CompTIA Network+ Vocabulary (Chapter 3)



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WAYS TO BREAK INTO TECH

Join an apprenticeship program

This is the route that was chosen by your author. I graduated with a degree in Anthropology in 2015, explored around a bit, and finally settled for an apprenticeship program with the Department of Defense (DoD) in 2017. This four year program was actually just labeled as “Apprenticeship” with the Department of the Navy on USAJobs. Of the jobs listed on the posting, I was interested in the job titled “Electronics Mechanic”, which just so happened to actually be a Network Technician/Electronics Technician role.

What’s interesting here, is that the job posting did not actually mirror the job it was attached to.

Having said that, don’t judge a book by its cover. Also, don’t knock on apprenticeships. This job offered great benefits and a tremendous amount of leave. If you are entry level and you are able to land something through USAJobs, take it.

They acquired certifications. I doubt there are many people out there with three or more certifications who are still looking for a job.

Note: If this is you, then work on your resume, cover letter and interview skills. Keep applying, you will get the job.

If you are wondering what certifications to get, I recommend Network+, Security+ and CySA+ (particularly if you are interested in the DoD).

They obtained a degree. This is not required but it does help, especially if you are straight out of high school. Note: The advice to get a degree is more useful for those who are younger.

They took a part time job. You don’t have to go all in on a career switch and a full-time job. A part time job can be a great way to get experience and dip your toes in the water. There are many low-paying networking / IT jobs that can be done remotely. You may have to apply to a lot of positions to find one, but they are out there.

The inside job. This is surprisingly common. Someone works at a company in a non-tech role, then applies for a tech position within that same company. Because they already have their foot in the door and know the right people, they get the job.

Temp agencies and recruiters. There are staffing agencies that may be able to staff you at a company. There are also recruiters who may be willing to help you. Temp agencies and recruiters normally won't touch you unless you have experience, however, they are still worth a try.

Volunteer. Are there any volunteer opportunities in your area? I personally just saw a volunteer posting for our local science and history museum. They’re looking for a network technician to intern on the weekends! How cool is that? Keep your eyes open!

They joined industry specific social networking groups and met the right person. By all means, if you live in or near a city, then join Meetup.com, join LinkedIn and watch out for events on EventBrite. I have personally received an internship opportunity from someone I met at a meetup. This was for a software development position. You really just never know.

The worst case here: you meet a few like-minded friends and learn some lingo. It’s not a bad bet.

Join the military. This may sound extreme, but it can get you a clearance (something that is extremely valuable in tech). In the meantime, you’ll serve your country and probably learn a lot that you would not otherwise learn. You may even decide to retire at 38 and double dip by getting a civilian job with the DoD after your service. I know people who have two federal retirements. They’re set with unconditional mailbox money. It’s not a millionaire lifestyle, but it’s certainly not too bad either. If you’re young, I say swing for it!

Start your own business. You do not have to be a risk taker to do this, this might help you land a full-time job, and there’s a potential it might even be better than a full time job. With tech you can sell services that have zero start up costs. In addition, there are several passive income options as well. Even if you don’t strike it big with your company, you may at least end up with real world experience to put down on your resume. Future employers do not have to know that “Company X” was your company. They also do not have to know it was only worth $5.

For more tips and insights, get Network+ The Simplified Guide. Now available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Network-Simplified-Guide-Zary-Manning-ebook/dp/B09WLTVG42/
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