In The Bag: Skills to Start Your IT Career
Having the right skills can make the difference between getting a job and starting a long-lasting career. And the more you have “in the bag,” the greater the likelihood that employers will be willing to increase the level of compensation for access to your specific skills. For example, maybe they want somebody who has skills in an IT Career?
This summer, the Lincoln Tech “In the Bag” blog series will highlight skill sets and tools that our graduates have in their bag that make them attractive to employers when they graduate and join the workforce. Want to know what you need to have “in the bag” when you begin a career in Automotive, HVAC, electronics, high-voltage electricity, healthcare and more? You’ll find it in this series!
Here, our lead IT Instructor from the Paramus campus, where students can train for and launch careers in computers and network support, talks about skills grads need to get started in their careers working in the field.
Starting Your IT Career:
In this lifetime, you will get paid to do something, not merely to know something. Furthermore, you can potentially be paid well to do something that few people have the skills for. Considering the level of intimidation people feel when it comes to the technology and systems they depend upon, turning your general IT interest into specific IT skills is the first step to a fun (yes, fun!) and rewarding career in the IT field.
But which skills? Where do you start? If you perform a search for skills in demand in the IT industry, the results will be very interesting, perhaps even eye opening. A dizzying alphabet soup of certifications and job titles will fly by: from A+ to CCNA to CISSP, and from CIO to CSR. They represent every area of IT and cover every career stage.
There’s good news. Starting an IT career isn’t nearly as dizzying as it appears. There’s a fundamental set of skills employers are looking for in entry-level IT professionals. Having a career in IT is a lot like having a career in medicine. No one’s simply “a doctor.” Their interests eventually propelled them down specific paths towards specialties in certain diseases or sports medicine or surgery, for instance. But each doctor started with a pre-med program or med school. The same can be said for the field of IT.
Lincoln Tech’s IT career training program, the Computer and Network Systems Technician (CNST) program, is designed to deliver the IT skills currently in demand as your begin your career. Because technology is never static, we are continually engaged with employers to determine what they are looking for when they hire new techs. We function together as partners to ensure that the Lincoln Tech graduates they employ continue to have the skills needed to support their systems and their customers.
While each company’s systems, and therefore specifically desired skills, vary they all come back to a core set of fundamental skill sets. These include:
- Troubleshooting Skills – Knowing how to think logically and actually apply knowledge.
- Desktop Support – Going “under the hood and behind the curtain” of Windows.
- Systems Support – Taking care of basic device integration, printers, servers and upgrades.
- Networking Support – Performing wired and wireless configuration and troubleshooting.
- Customer Support – Taking care of the people, not just the equipment.
The CNST program has specific modules that target technologies to build the specific skills within the areas of Desktop Support, Systems Support, Networking Support and Customer Support. The concepts within Troubleshooting Skills are applied throughout each module.
This is just a sampling of the interesting and valuable skills that are part of the gateway to a fun and potentially lucrative career in the IT field! If you've got a mind for problem solving and love the intricate technology behind computers, wireless devices and more, this field could be for you!
Lincoln Tech campuses offer this career training in several states, including Georgia (at Lincoln Tech in Atlanta), Massachusetts (in Lowell and Somerville), New Jersey (in Iselin, Moorestown and Paramus), and Pennsylvania (at Lincoln Tech in Allentown, Center City Philadelphia, and Northeast Philadelphia).
Follow Lincoln Tech's "In the Bag" series throughout the summer to learn about hands-on career paths that are growing around the country, and about the skills you need to follow those paths to a successful future!