How Do I Start Learning Information Technology?

Do you want to work in information technology but not sure how to get started? The good news is that most industries uses IT in one way or another. The term “IT support” can mean different things.  It can range from resolving computer problems to rolling out large-scale upgrades in an executive setting. The variety of options within the field does bring with it one particular issue. How do I start learning about information technology?

How Do I Start Learning The Information Technology Field?

Most people start their day by scrolling through a smartphone. Their work is done on laptops or desktops. And at the end of the day, they often relax with connected media systems or consoles. The widespread nature of modern technology has led many people to begin the path to an IT career with self-education. And this often leads to the question of whether or not to continue with self-study or look into formal education.

The problem with self-education, is that people may focus on the parts of IT that they use in their own lives, but this will only be a fraction of how IT works in a business, corporate or large-scale setting. Self-study can often pass by entire subjects within the larger context of IT. In short, self-education can leave you with significant and ever-increasing knowledge gaps.

Meanwhile, formal education in IT, such as an information technology program at a technical college is more comprehensive by design. An IT program is usually created from the ground up to focus on the many areas of the subject. You’ll learn more than a single technology. Instead, you’ll be prepared to work within any of the individual positions which fall under the larger banner of information technology.

The Major Benefits of a Formal Education in IT

The fact that formal education removes potential knowledge gaps is important. However, it’s just one of many benefits that come from an information technology program. The following examples highlight some of the important features of a formal technical training in IT. The major benefits include:

Use the Actual Hardware and Software That You’ll Find on the Job

Enterprise level IT has many similarities and differences to home or small business computer systems. Both a PC tower and corporate web server use RAM, CPUs, and several shared hardware components. However, professional hardware and software also has unique features not found anywhere else. A high-powered cloud server using high-priced licensed operating systems isn’t something commonly found anywhere but professional spaces. You need to learn how to use the hardware and software found in professional settings.

IT programs provide an in-depth education on the advanced technologies used in enterprise-level settings. You aren’t just studying those setups on a theoretical basis. You will gain hands-on experience with advanced systems while you learn about them.

Learn Communication Skills

An IT support specialist doesn’t just need to be a computer expert, the job also requires an ability to explain complex computer-related concepts to less technically minded coworkers. For example, you might know how to get a list of running processes on a command line but explaining how to do so over the phone or through a help desk ticket can be an entirely different kind of challenge.

A formal education helps you learn and practice your technology-related communication skills. You’re not just learning about a subject. You’re also learning how to communicate those ideas to others in a way that they’ll be able to follow.

Prepare for CompTIA and Microsoft Certifications

Certifications are an important part of any career in IT. The various types of certifications attest to both your grasp of an individual subject and your level of proficiency with it. Certifications are one of the best ways for employers to know what you’ll be able to handle on the job. And a technology program will prepare you to take the certification exams given by two important organizations, CompTIA and Microsoft.

Supportive Instructors

The instructors play an important role within an IT program which goes far beyond guiding you through a set curriculum. Instructors are industry veterans who know how the skill you’re learning are used in real world situations. They’re guiding you through the material and showing you how to think about the skills you’re picking up in the context of creative problem solving. You’re also learning how to approach tech problems using a whole new skillset and during the process your instructors can answer any questions or reframe material to ensure you’re getting the most out of the class.

135 Hours of Externship Experience

One of the best ways to hone a skill is by applying academic studies in a real-world situation, and that’s exactly what externship programs are for. ICT’s  IT program allows you to experience the professional world with a 135-hour externship. During this time, you’ll hone the skills you’ve learned during your IT program.

The externship is also a chance to see what aspects of information technology appeal to you the most. Theory and practice often present very different experiences. And you may discover a newfound love of a particular part of the industry once you’ve had the chance to directly work with it. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers.

Lifetime Career Placement

After graduation, you will need to get your foot in the door of an employer. Interactive College of Technology offers a combination of career placement, externship, and guidance that will help you transition into a career that’s far more than just a job. You’ll have the help you need to discover a rewarding career. And of course, you’ll have the skills and certifications needed to succeed in that career.

What Do You Learn During an Information Technology Program?

As you’ve seen, an IT support specialist needs to understand a wide variety of skills. But the most important subjects fall under three classifications. The following are some of the subjects that are covered during an IT program:

Fundamentals of CompTIA’s A+ Certification

Most of CompTIA’s certifications are focused on a single area. For example, the organization offers networking certifications which specify iterative mastery of the subject. However, A+ is a foundational certification that covers a wide variety of subjects.

A+ covers almost every subject related to the computing devices used in both a professional and personal life. Though it only touches upon most of those subjects. Returning to the example of networking, A+ does cover the basics of setting up and using a network. However, it doesn’t cover the majority of the material found in CompTIA’s Network+ certification. A+ certification shows employers that you can handle almost any platform on a basic level, and an IT program will ensure you’re prepared for the A+ exams.

Cloud Services and Virtualization

One of the biggest changes to the IT industry is the use of virtualization and cloud computing. Both terms define a network or server that is unseen but used for storing data and running software. For example, a powerful server might run a virtualized instance of a less powerful server within it. And this idea can be taken further by sharing resources over a network. This allows for one large virtualized system to run even more instances of other virtualized systems.

Virtualization and cloud computing do bring some added complexity to IT, but these technologies have also revolutionized the field. It’s now possible to upgrade servers or enterprise-level systems without ever taking them offline. Increasing the RAM or storage capacity of a cloud server is relatively trivial even in heavy usage scenarios.

However, this is also one of the more difficult areas for people to learn about on their own. Cloud-based systems are tremendously resource intensive. And it’s usually beyond anyone’s ability to put together a system comparable to what’s seen in enterprise-level scenarios. Plus, an IT program can give you hands-on experience with these powerful new technologies.

Networking and Security

You’ve seen that A+ certification focuses on the fundamentals of networking. But an IT program ensures that you have the skills to handle both of these interrelated subjects. A+ puts a heavy focus on the basics of hardware and networking. You then learn about how these subjects work together in the form of virtualization and cloud-based systems. However, virtualized systems that exist as a software-based entity on networked infrastructure will require an extra focus on networking and security.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to start learning information technology, it is time to learn more about Interactive College of Technology. If you want to work in the information technology field, ICT has you covered.

Want to Learn More?

At ICT, the information technology training program at our Chamblee, GA and Southwest Houston campuses offers two different paths to choose from — an in-depth Associate of Science degree in Information Technology and a streamlined diploma program to help you get to work faster.

We’ll help you decide which path is right for you, but both information technology training programs include industry-recognized certifications employers are looking for from CompTIA and Microsoft.

Plus, after you graduate college, our Lifetime Career Placement Support program will be there to help you find work whenever you need it.

So, let’s take the first step together! Contact us now to learn more.

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