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How do I transition to IT from my current career?

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Question: How do I transition to IT from my current career?

Transitioning from your current career to IT via certification can be tough. Much depends on your experience and how much you are willing to invest in training. No matter how you go about it, having a certification to back up your new skills and display your sincerity to change careers will help you find that great new job.

Answer: Leverage Your Experience
First, evaluate your experience and focus on areas where you already have some knowledge. For example, if you are a manager in your current job, try to transition your leadership skills into a Project+ or PME certification. If you currently work with MS Office products, look into the Microsoft Office Specialist as a stepping stone to more advanced certifications or a MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer). If you really have no IT experience to work with, avoid going straight for the high level certifications such as the MCSE or CCNE. Even if you attend training and manage to pass the exams, anyone hiring for positions that require high level certifications will want experience to back up the cert. Stick with entry to mid level certifications to get on track and build your resume.

Take Training Classes
The best way to really learn a subject is through training. There are several classes offered both online and in classrooms, most globally. Check the official website for the certification in which you are interested to find the approved training courses. If you already have some experience or knowledge on the subject, opt for a good study guide. Check my reviews or the certification area of an online bookstore (most allow reader reviews) to get a good idea of which books are best.

Ask Questions
Directly contact hiring managers in the companies you would like to work for to see what qualifications they consider to be important. If you have friends or family in IT, ask them what you might be able to expect. Check forums and job boards online to familiarize yourself with terminology and expectations.

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