February is Career and Technical Education Month, which is a fitting time to consider whether you might make the leap from computer hobbyist to IT professional. What do you think?
Are you a computer wiz that others turn to when they need tech support? Have you always been good with technology? If you have an interest in computers, you might be able to transform your hobby into a fulfilling career in Information Technology (IT). But before you embark on any new career path, make sure you take the right steps. Here’s how you can take your innate skills and become an IT professional.
Possess the Right Qualities
A knack for computers can help you get started in the IT field, but these additional qualities will also help you build a successful career:
Be a Good Communicator:
As an IT professional, you’ll be responsible for helping employees at all levels with their computer-related issues. That’s why you’ll have to know how to explain technical terms to a non-technical audience.
IT work can be unpredictable. You could be in the middle of conducting routine maintenance, when an urgent matter comes up and you need to pivot. If you know how to multitask, you have one of the most important qualities you’ll need for IT.
Be a Problem Solver:
Do you like puzzles? In some ways, IT professionals are just excellent puzzle solvers. Because outages can halt a company’s productivity, you’ll need to be able to quickly find solutions to complex issues.You will probably have a lot of IT projects happening at once, so time management skills are essential. This includes being able to work efficiently and knowing how long it will take you to complete individual projects so you can set and stick to realistic timelines.
Understand the hardware that makes up a computer network including routers, switches and different types of wires.
Be familiar with common computer operating systems including Windows, Linux, and MAC OS.
Learn how to keep your network secure through encryption, firewalls, anti-virus, and other security protocols.
Your education will provide you with valuable background knowledge, but the right certifications will show prospective employers that you are highly qualified to work in the IT field. Your program should help you prepare to test for major certifications including:
Comp TIA A+
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA)
Career Quest Learning Centers can provide you with hands-on training to prepare you for an IT career. You can complete our Network Administration certification program in as little as eight months or finish our Network Administration Associate Degree in as little as 15 months. Give us a call to learn more now in Jackson at 517-990-9595 or in Lansing at 517-318-3330.