Frequently asked questions
Am I too old for I.T?
Simply put, NO. Absolutely not. Age is typically not a barrier when it comes to the world of I.T. As you look around and begin to make connections in this field you will soon find that there are a lot of older people working in the I.T. field.
So whether you're 30 and looking for a career change or you're 50, your age will not hold you back.
Do I need to be good at math?
Nope, being good at math is not a requirement to work in this field. If you're looking to pursue college or are currently enrolled you will notice that math is always some type of prerequisite but the fact of the matter is math is not a requirement in any way whatsoever.
There are very specific I.T. careers that would require a certain degree of mathematical skills but these types of posisitons are borderline in data analytics, advanced software engineering, and other very technology focused engineering roles.
Should I go to College or get a certification?
This has become an age old debate. There are many factors to take into consideration when making this decision.
The facts are that some jobs have a hard requirement on degrees. This means without a degree you will not be eligible to be employed by those specific organizations.
Some of the largest tech organiztions like Facebook, Google, Apple have begun to drop requirements for a degree instead opting for experienced/skilled professionals.
You will also find many businesses are looking for certified professionals as well. While this can be a cheaper route and it will validate that you have some skills to enter the I.T. field you still have to keep in mind the requirements from specific employers.
At the end of the day the most important factor when it comes to getting into I.T. and advancing your career is EXPERIENCE. You can choose any route that you'd like to try and enter the field but to really make an impact building experience and having that under your belt will always be preferred.
Do I need to know programming?
If you want to be a software developer or application developer or any other type of programmer, then yes you will absolutely need to learn programming.
If you plan on doing anything else in the I.T. world you will not necassirily need to learn programming in a true programming sense but you will need to learn automation which is a subset of programming in many ways.
Automation as we know it today ties in with such things and Powershell(Windows), BASH(Linux) and Python(cross platform - Windows, Linux, MacOS)
You will find that automation is becoming a large part of the industry and familiarizing yourself with things such as Powershell, Bash, and Python can be extremely beneificial to you and your career as well as your day to day life working in I.T.
While automation is heavily focused on "programming" in some sense it is often referred to as Scripting. You do not need to be an expert in Scripting but it is a skill that you will definitely want to understand.
How much money can I make in I.T.?
How do I get started in I.T.?
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What type of college degree should I get?
Typically you'll find options between CS(computer science) or IT(information technology)
To simply this we can say that a CS degree is primarily focused on the theory of technology and will cover more programming/development so you will be required to learn multiple programming langues. This is great for someone who is looking to become a software/application developer.
An I.T. degree will partially cover everything else. This is the more hands on technical path. Here you will often find you learn about servers, networking, troubleshooting, etc.
There are of course cybersecurity focused degree paths in college as well. This you will find is often a mixture of the two(CS & IT) and will primarily focus on securing software/applications or infrastructures.
Something to keep in mind is that you will SOMETIMES find jobs that require a SPECIFIC degree - whether that degree be in CS, CIS, IS, IT, etc is based on that specific job but you will see requirements based on this.
You will most often see that simply having a degree whether that be an associates or bachelors is a requirement. What we have learned from this is that it makes no difference whatsoever what your degree is focused in. You can have a degree in liberal arts, culinary, accounting and at the end of the day it simply does not matter as long as you have a degree period. If this is you, you will want to start getting certifications, building a home lab, finding internships/volunteer work to start getting I.T. skills to be relevant.
In the end no matter what path you decide to choose building your own homelab, getting certifications, and trying to get experience should always be top priorities.
So what degree should you get? Well that's up to you. I cant tell you which one is better than another OR which one is going to suit you best, in the end you will find it simply does not really make that much of a difference. Choose the path that you enjoy the most, in the end you can always change your path once you get experience.
What certification should you get first?
I always recommend to everyone getting the CompTIA A+ certification first. Not only will you find that this is the most requested I.T. Certification for entry level positions this certification will also teach you a wide range of I.T. fundamental knowledge and skills that will be extremely beneficial to your I.T. journey.
It's difficult to recommend any other certification to anyone who has no prior knowledge of information technology as a whole. The CompTIA A+ will help pave the way to something you might find yourself interested in.
This certifications covers things such as networking, automation, security, hardware, software, and much more. By familiarizing yourself with all of these technologys and skills you might be able to find your next area of interest within I.T. and start focusing on certifications that align with your new path.
When should I start applying for jobs?
The moment you start learning anything about I.T.
No really, sometimes it can take time to get a job. You're going to get turned down an awful lot without having any type of experience or certs/degrees under your belt. But depending on your background and how good your resume looks you can actually have a chance of getting an I.T. job.
Most I.T. jobs at entry level are looking for people with customer service type of experience. A lot of the tech skills can be learned while on the job.
Ideally having some type of certification under your belt, experience, or a degree will have the biggest impact, but start putting yourself out there into the world regardless. If I.T. is something you are interested in don't let anything stop you.