debt graduates from universities, and folks who have recently been “right-sized” out of their last job.

Information Technology is a unique field—so few of the people in IT started off intending to be in IT! So many folks just kind of found themselves bounced into it. As a matter of fact, the author of this post had no intention of moving into IT, and yet, is now kind of a big deal.

The most critical career making-or-breaking skill you must have regardless of your IT discipline is, you must be able to do the work. Nobody cares if you are certified if you can’t do the work.

Having said that, does certification matter? Yes, getting certified in your discipline of choice does indeed matter. It’s someone else saying that you know what you say you know. It builds credibility, proves that you have the wherewithal to start and finish a major project, and helps you get past the dreaded keyword search that most HR folks use nowadays.

What discipline should you start with? It’s your choice, and here’s the 4 primary disciplines:

  1. System Administration: Servers and clients make up the bulk of the work here, so if you know how to troubleshoot desktops and servers, that’s a great general place to start. You’ll probably start work as a help desk tech and work your way up to server administration. Start your training with A+, Network+, and Windows 8 Desktop. After that, you can start studying Windows Server 2012.
  2. Networking: Without the wires, cables, and switches that make up a network, nothing else really matters. This is a great discipline for electricians, folks who have worked in construction, and military veterans who have done previous cabling work. Start with A+ and Network+, and then point your training towards Cisco.
  3. Programming and Application Development: This is, right now, the fastest path to big money. However, it just isn’t for everyone. The author of this post couldn’t program his way out of a paper bag. But for others, coding an application can be a beautiful symphonious experience that allows them not only to create something useful (like Angry Birds), it may also allow them to explore the universe at a mathematical level. Start your training with .NET and SharePoint development.
  4. SQL Server and Database Development: For those folks who are very detailed in their thought process, database work is a great long term career plan. Database servers are the very foundation of business intelligence and ecommerce, and no matter how the industry changes, solid database folks will always be necessary. Start your training with a basic Server 2012 class, and then start in on SQL Server.

Now you know the four primary disciplines in IT. I know there are more subcategories and specializations in each of these four, but this is how we start. First, get the basics down, then you can go after those super sexy specializations that you see all over job listings.

For more IT Training information visit www.directionstraining.com or call 1-855-575-8900.