Hi there,

For the past few months I've been studying for CompTIA's A+ certification (and will be taking the exam within a month or two). I am looking to head into the IT field for sure, but am not 100% sure on the best way to get my foot in the door. I would like to go to college and get a degree but do not have the funds (or the scholarships).

Could you guys give me a little insight on how you got yourselves into the IT field, and maybe give me some advice as to what is the best route that I could take?


Odd one this. Answered a question similar to this a while back but that was specifically about being a DBA. And remember my experience is in the UK. :-)

Firstly if you don't have a degree then you will be fighting a hoard of degree possessing opponents for any job you go to.

Do you have 'real world' experience? Do some volunteer work. Most charitable organisations are desperate for assistance in their IT resources. This also will give you a couple of benefits. 1) Experience in dealing with users and there (IT) problems. 2)Shows that you are willing to get off your arse and do something.

I have found that 90% of the time (for a DBA anyway) is spent recovering from the stupidity and clumsiness of users and developers, 9% is spent in meetings and 1% is doing actual productive work. But I'm an exception, I only have that high a level of productivity because I arrive before everyone else.

As in every job you will find that there are useless oxygen thieves masquerading as developers or help desk techies etc. etc. Do not worry about these people, they will soon be removed from the actual working areas. They will be made your managers. The companies have to do this so that the incompetents who were your managers can go on to become company directors.

If you are hoping for a company where, like all good productive workers, you are rewarded for your insightful suggestions, exemplary work ethics and moral fibre do not worry. Your manager won't let you hide your light under a bushel. Oh no, He'll take it and place it in a locked firesafe in the deepest mine or cave system in the district and then flood the place.

Then a while later he'll come along and snuff this little light of excellence out. This is usually called an annual review.

I had better stop here before my fellow IT professionals accuse me of being overly optimistic.

So join our merry little band, it'll give me one more body to shout at.

Get your A+ and get an entry level position as a helpdesk tech/PC tech. The A+ should be enough to get you in the door. I wouldn't look at certs as the way for you to get a job. They should compliment your experience and hopefully you'll learn something new and possibly apply in real life at your job.