It is no secret that it is harder than ever to get employed. With there being, on average, 300 applicants for every role in our company it is apparent that competition for employment in the IT support industry is fierce. With this in mind I decided to find out from Lucidica’s current employees and employers what advice they would give to someone seeking a career in IT support.
First and foremost you need to decide whether IT support is right for you. If you have a passion for technology there is a high chance that it’s the job for you. However you should get experience in the industry to ensure it is what you want to do before entering training programmes and expensive qualifications.
In order to get into IT support you need to have the correct qualifications. For system engineering you really need to be a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) or Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA). If you don’t want to work with Microsoft then you need an equivalent qualification. These qualifications are vital as they prove what skills you have, also many companies are aiming to become Microsoft ‘Gold Partners’ and to do so they need a certain amount of people with the correct qualifications. You can obtain these qualifications by booking the exams online and learning the content yourself, or you can take the exams whilst doing an apprenticeship. If you are seeking a career in IT support these qualifications are essential!
Alongside obtaining a MCP/MTA the best route into IT support is through government apprenticeships (during which you take exams to obtain your qualifications). Many of our engineers completed these at Lucidica before being offered a job, and our Chief Technology Officer, who is responsible for recruiting, said that companies largely prefer to take on someone they have trained as they know the technologies the apprentice has developed and they can see whether they fit with the company’s culture. Furthermore, he said that apprenticeships were far better than completing a degree in IT as Universities can’t keep up with changing technologies and it is likely the information you learnt it not up to date. So you can save university fees, save two years and earn some money whilst completing an apprenticeship with a high chance of getting offered a job at the end.
Our CTO who manages the recruitment of IT support staff offered some further advice. He recommended that in order to maximise your chances of getting a job in IT support you should decide which area you want to focus on (hardware or software) and have one specialism in technology which you base your CV around, for instance Blackberry or Server 2008. Above all it is vital to have a real passion for technology which is obvious in your application and CV. A good way to show your passion is to set up server at home and learn it.