Well, this is probably one of the most common questions I get when talking to applicants for the first time!
With the prevalence of gaming and technology in our teenage years, it’s no surprise people are drawn to IT careers. After all, it means they get to spend their day working on a computer. Right?
Well yes, your day would have a large percentage of it spent behind the screen! However it can be a lot more complex than lots of people realise.
The entry requirements to work in IT are generally fairly relaxed. Obviously, holding a PhD in Advanced Computer Systems would help, but entry level IT roles can be accessed even without any commercial experience. I’ve placed people first-hand like this!
The key when applying for IT roles with no commercial experience is to make up for it in your hobbies!
- Successfully set-up a complex home network? Talk about it!
- Successfully troubleshooted a hard drive issue for your IT-illiterate father? Talk about it!
- Successfully set up a completely unnecessary VOIP system for your Grandma? Talk about it!
The beauty with IT careers is that non-commercial experience is all around us.
Getting qualified can make things even easier too. There are hundreds of short courses available online to teach you a wide selection of skills. Skills like active directory, networking principals etc. You can get fairly cheap courses which give you recognised qualifications such as the CCNA or CompTIA, and these are industry standard and sometimes you can get them partly offset by the government and training suppliers.
The types of entry level IT roles you should be aiming for normally involve support. You would be supporting a use base, anywhere from 2 to 2000 PC and other IT hardware users. You would obviously be in a team, which is where the leaning elements come in. You would typically be expected to deal with issues (verbally over the phone, via emails or a ticketing system) and rectify user issues remotely.
From support, you are easily able to move into more complex/strategic roles, but this is a great starting point!
At the real top end, IT salaries can be obscene. We’re talking well north of 6 figures, depending on business and the geographic location and how niche your skill set is. However, to contrast this, the entry level positions can offer quite modest basic salaries. External learning is something all IT professionals should be doing at all points in their career, to fast-track this process.
Good luck, and I’ll know who to contact when I get the blue screen of death.