How to Become an IT Specialist
The Road to an IT Career Starts with Proper Training
Consider these three simple steps: Build your skills, Build a network, and then Build your career. The possibilities seem endless for entry-level IT specialists. Can you think of an industry that doesn’t somehow depend on computer networks and digital technology? But just being “good with computers” won’t be enough to help you start a career in IT. Becoming an IT specialist takes a few basic steps, but the time you invest will be worth the effort.
Build the skills hiring managers are looking for
It’s essential to make sure the skills you’re taking out into the workforce are the same ones in demand by employers. A hands-on IT career training program should reflect that – and at Lincoln Tech, we team with industry insiders to make sure our curriculum is up to date. Advisory boards made up of industry professionals review and approve what’s being taught in our classrooms and IT labs to make sure students graduate with the skills needed to begin entry-level IT careers. Courses in topics such as PC Repair and Support, Networking Tools and Techniques, Cloud Computing with Remote Service, Introduction to Security, and more will prepare you for your IT career*. And an internship upon completion of your training will help you put it all together in a real-world environment to ensure your skills match up with the demands of today’s jobs.
Build your professional network
Career fairs and other hiring events are great ways to connect with potential employers, even before you graduate. Hiring managers regularly visit Lincoln Tech campuses to meet potential new hires, and Career Services specialists can help you build a network that will help open more doors when you enter the working world. You might even choose to work part-time while you attend school, and your co-workers can be valuable resources in your professional development as well.
Build your I.T. career
Getting the training is only the first step. Information Technology in virtually any industry is going to be a fast-paced, ever-changing field. You’ll need to keep current and make sure your certifications are up to date, and from time to time your employer may recommend additional training – some may even offer to pay for it. What’s “hot” today in IT may have cooled off by tomorrow, and the most in-demand employees will be the ones whose skills are best matched with the current state of the industry. Although you’ll break in with an entry-level position, with a professional mindset and great work ethic you could advance quickly. You can even start out ahead of the pack by earning an Associate’s Degree instead of a Certificate in Pennsylvania.
In 2017, median pay rates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania averaged more than $30/hour for Computer Network Support Specialists, and even the entry-level average of more than $20/hour was well above the national minimum wage (New Jersey, where three different Lincoln campuses offer IT training, had one of the nation’s top entry-level pay rates last year). Not surprisingly, there are also expected to be plenty of opportunities in the years ahead: by 2026 there are more than 14,000 positions projected to become available for entry-level IT specialists in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania alone**.
Ready to become an IT Specialist? Reach out to a Lincoln Tech campus near you and put yourself on the path to an incredible new career.
* “Cloud Computing with Remote Service” and “Introduction to Security” courses are specific to training programs at campuses in New Jersey. These topics are included in differently-titled courses as part of the program at the Allentown, PA campus. The Allentown campus also provides an externship in place of the internship included in New Jersey.
** Source: careeronestop.org for the years 2016-2026.