So here's the situation. I'm a social worker by trade. I've been working for non-profits, schools and social service orginazions (group homes etc) pretty much since I've had my first job at 14. I'm starting to burn out on the field due to factors that are WAY too numerous to list (would probably need a seperate thread). I'm wanting to get into IT but am running into some resume problems. I do have technical knowledge on a hobby level. I enjoy working with it and what not. I'm just having a hard time getting my foot in the door. I'm in Portland Oregon to boot. I figured that junior positions would be great way to start but it seems that the majority of employers want quite a bit of skill and experience. I've started studying for my A+ and might move on from there, my thinking is that certifications might make up for my lack of professional experience. I have a degree but it's in psychology.
Beyond that does anyone have any ideas on how break into it. Other certifications or stories about how you did it?
Here's my experience:
1. Try starting in a retail environment. You don't necessarily have to work sales, but it's generally easier to be hired in a retail environment than a corporate one. Work retail for a few years, then start trying to move towards coprorate.
2. Certifications, for the most part, mean nothing.
3. Employers value that you have a degree, period. Having a degree in the field you want to work in certainly can help, but won't keep you from getting a job. I was a print journalism major and I work as a network admin.
For the most part, hands-on experience is the best way to build your resume. Having a certification just means that you can read books and pass a test. Computing and IT is much more involved than any test can prepare you for. If you still want to try to get your A+, go for it, but don't be fooled thinking that simply having it will make up for lack of experience on your resume.
I know that cert's won't seal the deal... just thougt it would be a good idea. I know about the whole degree thing...my brother got a degree in art and now he is also a network admin. The kicker is that I'm trying not to take too much of a step back in pay. I've been in social services long enough to be able to command a decent salary if I wanted to move forward but I don't. I'd really hate to take too much of a step back in salary but I also understand that it's unrealistic to require that I get paid the same. Then again I am working social services...and anything will be a step up in pay...so maybe it won't be as hard to find a better paying job in a different field.