Dear Sir or Madam:
Help and service desk jobs are traditional entry ports into work in IT. By ruling out help desk, you’re also ruling out one of the best ways to get your foot into that particular door. And as far as AA degrees versus certifications go, there are lots and lots of community colleges and technical schools that offer combo programs whereby you earn both an AAS and one or more IT-related professional certifications (such as A+, Network+, MCITP, and CCNA, for a pretty typical example). I’d suggest looking into such programs and seeing what’s available in your vicinity. And please, don’t rule out help desk, either: if you really, really want to work in IT it’s one of the most common ways to get started in that field.