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Can I get guidance on pursuing a career in the IT field?


John Kyle Los Gatos, CA

Being an Electronics Technician, I have experience with computers and a little bit of networking along with a recently earned CCNA, but I feel that I'm never up to the expectations of IT job postings. I don't have three years of network admin experience or working with a database for example. Any assistance on gaining IT experience to get started or anecdotal career crossover stories would be greatly appreciated. I'm also not sure what specific path I want to take in IT (Networking, Cloud services, Cyber), but know I'm excited to be a part of a technically challenging field that's always changing.

18 February 2020 5 replies Career Exploration



Chad Eaves Lake Zurich, IL

Hi John,

Pick an area. Cybersecurity is in demand and pays well, but be sure you enjoy that type of work.

Whatever field you pick, building up your skills is a must. At this stage, find a job that will be your foot in the door.

I earned an engineering degree after I got out of the Navy in an non-IT field. I wanted to go into computers but not change my degree (I was close to graduating). My first job was on a help desk. I did that for about 8 months. Trained myself on programming skills, got some certs, then got hired with a consulting company.

It can seem like a longer than desired path, but it can pay off. Within five years of graduating I moved between three jobs, doubling my salary with each move.

I hope that helps, John.

Good luck!


18 February 2020 Helpful answer


John Faber Arlington, VA

Hi John,

I know a network administrator who has several years of experience who has not yet obtained the CCNA. He even went to a boot camp two months ago to help him prepare for the exam.

I recommend focusing on the skills required for a position and highlighting these skills in your resume. You may not have 3 years of experience, but if you can perform the job then does it really matter from an employer’s perspective? To help you make the transition to cyber, I suggest looking at positions that require knowledge of switches and networks that involve the use of/or understanding of Cisco equipment. I hope this helps!


18 February 2020 Helpful answer


Yasmina Madeira New York, NY

Hi John,

Thank you so much for your service and for submitting your question! I don’t personally have an IT background, but I do have some suggestions for you. If you have post 9/11 service, I recommend that you sign up for our mentoring program here: This way, you’ll be able to talk with someone with an IT background, who can give you some guidance and general career advice. Also, I suggest that you visit our Community tab and reach out to an advisor in your area who can also answer your questions. If you need help with any of these steps, please feel free to contact us.

Our general office line: 212-752-0700.



18 February 2020 Helpful answer


Jerrica Moses Arlington, VA

Hi John-
Technical recruiter here. First, congrats on your CCNA! I hire for a program that staffs mostly Network Engineers. A majority of the folks I hire started their career working as Help Desk. Then, they focused their skills on which area of IT they wanted to pursue. Help Desk experience is often transferable into other areas. A jump-start if you will.

Hope this helps!


John Kyle Los Gatos, CA

Thanks everyone for the quick feedback!
Chad- Help desk jobs are what I'll be looking for to get my first hand experience. Hearing firsthand stories from people definitely make this path sound a lot more attainable.
John- I signed up for Skillsoft to get some free lessons on programming so hopefully that works out in getting some extra skills for my resume.
Yasmina- I'm on it! Getting a mentor in the IT field would be amazing!
Thanks again!

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