Getting a computer job without any experience seems like a pipedream, and to some extent, that isn’t wrong, but a more realistic answer to that is “disingenuous.” It just isn’t the entire story. Believe it or not, it’s possible, but you have to know where to look and understand what it takes to reach that position.
Chances are you’re someone who may have very little in the way of options. If you’re reading this, you probably have next to zero experience working with computers, at least as far as work environment goes. You might even be someone who’s self taught, but because of social stigmas, you’ll find it tough for people to take that seriously. You may even be someone who doesn’t have a single certificate to their name or a degree in computers.
But above all that, you have a passion for computers. Is it even possible to get a computer job with no experience? The answer may surprise you.
Keeping Your Expectations Reasonable
Let’s get something straight right away: it’s going to be hard to get your foot in the door. You’re going into this with zero experience. It will be hard, but it won’t be impossible, nor is it improbable. By no means is that a reason to quit now, quite the contrary, but you should keep your expectations reasonable.
To be frank, you may love computers and the idea, but to get there, you’ll have to climb and the climb is harder for those that don’t have degrees or certifications under their belt. With that being said, the positions that are available for you have plenty of room for income raises and better positions. On the other hand, there will be a limit to what you can ascend to as far as your position goes, and can you guess what usually stops you from moving higher? A degree or certificate.
So, to simplify the message: you should absolutely go for a computer job, even with zero experience because there’s options that can get your foot in the door. If and when you do, you can use your new job as a jumping off point for future ventures. Want to use your computer job as experience towards a degree or certificate? That is within your power.
Starting Off Small
It’s understandable to want to get yourself into the computer job you truly desire, but unfortunately, that isn’t going to be possible given your position. You need to start off small, because in order to get the job you want, you’ll need to build up some experience.
Let’s use an example: you want to be a full fledged teacher. Many fledgling teachers start off being substitute teachers, taking the reins occasionally and building up experience. With enough experience under their belt, they can shoot for a full-time teaching position. Substitute teachers can even be people still attending school for their teaching certificate and their substituting could be a way to build up their resume. You have to follow the same basic principles.
One of the best jobs someone with zero computer experience can get is a customer support position or better known as “help desk.” You know, the kind of people you call when your computer gets a blue screen or your phone is acting weird? Those positions are always in need of experienced and non-experienced employees. You can probably imagine why: people can be difficult to work with.
Help desk positions often come with decent pay, room to move up and often have people coming and going all the time. In other words, people quit a lot. You’ll experience all kinds of people when you take calls and questions that may seem silly to you, but just take a deep breath and answer their questions. Whether you realize it or not, you’re “fixing” the problem, but from afar.
Over time, you’ll learn things that people learned when they went through two or four years of college or spend time getting their certificate. It’s like self-teaching, but you’re getting paid. And most companies that offer help desk positions will train you beforehand, regardless of any customer service experience you have or not.
A word to the wise: pick your shift wisely. The easier shift is, arguably, 3rd shift due to the large majority of the population, you know, being asleep and not making calls (unless they sleep-call). If you want to ease yourself into a help desk position, shoot for 3rd and keep 1st shift as your fallback. The reason you want to try your hardest to avoid 2nd shift is due to it being during normal hours when everyone is awake and making calls.
Make Use of Indeed
Indeed is one of the best tools you can familiarize yourself with. It’s a job-hiring platform that is free to use and has job offerings coming in and out all day, every hour of the day. You can create alerts that notify you when certain positions are opened with the keywords you’ve chosen. But, more importantly, it has tons of entry level jobs into the computer field, whether it’s help desk or something of that nature.
One of the best tools in your arsenal is your resume and Indeed’s platform gives you the power to create one, as well as share it with others. Employers can then seek you out (provided you have the experience), as well as review your resume when you apply for their position.
A Note on Time Sensitive Jobs
You’ll find many computer jobs that are time sensitive, meaning, they’ll usually last a few months and then won’t need you anymore. Do not, by any means, avoid those jobs. That’s experience and more experience means better jobs, and better jobs means better pay. Take these when you can, but only if you have a stable job already.
Scoring a computer job without experience isn’t a pipe dream, not anymore, not in this day and age. Help desk positions are always opening and with experience being a prerequisite to many higher paying computer jobs, any experience that involves the tech world is going to be a good experience for you, regardless of it being behind a desk answering computer questions or being knuckle-deep into a computer.