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Practical Tips for getting your first IT job

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by jk2447, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Hi All

    I've noticed more than a few people on here landing their first IT role and thought it might be a good idea to share tips, discuss how we got into IT etc so that some of our members still trying can read this thread and hopefully read something they haven't tried yet.

    I got into IT by working for a company as an office admin assistant. I wasn't there for long before I saw an internal only advert for a mainframe operator. I was really fortunate as this job wasn't advertised externally so had I not taken a standard office job, who knows what I'd be doing now.
    I got a place to study Biochemistry at Uni but my heart wasn't in it. I loved computers but my school/sixth form didn't do computing A'Levels so I went for sciences, which I do enjoy but computers have always been my passion. I've worked in IT for 13 years and I still love it.

    My advice to getting into IT is it is always best to apply for jobs when you have a job and who knows, perhaps your current work place has an IT department that occasionally advertises internally before it looks external. What would your advice be?

    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
    Bluerinse likes this.
  2. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    This is a great idea for a thread James, hoping peeps can contribute some good things to this thread.

    For me, it was a case of making sure you make friends with the right people. I was doing all the right things to start getting in to IT - I had my A+ and N+ and half the MCDST, but I hadn't applied for any jobs and I was quite galled at where to start.

    I was friends with the IT help at the company I had worked for. When she left, they weren't going to replace her as the IT was done at the central helpdesk, but because she'd mentioned I already knew a few things I became the "go to" person when she left. Not just that - when a vacancy came up at her new place, she had no hesitation in recommending me to her new employer.

    It was my first IT job interview, and I was lucky enough to land it. No doing the rounds at agencies, no farming off my CV to dozens of employers. Always been lucky in that regard.

    So, who you know is often just as important as what you know. Make sure you're networking with the right people. Sometimes the conversation with the right person makes a difference between the next big step and going stale in the same employment.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
    Bluerinse and jk2447 like this.
  3. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    I was lucky with my first IT job I guess in that I'd been out of uni a few months working my shop job and was just generally applying for things I saw. Part of the problem was I didn't really know what I wanted to do, IT roles usually jumped out at me as I was into computers.

    By chance saw an ad in the local paper for an analyst at a pretty large company based locally, applied and got the job.

    That was over 10 years ago now and things do seem to have changed a fair bit!
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Got a Computer Science degree and made 200+ applications for jobs...

    Probably not the best approach, but thats how I got my first IT job.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    When I was taking redundancy a few years ago I was applying like mad for things, can't even think how many applications I fired off but it was probably a similar amount!
  6. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Still a valuable lesson, persistence is the key. I think it's fair to say you are both very successful IT professionals in your own right.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  7. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    Thinking back there also just an element of luck involved as well!

    When I think of my career to date and the path it's taken there's a lot of 'what if xyz never happened, where would I be then'.
  8. Black Tortoise

    Black Tortoise Byte Poster

    Made formal decision to begin a career in IT back in Feb 2010 where I booked an instructor led N+ course at Commsupport. I studied and passed the N+ back in 2011, I applied to as many entry level jobs as I could, but unfortunately didn't get anything. Despite wanting to get into IT , I was desperate to get out of the employment I was currently in (long story), to the point where I just resigned with no job to go to. Fortunately an agency got back to me with a warehouse temp job, and basicly I did temp jobs until my next long term stint at Barclays in April 2012.

    I was extremely comfortable at Barclays, as I have never been accustomed to an employer "looking after" its employees, so forgot about IT jobs and, stayed there for 11 months until Feb 2013 where I left to go on holiday. Came back in May and just made a resolution that I would stay on the dole until I got an IT job - which forced me to get off my backside and start making applications! My efforts paid off last week as I was offered an 18k a year service desk position for an extremely well established multi national engineering conglomerate! Chuffed to say the least!
    Certifications: N+
    WIP: A+ Security+ ITIL V3
  9. veloce

    veloce Byte Poster

    My story is probably no different to the vast majority of people on here.
    I had always been working while studying. Became a father, got married and realised that life is simply too brief to be stuck in a dead end job doing something that I had grown to despise. There was no room for progression with the company, least of all into IT. Nevertheless I used the job as a lever to get involved in certain IT aspects within the company, giving me experience and confidence.
    In the meantime I made the decision to begin a BSc Hons in Computing & IT through the OU and continued to work and apply for any suitable roles.
    Largely most of the applications were ignored but you have to keep on plugging away. I start my first dedicated IT role in 3 weeks, with a commitment from the company to assist in my studies.
    Simple answer? A bit of luck and a large amount of perseverence and dedication.
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: BSc Hons Computing & IT

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