Did you grow up playing with video games, computers, and Arduino kits?
You had STEM on the brain before you were old enough for a career!
A passion for technology can lead to a lucrative career in software development, engineering, business analysis, and cybersecurity. Salaries range anywhere from $50K to over $120,00 a year.
One of the first roles for many techies is an IT technician. These jobs range from entry-level to experienced, with high demand across multiple industries. IT techs can work for multinational companies, local services, retail, and creative industries.
Are you ready to get a headstart on your career?
Have your pick of the best IT technician jobs with these tried and true career tips.
1. Learn the Ropes
Everyone has to start their IT career path somewhere. Surprisingly, IT is one of those fields that doesn’t necessarily require a degree. Even Google, Apple, and IBM are known to hire techs and engineers without formal degrees.
Experience, drive, and talent are three critical factors to getting an IT job, but how do you gain IT experience without going to college?
Did you ever take electronics apart and put them together again when you were a kid? Deconstructing computers is one of the best ways to learn about IT. You really can’t learn without hands-on experience.
Another way to learn is to work at an electronics store. Start as a cashier and work your way up to sales. This will help you understand the ins and outs of computers and electronics.
As you improve your IT skills, apply for IT support jobs at major electronic retailers. In-store IT support jobs are great career stepping stones for aspiring techs and engineers.
2. Enroll in a College Degree Program
Gaining work experience from the get-go is one way to avoid going to school for IT. However, a degree does give you an advantage over other applicants.
If you’re taking the self-taught route, free online IT courses are available from top universities. You can take intro to computer science, cloud computing, software architecture, and all your college-level IT online. For a small fee, you can earn a legitimate certificate from the university.
If you want the full 4-year college experience, enroll in a state college or private university.
Here are some of the best IT schools in the nation:
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
- New York University (NYU)
- New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Cornell University
- Florida State University
- University of Michigan
- Penn State
You can also enroll in a local community college and transfer to your choice university at a fraction of the cost. Community college is a great way to get your general education credits out of the way. You may even graduate quicker!
3. Earn a Professional IT Certificate
Another educational path is professional certificates. Luckily, there are several industry-standard certificates available. Companies like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft also offer certificates specializing in their products.
Certificates are a much cheaper alternative to college, but they’re also an excellent supplement to a college degree.
Suppose you have an art degree but want to transition to IT. Instead of pursuing another degree, earn a CompTIA A+, Microsoft technology professional (MTA), or Salesforce Certified Administrator certificate instead.
If you’re entirely new to IT, Google’s IT support certificate program is your best bet. This program is designed to turn beginners into job-ready experts. The program is entirely self-paced and online, so you don’t have to adjust your current job schedule.
There are a lot of IT paths out there. Choose the career path that feels right. Learn more about professional IT consulting services, managed IT, and network infrastructure. Dabble in everything to find your IT strengths.
4. Start a Linkedin Profile
You have the IT skills, but do you have the social skills to land IT technician jobs?
The next step on your career path is social media, but don’t freak out. You don’t need a gazillion followers to get a decent job.
In your case, social media is a career networking tool. Instead of posting selfies on Instagram, set up a professional Linkedin profile that highlights your work experience, accomplishments, job roles, and endorsements from colleagues.
Linkedin is one of the biggest headhunting tools today, which means recruiters are actively looking for talent on the platform. Follow top companies for upcoming job announcements, and create a profile that instantly attracts recruiters.
Have you written any tech blogs or publications? Linkedin also has a special section for any published material. Writing about IT is a great way to showcase your passion and experience.
6. Explore Remote IT Technician Jobs
As the global workforce transitions to remote work, there’s an even higher demand for IT technicians. This would be a good time to explore IT technician jobs for online education, video conferencing, project management apps, and other tools for remote work.
Remote IT jobs are performed entirely from home. You’ll need a fast internet connection, a headset, and a high-performing computer. Your company may even provide equipment for your home office.
Remote IT doesn’t mean you don’t have managers and coworkers. On the contrary, remote IT teams are highly communicative through apps like Slack, Zoom, and Skype.
Remote work can provide a sense of freedom when you’re away from the office. However, if you’re serious about job flexibility, consider becoming a freelance IT technician.
Since most IT support can be performed remotely, more companies are seeking professionals for gig work, which helps you avoid the 9-5. A freelancing career could also be the start of a future IT business!
Launch a Fulfilling IT Technician Career
Don’t leave your STEM dreams on the back burner. With so many routes to IT, you can develop a career path on your terms. Remember these tips as you apply for IT technician jobs, and reward yourself for a job well done!
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