So you’ve developed a strong interest in Information Technology and think you want to pursue this field as a career path. Great! Then you ask, what now? Where do I start? I have the answer. The path to becoming a well-qualified IT technician is centered on one thing. Education. You must have a love of learning and patience. You can’t snap your fingers and make it happen quickly. The IT industry changes very rapidly so learning will be an ongoing pursuit for as long as you are in the profession.
There are many different specialties within the IT industry but first you must become a well-qualified basic technician. Here are the steps that I recommend to do just that.
Associate of Applied Science degree – from your local community college
Here are some examples of local community college degree and certificate programs that will provide a basic overview of what you can expect in an IT associate degree program. The community college in your area might have different subjects contained in their curriculum.
- Southwest Tennessee Community College – Memphis, TN
- Community College of Aurora – Aurora, CO
- Arkansas State University Mid-South – West Memphis, AR
Certification – Click on each of the below links for more information about each individual track.
- A+ Certification – from: Comptia
- Network+ Certification – from: Comptia
- Server+ Certification – from: Comptia
- Security+ Certification – from: Comptia
- Linux + Certification – from: Comptia
Self-study material for certification tests
There are many vendors that will provide study questions for the above certification tracks. MeasureUp offers an excellent series of practice tests representing a wide range of topics. Their practice tests will provide multiple choice answers and give you detailed explanations why each answer is correct or incorrect. If you register on their site they will send periodic notifications about discounts on their products. I recommend them highly.
How long will this take?
If you are a full time student and a quick learner, it is estimated that it will take approximately two to three years to complete your degree and certification requirements. As part of your associate degree curriculum you should make a point to take courses in public speaking.
At some point in your IT career you will be asked to speak to a group of people about the information technology profession. You should also be able to explain to your clients in terminology that is clear to them what you are doing to their computer and why. You must understand at all times that they are not an IT professional. They simply use the computer and want it to function correctly so that they can be productive. People skills are absolutely essential for success in the role of an IT technician.
Below is the current salary report from Global Knowledge which will give you an overview of salary ranges of all IT specializations. Bear in mind that these figures will vary according to geographic locations. You may download this .PDF file for further review.
Suggested Toolkit for IT Technicians
VANTAGE VK-6 Compact Economy Tool Kit – An excellent choice for basic technical service needs. By Jensen Tools. Excellent quality. I’ve used Jensen for many years and recommend highly.
23 Things IT techs need in their toolkits (and 4 things they don’t) – Many items suggested here can be added as you go along in your career and as you find you need them.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR NEW CAREER!