Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· SAS Member
Joined
·
483 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
This post is for those who have succeeded and failed in the IT industry. A little about myself. I'm really good at fixing computers, but I'm just not a programmer. I'm familiar with using Windows, Linux and Mac, and have great troubleshooting skills. I can type pretty fast too. I am sure theres alot of people out there like me but, I heard there is a shortage of IT Support workers... maybe im wrong.

Anyways, I have a learning disability so that makes it harder for me to succeed in school, but the TSP (Tech Support Professional) course I would probably do good at because I already know a lot about computers. I'm sure theres some things I dont know yet, but I learn pretty fast because its what im passionate about.

I just need some advice before I proceed to go to school. I know there must be some people here that have tried working as a Technical Support Professional.

I kind of want to try this out so maybe I can live a better life financially.

So basically what I'm asking is, did you have difficulty in this job and how did you succeed?. Or did you fail?. If your not comfortable talking about it here maybe you could PM me?. I just want to make the right decision. Kinda tired of working in Retail (it's been 15 years so far and yes I deal with customers everyday).

Thanks in advance.
 

· Wash Away The Rain
Joined
·
573 Posts
I worked in IT help desk / service desk / tech support / whatever you want to call it for a couple of years and I despised it, ended up going to university and am currently trying to make my way into software engineer. The work itself is not too bad, you will likely be dealing with other professional people rather than the public if you work for a managed services provider or a company's internal team. Though if you could handle dealing with customer service in retail for 15 years you'll probably do just fine.

My first role was in a very busy almost call-centre lite environment where phones were ringing non-stop and it feels like everything is broken and urgent and needs to be fixed yesterday, I would regularly have support tickets from 40 different people and a dozen companies all with their own different systems, but having to constantly talk to people non-stop was what burnt me out. The second place I worked at was an internal role for a company and was a fair bit better, but I still hated it.

So if you can get a hold on your SA and you don't mind talking to people all the time, and enjoy fixing problems, then you'll have no issues. From there you might be lucky / get an opportunity to pick up some more advanced knowledge on managing servers and other IT infrastructure and move into a support engineer role, like a couple of my friends have.
 

· SAS Member
Joined
·
483 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I worked in IT help desk / service desk / tech support / whatever you want to call it for a couple of years and I despised it, ended up going to university and am currently trying to make my way into software engineer. The work itself is not too bad, you will likely be dealing with other professional people rather than the public if you work for a managed services provider or a company's internal team. Though if you could handle dealing with customer service in retail for 15 years you'll probably do just fine.

My first role was in a very busy almost call-centre lite environment where phones were ringing non-stop and it feels like everything is broken and urgent and needs to be fixed yesterday, I would regularly have support tickets from 40 different people and a dozen companies all with their own different systems, but having to constantly talk to people non-stop was what burnt me out. The second place I worked at was an internal role for a company and was a fair bit better, but I still hated it.

So if you can get a hold on your SA and you don't mind talking to people all the time, and enjoy fixing problems, then you'll have no issues. From there you might be lucky / get an opportunity to pick up some more advanced knowledge on managing servers and other IT infrastructure and move into a support engineer role, like a couple of my friends have.
That definitely sounds interesting, and thanks for sharing your story. What I fear the most is working in a call center in the setting you described. But I’m sure I could probably tolerate a smaller call center with the ability to write emails in some situations or use live chat etc. I guess I will just have to go to school and find a job and see what happens, but your advice is really helpful, thanks again.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,818 Posts
I am technically still "fresh" in the field but I will still give my 2 cents.

Personally, I think if you have the drive and the capacity to keep learning tech, you will do fine. It helps to have some kind of foundation so that you can hit the ground running in at least something really specific... let's say something related to Windows, maybe something specific to Linux, etc. It doesn't mean you have to be a jack of all trades... it means you have some familiarity with the tools of the trade.

I honestly don't know what employers look for since I've never interviewed people myself. All I can do is guess based on what I've seen and what I've seen people use to hire me.

What I can say is that getting certified in this field definitely gets you noticed a lot more and it really does stand out. I wasn't getting much luck until I got myself a cert or two... and this was WITH a college education.

I think depending on what you want to go for and or where you're at, you will find that perhaps having a degree will either help or not help changing careers. My opinion on this is that you don't need one despite some job descriptions making it look like it's required. Could it make it easier for entry? I have no clue. Everybody has to start somewhere though.

I personally think that just about all the material I had in the courses from my university could easily be found on the Internet. There are a lot of sites that offer free courses and sometimes even some universities offer courses for free. The benefit of IT is that you'll likely find lots of resources online that will help you out if you're trying to learn and they do it in varying methods. I learned HTML/CSS/JavaScript via a site called codecademy.com. They used to be free but the platform was hands on learning so I actually got more out of that than I did from a course I actually paid tuition for in university. The heart of this lies with the fact that anything in tech follows a standard... usually that standard has some kind of reference to it available to the public (e.g. RFC) or through some official documentation and or 3rd party article. There are literally thousands of articles for open source stuff now and whenever I've hit a hard place, I've usually been able to find one on Google to get me out of a tight spot. The benefit of university is that you can have some guidance and the scope of all the potential relevant information to give you a foundation is partitioned into digestible lectures. It doesn't mean the info isn't out there though. If anything, open source stuff is abundant and always readily available for you to learn/access.

That is enough about the knowledge aspect or imposter syndrome stuff. Let's talk about the "service" aspect of IT.

Honestly, I find that IT is also kind of service oriented. The expectations and standards are probably different than what I imagine it's like being in a call center but ultimately, you are still working with people. There's no getting around that no matter how good of a programmer you are (except for some scenarios). Your experience will likely actually help you out here.

I would say I definitely failed during my first job... I would even say I failed miserably. Granted it was my first job ever, I really didn't do my best. It's a given that my soft skills suck so I definitely didn't handle social events very well. Still though, I think where I succeeded was my ambition to learn, my willingness to help, and my motivation to keep a certain quality to my work. My first employer definitely took advantage of me despite giving me inadequate pay but they also paved way for me to acquire some neat things like certs. I have noticed that people who have been around longer than me or who are higher tier than me also might not possess the best social skills but the gist of it is, you will still need to work with people so being a team player is rudimentary.

My advice at this point is that whether or not you decide to get a degree or not, I would look into getting a starter cert to at least make some proof that you have some kind of foundation for IT. Job descriptions usually mentioned the CompTIA A+ cert for this so I would look into that as a first cert. It was on the cheaper side last I recall but you might need to save up for this one. You can likely purchase exam prep for it to prepare a little better.

Sorry for the wall of text but I wanted to give enough relevant information for you since I have some kind of experience in the field.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about anything tech related, feel free to PM me directly. This offer goes out to anyone wanting some insight on tech.

Best of luck! ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: CaptainPeanuts

· Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
I have been working in the IT tech field since 2004. I joined the Air Force reserve as a Client Systems support Technician, after tec school I joined my unit and stayed on orders for a few years essentially doing HelpDesk/Desktop support. When it comes to government jobs you need CompTIA Security+ cert so I got that as well. As a reservist and not Active Duty you can only stay on orders for so long. When that was running out I just looked up government contract tec support jobs on base and found one at an actual help desk and started working there. I really just try to jump around to a different contract or company every 3 or so years. Right now I am working on a Missile Defense program monitoring their network and I report any outages that occur during my shift. I have been there for almost a year. It's already becoming a cush job and I am starting to get complacent. I will give it another year and then I will need to find something else, hopefully with a 20% pay raise.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The IT field is also full of surprises, but it has become closer to me than the others. From my experience I can say that having worked in trade for several years, it was there that I got acquainted with IT platforms which were to facilitate my daily routine of working with goods and people. Retail is interesting, though, as are logistics, advertising, and reporting when you're doing merchandising. But I liked the area of integrating some of the products for our firm. In particular, they added accounting automation for new products https://www.networklondon.co.uk/managed-services/. For large retail outlets, this is an unprecedented luxury and plenty of free time for operators. So I'm thinking of just transferring to another position but not leaving this position
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top