Getting your foot in the IT industry
I am new to the computer field and I am looking for a way to enter into the computer industry. I will be starting school for computer science in the fall however I have no other computer experience. My goal is to be a Network Administrator however this could change if I find other opportunities. Does anybody know how somebody with no experience in the computer field can get started. I am noticing that most places require at least X amount of experience but what if you have none. Is there a way to get employers to hire you with no experience? Or is schooling an absolute must?
What I would recommend is find a small shop close by,
and see if they are hiring "apprentice" type positions. Tell them upfront you are interested in the field, but don't have formal education, and not sure which area you would like to specialize in. The pay may not be great, but the knowledge gained from working with seasoned professionals will be "priceless"!
Getting a job in IT with no experience
I would look for IT help-desk jobs. There are a number of entry-level jobs that you can get with little or no experience. The good thing about getting started in this area is that it can you provide with experience in supporting many different types of systems. While you generally don't need experience you do need to have some education in IT to be seriously considered for most help-desk positions.
Get the Experience!
Find a Church, or a Non-Profit Organization and start there for free! Experience doesn't mean paid experience, it means Verifiable Experience... Get yourself some free, old PC's and set up your own network at home, learn the basics, get certified! Practise the technology and experiment at home. 'mantel25' is right about the low paying Help Desk job also; work there during the week and at the non-profits in your spare time. Get Certified!!! Read the 5inch thick books! You can get many of the books for next to nothing at used book stores. Download the free info from Microsoft Technet and MSDN and read it! You may not have to go to school and get a degree but you do have to do your homework to work in this field.
Everyone has to start somewhere
I got my start in IT working at the college in the IT help-desk, up until then I had non-IT jobs. Usually as students graduate in the spring the school will be looking for new help, if you are going to a local college, you maybe able to apply there. If not, check towards the fall and see if anything opens then. Also, you maybe able to find an IT help-desk internship this summer, it may end up being unpaid but maybe you can balance that with a part time job if possible.