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The age-old question: How to start in the IT field.

By RyanST ·
With a twist, as always.

I am 23yrs old, I have no college under my belt, I have no IT experience... I'm not even 'that good' with computers. I love math, I love understanding things and i'm a fairly quick learner. I'm extremely dedicated and haven't work a job under a 60hr/wk in my life. Right now I'm work full time as a bookkeeper. I catch on fast and am good at researching, so I can always figure out a computer problem. Anyways, my dilemma:

1) Certs vs. Degrees. Can this question really be answered?
2) What are the most valued 'items' in the IT field. If they are certs, which certs are they? If they are degrees + certs, which ones? Or is the answer a Masters Degree in X?
3) I know I need experience, but how? Where? Who's going to hire a newbie? Where are the good jumping platforms, or are there any?
4) If the answer to #1 is Certs, can I be self-taught? If the answer to #3 is intern, can I intern while i'm reading a 1,200p book about networking? To best fit #3 will I need to be in college in order to get a good intern?

I know a lot more research on my part is required. I have a very long list to go through. School counselors, lots of research to find out who's hiring in my area and what they're looking for (If that's possible to determine i.e. finding any patterns). Online vs. classroom, loans, etc.

As you can see I'm literally as green as they come... so any advice would be helpful, even if it's somewhat off-topic or you're just answering one of the questions.

Thank's in advance.

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As for number 3

by AnsuGisalas In reply to The age-old question: How ...

you could try a non-profit... they might have need of a tech's apprentice.
If you're able to commit yourself to learning networking and security, you can approach a charity like <a href=http://infosecwithoutborders.org/>Infosec without Borders</a> once you get a set of skills together.
That's a bit like an unpaid internship, but you also get to do good deeds. And you're earning goodwill with the infosec companies participating - not to mention getting peer-reviewed work experience and training.

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