They say hindsight is 20/20 which is unfortunate when you’re doing something like planning your future.
While there will always be some aspect of the unknown, there are definitely ways you can have a better idea of what you’re getting into. One of those ways is to pick the brains of those that have gone before you. A solid piece of advice assuming you know someone in the field you are interested in. If not? No worries. We asked our facebook fans what their advice would be for someone just getting into an IT career. The response was overwhelming. We saw the good, the bad, and the ugly but here are some that stood out…
“If you are coding and reading books to learn, make sure you compile or run all sample programs provided before you dig in. Don’t waste your time on tutorials that are obsolete or require software that you don’t have–make sure their code actually works, then trust the teacher.” -Joshua T.
“Don’t necessarily take the first job offered to you or the one that pays the most. Taking a job that will surround you with smart, experienced people with opportunities to learn and grow in responsibility will put your career on fast forward.” -Todd A.
“Know a little about everything, but specialize in one thing.” -David J.
“You need lots of patience…. ASK QUESTIONS. Most people in IT have a lot of pride and will not ask for help. The minute you think you know everything is when you start to fail…” -Brian B.
“Don’t go into Desktop / Deskside Support if you want to be directly employed by the place you work. Typically you’ll be outsourced and considered somewhat disposable.” -Jon M.
“Passion must be the key to make a good IT Professional, making research and exploring widely in order to be above other competitors in the IT World, and you must be willing to invest in different technologies so as to enable u [you] have more career opportunities than ur peers or colleagues.” -Marshal E.
“Build a lab from junk at home, put in the time, and get the ‘feel’ for computers.” -Brian M.
“The day you stopped learning new tech in this field, that will be your last day in competition filled corporate world . U [you] will forever be student in networking/support side never a master or teacher, cause you are not developing new tech your [you’re] just learning how to use it.” -Atif K.
“…if you don’t like reading get another job.” -Mario R.
“Learn learn learn. If your company does not give you books or a CBT Nuggets subscription, pay it yourself. You will get your money back 20 times in future salaries when you’ll get certified…” -Sharon L.
“Keep learning, IT changes everyday!” -AbdulMalik B.
“Be brave.” -David R.
“…it isn’t for everybody” -Brock S.
“practice… practice… practice” -Kishan K.
“My advice, find a good network marketing company. Take control of your life, amazing profession with limitless opportunity if you have passion to help others.” -Jon B.
“He/she must be vigilant and prepared to work abnormal hours even weekends and holidays. Must be a people’s person, easy to be communicated with.” -Ntombi M.
“Get the basics right” -Kapil T.
“If the choice is to be kind or to be right…. Try kindness” -Shane S.
“When I started in IT, I didn’t really know what the career paths were. Nobody really sat down and took the time to explain them to me in layman’s terms. I ended up going to Herzing college and learning a bunch of somewhat useful knowledge, but without the ‘guidance’ of knowing where/how to apply it I ended up in an IT support job. Here’s what they don’t teach that would have been valuable for me to know when I entered:
What are the variety of careers you can have in “IT”? Do you want to be a:
IT support guy (Level 1 or 2)
IT support management
A very basic introductory of what the above titles typically entail and where their ‘focuses’ are would have been awesome.” -Ryan Y.
What advice would you share with someone just starting out in IT?