There are many ways to break into tech. My focus in this article is to provide some of the information that helped me along the way.
You have to start somewhere. I’m not sure where you are in your journey for tech knowledge, or where you want to go. I always suggest to start with looking at some jobs. For example:
Examin the requirements for the jobs you look up. Try various job boards. Then start down a path focused on learning those skills by utilizing free resources (Google, YouTube, and Reddit are great for this).
Switching careers can be tough to do. I had a lot of emotions about this myself and it took me a long time. My advice is that you should at least be teaching yourself another skill if you have time.
That meant I had to make adjustments in my personal life that weren’t easy.
There are a lot of jobs that can leverage leadership skills in IT Management. People with this skill set may want to look at Project + and ITIL type certifications.
Remember that you have skills you already bring to the table. Try to leverage those skills if you’re switching careers.
My situation and your situation are different so we can’t really compare what I did to how you decide to do it.
I started with a lot of the above mentioned “free resources”. What motivated my interest in learning was haacking, and there is a lot of research that goes into it. A great platform to get started today that didn’t exist when I began is Tryhackme. I started with Vulnhub.
Then I moved onto Udemy for Colt Steele’s Web Dev Bootcamp - Updated for 2023. This came at the advice of /r webdev where I found many posts suggesting this course in opposition to a coding bootcamp. Then I got into the A+, Network+, Security+, Cysa+, and you get the point. I bought courses for around $10 each, and only bought when the sales came up.
Over the years I’ve set up a lot of fun homelab projects. I buy tech to tinker (when I was able to afford it). I learned to step away from some biases. An example bias being I never liked Apple phones, but I had to get one to learn iOS. Linux looked complicated, but I had to just get in it to step away from years of Windows comfort.
Learning takes time. It can be very frustrating, and you’ll need patience. Good sleep helps with figuring out issues. There are times I go to bed thinking about something, and wake up with the solution.
Note This list isn’t complete and will be updated. I have experience with everything that will be listed.
A+ Getting started in IT
Network+ You’re determined to know more
Learn Linux: Become root
Learning Cyber Security & Ethical Hacking: Now we’re having fun and learning
ITIL: Business of IT
Web Dev: Maybe web development or programming is your thing
Cloud and Other Learning Platforms: You like to learn
Recently Oracle began to develop public safety software and they offer free learning material to get started down a very rewarding cloud career path:
I’d also strongly suggest learning Jira Service Management, The Agile Scrum Framework, and ITIL. I’ll link to some resources on these in the future, and job searches you can do to find this type of work.
Getting past HR may require certifications and/or school. I opted to enroll myself into WGU after a conversation with a recruiter. I’d also make the point that most of the people I work with do not have an education; however, they have many more years of experience. Sometimes you have to go the extra mile to get what you want, and I wanted HR to pull my resume so I could get into interviews. I’d still highly recommend learning what you can on your own before jumping onto any education platforms. School isn’t for everyone, and WGU particularly. Do a lot of research before you spend money.
Some of the benefits of joining WGU and the WGU Cyber Club:
Also, setup home labs and tinker. Get some old PCs from eBay to break and fix. You have to make time to learn. Take care of your health both mental and physical. I care enough about you to sit here and write this. Now you have to start learning! :)
└─$ nc -lvp 1337
Listening on 10.10.5.11 1337