I was where you are in all this 5 years ago. I had a natural ability with computers but I needed more than that to start working professionally of course. The best way in my opinion is to start with a basic computer certification course, like an MCP in windows xp desktop, or if you are more adventurous start with the A+ certification. Personally I preferred the classroom since it allowed me to ask lots of questions and to clarify things with a live person. Even if you can take a local tech class a few hours a week that is better than book studying alone. I know those who have the head knowledge and do not know how to apply it in the real world. They amount to paper certs only and that alone will not be of much use in the end game. I took a vocational school class for my A+ cert 4 hrs a week. It was a 4 month class but I studied independently of the class and learned enough from others while in class that I passed the certification tests in one month. I am currently one test away from MCSA and will complete my MCSE by the end of this year. The MCSE certification is for someone who wants to be a Systems Engineer who can design and implement a networking system from the ground up. Good luck to you on this new adventure, and best wishes and many successes along the way for you!
everything depends on what you would like to do. The IT wolrd offers many job roles such as System Engineer, Network Administrator, Programmer, DB Administrator, Security Administrator and so on. I suggest you to first understand where you want to go with your certification and think about which job position fits better, then start the learning plan.
Some hints may be: starting as a programmer puts you in a medium-long career at medium levels (except you’re a genius) and then you can go up to Analyst level; Tech Support is dangerous because you may “jump” to the upper level as coordinator manager or simply stay the same and talk to users every day; DB Admin is difficult but pays well; Security is difficult but attractive (many ppl thinks of white-hat hackers to be cool).
Once again, think about yourself, what you want and then start. A good starting point may be Microsoft Learning Plans.
12 years ago I “sold” myself as a SysAdmin for Novell…I wasn’t but as soon as I finished my job hours I went home and studied up to 5am to become a SysAdmin or simply understand what I was talking about; today I’m Level 2 EMEA Technical Support Engineer and meanwhile I’ve touched many job functions but what fits better to me is solve problems…my motto may be like:
“I’m Winston Wolfe. I solve problems.” (Pulp Fiction – 1994)
I hope this helps and I wish you all the best and welcome to the IT world