CompTIA and ITPro.TV hit the road this summer to meet IT pros across the United States and hear what they do, how they got into IT and what advice they have for aspiring IT pros. Watch the videos and keep reading to learn more about how you can start your journey to get into IT.
Joystick Game Bar, Atlanta, GA
IT pros in Atlanta met at Joystick Game Bar and spoke with us about what they do and how they got there. Tomiko Evans is a security administrator for The Goal and shared how she overcame adversity to get into IT.
“People were telling me I wasn’t cut out for it, but I had to show them, hey, I can do anything.”
Marc Murphy, president of SolDyn.com gave his advice for someone who wants to get into IT. (And we appreciate the shoutout to both CompTIA and ITPro.TV!)
“I would start out with the ITPro.TV series on A+ and Network+, see if you have an aptitude for it,” he said.
Honky Tonk Central, Nashville, TN
Nashville is known as Music City, so what better place for a meetup than Honky Tonk Central? We met a number of IT pros who shared their career journeys – including one who got into IT from education.
“I had an inkling and a desire for the analytical side and started playing with LEGOs, and it grew from there,” said Lowell Tapp, application administrator at Underwriters Laboratories
Nick Jackson is an instructor at Northeast Mississippi Community College and has a number of IT certifications, including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Project+. He had two pieces of advice for those who want to get into IT.
“Know what you’re doing, practice all the time. Set up a virtual machine, do what you think a business would need to do,” he said. “And two, get the certifications to prove you know what you’re doing.”
Bub City, Chicago, IL
Our meetup in Rosemont, IL, just outside of Chicago, was the largest of the tour, with more than 60 IT pros in attendance. Some, like Brian Tomarchio, a network engineer at Stryker Networks, have been in IT for a long time while others are just getting their feet wet or switched to IT from other careers.
“I started working at a dishwasher in a casino. There was an opportunity as an IT technician, so I applied,” said Asif Nadeem, IT technician for Grand Victoria Casino. “Working with computers is like my hobby. You know, they say, if you do what you love, you never work a single day in your life.”
Several attendees, including YouTube star Zach Hill, touted the benefits of ITPro.TV and CompTIA certifications. Bridget Nee, a student at Governors State University, is on her way to earning the CompTIA trifecta.
“I am A+ certified. I am Security+ certified. And the 29th of next month, I’m hoping I’m going to be Network+ certified,” she said.
Hi Scores Bar-Arcade, Las Vegas, NV
To close out the road trip, we held a final meetup in Las Vegas. At Hi Scores Bar-Arcade, more than 30 IT pros stopped by to eat, drink, play video games and share their IT stories.
“I started out doing tech support and then went into a junior administrative position for a couple of years,” said Heather Anderson, network administrator. “After that, I decided to advance my career by getting [CompTIA A+] to validate my skills … which was great because I was able to get a job with a managed service provider.”
Lee McWorter, an IT instructor and owner/chief geek, McWhorter Technologies, has every CompTIA certification on the market and offered this advice to someone who wants to get into IT.
“The biggest words of advice I could give … is just do it. Don’t give up, don’t be afraid at all about playing with the technology. You can’t really hurt anything,” he said. “The best thing is just to keep in there, and if you mess it up, start over and do it again.”
Ready to get certified? Check out our four steps to certification to find out how to get started.