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Career change to degree or certs?


I have been working in the direct care field the past 5 years with a BA Sociology degree. I want to get into the IT field, but have no official experience. I have been applying to low level positions like help desk tier 1 etc but, no luck.

I am thinking about getting a IT degree or getting my A+ or any other relavent certs needed to get where I want to be. I have been fixing computers as a hobby for 10-15 years doing easy stuff for my family and friends. I am able to build a computer from scratch and set it up and install everything needed. I am very knowledgeable will all technology in general. I know some basic things for networking and security on the consumer side. I learned anything needed to make my gaming experience better like opening ports, port forwarding, etc. I also have done some basic command line stuff. I have dabbled in Linux a little bit so I have some knowledge of it. I know how to use all the Microsoft software. I know how to wipe, backup, and recover drives using free software on consumer side. I have knowledge of diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. I’m trying to list everything off that I have done, I am sure I’m missing something.

I was originally going to college for CS degree but, it was programming heavy (c++) and I decided I did not want to program. What I like to do is fix computer hardware and software related issues(something like helpdesk/desktop support). I wouldn’t mind learning networking and or security on top of that to expand my knowledge. I want to know what you all think I should do. Should I get an IT degree or just get certs to get in and continue learning and gaining certs on what ever is needed. Should I do both? Get a degree and certs after to raise my salary? I’m in USA.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.

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Sounds like getting some certificates wouldn’t be too difficult or take too long for you and should help you find an IT Support role. A degree will take longer and likely cost a lot more (I’m not in the US so no idea).



Guessing by your Caps avi youre in the DC area, Would recommend Sec+ as its required for DoD related jobs for the most par.



I was thinking of getting a degree because starting salary would be higher and I think it would benefit in the long run? I believe the degree should be around 2 years to finish because I already have a BA so I shouldn’t have to take any elective courses etc just the core courses.

I also want potential growth once I get in the field and get a feel of what I really like to do and want to master it and get to the highest position for that area available.

I end up just getting certs and going from there since it would be faster and cheaper. Thanks @BGL @mutation666

Any more advice is greatly appreciated



I’d keep applying for jobs and eventually someone will take a chance and hire you. Demonstrate good work ethic and interpersonal skills, which are job related skills that aren’t domain specific.

While you’re waiting, take some time to build a computer with you’re free time (or repurpose an old one) and use it to setup a domain controller and file server on your home network. Better yet, virtualize both.

That will give you some insight into corporate IT infrastructure - even if you don’t manage it yet, understanding can be helpful.

It’ll also give you something to talk about in your interview. If you want more fun and exciting things to do while your interviewing let me know - there’s a whole shit load of IT out there.




Thanks I will start researching on how to do that while I’m applying and have free time to do it. I have never done that before.



Once you get your domain controller setup, try to join one of your computers to your domain.

Here’s a cheat sheet for getting Active Directory Setup:



Thanks I’ll check this out



Anyone else want to chime in?