Can I switch to an IT career in networking without a four-year degree?

1545 pts.
Help Desk
Networking careers
Networking certifications
I am thinking about switching careers to join the IT field. I was thinking about an AA degree but was told certifications will work better because of specialized fields. Unfortunately, I don’t have four years to get a BA. I'm open to anything, network, software, etc., but I am not interested in help desk. Any advice?


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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.


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  • Kevin Beaver
    I agree with Ed - don't rule out the help desk. Even if you set a goal to work at a help desk for 6 months to a year, it'll be invaluable experience. And, no, you don't need a degree to work in the may need it to get over some HR barriers to entry but no degrees or certifications are required to be successful in IT. Check out the other things I've written and discussed about IT careers including your specific question.
    27,515 pointsBadges:
  • Jay2496
    Both Ed and Kevin are correct. Get your foot in the door with a help desk job. This is the foundation to so many different avenues in IT. I started out at the help desk, desktop support and now I'm a Cisco Network Engineer. As far as a certification vs degree is that you can get a cert like A+ or Net+ because it is marketable and it will get you in the door but as you progress in the IT field (depending on what you would like to do), more certs and experience is required. My advise a cert and apply for a help desk job. Once you get a job, work on your degree because eventually you will come across a job that will require you to have a AA or BS in Information Technology. I recently was turned down because I do not have my BS and that has motivated me to go back to school and finish up my BS in Security Administration. Good luck. Jay
    90 pointsBadges:
  • rkwac453
    Hello, I'm Ravi, currently working professional in bpo. I did my graduation in BA, i want to get in to the IT Field. I'm intrested in doing SAN(storage area network) & Cloud Computing course. Could you please tell me whether it is a good one for me to do this course & if its possible please provide me the institutes names in bangalore(malleshwaram) which will teach this course?
    130 pointsBadges:

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