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The Catch-22 of Getting an IT Job

Posted by TestOut Staff on

Information technology (IT) certification training leads to employment, right? Yes and no. When it comes to seeking IT employment en route to a full-fledged IT career, nothing trumps experience. Enter the ever-frustrating Catch-22: “How am I supposed to land a job that requires experience, when I first need a job to gain experience?”

Job Interview

Just looking at that question tugs at the heartstrings a little. Every person seeking that first job in their respective career has faced this painful quandary — especially those wanting to start an IT career. You’ve likely chosen an IT career because it promises good pay and stability. Those rewards, however, only materialize after you’ve reached a certain point. The experience necessary to reach that point can be difficult to come by ... though not for those who use TestOut products.

TestOut IT certification training is experienced-based, and gives the student ample opportunities to practice the material hands-on. A recent blog post from CBT Nuggets listed five excellent tips for getting that hands-on experience. Here is the list through the eyes of a TestOut trainer:

  1. Volunteer — Look for a local nonprofit, charity or club that needs IT assistance and volunteer. If you are currently employed (at an IT related job or not) ask your boss if they need help with any technology related projects. Ask IT professionals you know if you can shadow them at work.
  2. Build a Home Lab — You can actually do this without buying or building anything, simply by signing up for any TestOut course with its online simulations. You can try these lab simulations free here.
  3. Do What You Love — If you’re passionate about something, then you will take the time to really learn about it. If you know you’re passionate about IT, but are not sure what area you would like to focus on, then give a few TestOut courses a try.
  4. Break Stuff — Labs (especially virtual labs) are perfect places to play around with tech tools without doing any real harm.
  5. Train — Make time to train. Certification training is seen by most employers as valuable IT experience. If you’re not landing the job you want, it’s worth it to train for more certifications.

Following these guidelines will relieve the anxiety you have surely felt over not having enough experience to be employed. Don’t let a Catch-22 keep you from your dream of an IT career.

Jedi Jake Slater, the Social Media MasterAbout the AuthorJake Slater is the social media manager for GoCertify and a graduate of Brigham Young University. Jake is the bombardier.


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  • Thank you for this advice. I do plan on self-training with TestOut in the near future. I currently work as a Sound and Com Installer so I build server rooms and provide data to workspaces for a living. I just really will like to learn the software aspect to IT, not just the physical layer. A career in IT is rewarding and satisfying. Thanks again.

    Andre Duran on

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