If you decided to pursue a career in Information Technology but do not really have any idea as to what to learn first you have come to the right place. When I first started my career Information Technology or IT for short I Googled and searched Youtube for any information I can get. The truth is I could not find anything that was actually helpful. I decided to write this article so I can help anyone trying to start a new Career in Information Technology and give them a idea of what they will need to learn so that if they start a job they are ready to work and can hit the ground running. The Ten things I decided to list in this article will come straight from what the most popular tickets are for any Help Desk or It Technician.
If you are starting a Job In IT you will most likely either start at help desk or as a IT Field Technician. Depending on what company you work for that can mean a lot of things. You can either work for a large company that has its own tech team or a Managed services Provider which offers IT services to lots of companies. Either way both these jobs are very similar, the difference is the Field Tech is mostly out in the field and has to install a lot of hardware and deal with the clients face to face were the help desk tech can get away with remotely connecting to the clients computer and working with them to fix whatever issue they may be having. Usually the help desk technician is the clients first point of contact and if the issue cannot be resolved remotely the help desk technician will schedule a field technician to go to visit the client and fix the problem.
Below I will make a list of 10 things you should look into if you want to start a career in IT. These 10 things are going to be a great starting point and should not take a long time to master. By learning these things you can start working and get enough done to keep a tech job while giving you enough time to learn and grow. I have included links to Amazon in the article below so you can see the images of the products and software.
Top Ten things to learn when starting a Career in Information Technology IT.
- The easiest thing to learn is how to install a computer workstation. A lot of jobs in the field have to do with installing a new computer or moving computers from one desk to another. Although this may seem easy it may not be as straight forward as you think. When you install a new workstation you have to make sure that you have the right video cables a lot of times older monitor only have a VGA connection so if you are installing a dual monitor you may need a VGA adapter. Also it is important to learn cable management, how to clean up the cables using Velcro so they do not look like they are just hanging everywhere.
- When you are doing a computer install you have to ask the client what programs they will need. From there you will have to install all the programs and get the licenses. You need to look into how to create a license on Microsoft 365 for emails, for Microsoft Office, and any other software you are installing. Also you may need to learn how to Install Quickbooks and activate it using a existing license which you can usual verify using the customers phone number or some piece of information they gave when they ordered the software. You may also need to add whatever company files they use on Quickbooks so you may need the customer to give you the password or write them in when adding the company files to the computer. You have to make sure they are the right company files sometimes the client might create a couple of different versions of a Quickbooks company file and not even know which one they were working on.
- One of the most important things you will need to is how to use is Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 or 2016. Most offices run on it nowadays and you should try and learn as much as you can. The most important and easiest things to learn in the beginning is how to join a computer to a domain, how to create a user on a Windows server, how to follow the naming convention of whatever is already used on the server, and how to change passwords for a user. After you learn the basics it would be a really good idea to try and learn as much as you can like how to setup a server for a company from scratch.
- You need to learn at least one Imaging software like Acronis or Symantec Ghost. With imaging software you can clone hard drives or create a image and use it to setup 10 desktops in a quarter of the time it would take to do them one by one.
- You need to learn bios settings and how to setup a computer Using Rufus to create a start up disk, learn the differences between Legacy and UEFI Mode!!
- You need to learn the basic of cabling, how far you can run a Cat 6 cable ( 100 meters/ 328feet) and how to put ends on a cable. You will need to learn how to install a rack, switch , patch panel, UPS, Server, Backup Hardware, Router, Security Gateway, Firewall etc. You should be familiar with what the hardware in a server room looks like and how to go about troubleshooting it. Believe it or not if a company does not have internet the first thing you may have to tell them is to restart the router and switch. You may have to explain to the client how it looks like and you may have never seen their setup so having a good understanding of how everything looks like is important.
- How to setup remote access for a computer or how to setup remote access on a computer with a VPN ( Virtual Private Network). Most of your clients will want to be able to login to there computer from home the safest way to do this is to setup a VPN and login to the Work network and then setup remote from there. You should be familiar of how to do this.
- You should be familiar with the different types of phones systems, IP phones are very popular today so you may want to look into how to setup a IP Phone. You should also look into how older phone systems work, a popular system is the Avaya Phone systems that can have both IP and Analogue phones.
- You need to learn Microsoft Office and by office I mean Outlook. You will be working on Outlook problems from day 1 and you should know where everything is and how to use the Windows credential managers, deal with SSL DNS issues, how to import and Export PST files. The good thing is a lot of people are switching to the cloud based Microsoft exchange so you no longer have to master how to manage a Microsoft Exchange Server. But it is always good to learn as much as you can, you never know your new job may have a Microsoft Exchange server on the premises and you may be in charge of making sure it works.
- You will need to learn about printers, a lot of times you may not have to fix the hardware yourself because a lot of companies rent the printer and the company they rent it from fixes the hardware issue but it is always good to know how to change ink or a drum on a laser printer. You will need to know how to diagnose printer problems install drivers for different versions of windows, setup a scan folder on a shared drive and link them to a mailbox on the printer. remove old printer drivers from a computer, setup server to install printer drivers when installing a new PC on a network and more.
Software usually used by a Managed service provider
Tickets system – used to create tickets for clients Example Autotask, Spiceworks.
RMM System – used to troubeshoot a network and install software remotely – Datto RMM, Ninja RMM
Remote Software – Splashtop, GoToAssist, VNC, TeamViewer
This is a Quick write up to help anyone trying to start a Information Technology Career. I will write a lot more of these and continue to build on this section of the website. I believe it is important to know what you need to learn when you are first starting and I do not believe there is enough real and practical information out there.