Career Change in the IT Industry

Abby writes:
I am a college graduate looking to break into the computer industry. I have been employed as a software trainer for two months. However I am looking for a position in help desk desktop support training or as an entry-level IT consultant. What companies offer entry-level consultant positions?

I am proficient in Word Excel Outlook Windows NT and Windows. Any suggestions on companies that hire entry-level people without comp-sci degrees? A temp agency was supposed to set up an interview for me for a help-desk position but then the position was filled from within the company. Subsequently I was offered an entry-level Windows NT support job elsewhere by that same temp agency. I signed a contract for the job but then the recruiter called me and told me that the company had decided that there was no need for the position.

I’m not sure I want to deal with that temp-agency anymore. Is that type of behavior on the part of temp agencies common?

The Career Doctor responds:
Abby whether you believe it or not you are in a great position. There is so much demand for computer and IT people that you should — with some help — be able to get a job closer to what you want to be doing rather than as a trainer.

The only limitation that I see might be from geography — that is if you live in a small town or do not have any willingness to move. Assuming you have some flexibility you have a number of options.

First hit some of the IT Websites and post your resume and/or apply for any interesting positions. is a good place to start. You can find other sites by visiting this section of Quintessential Careers: Jobs in Technical Telecommunications Computers Software and IT.

Second make a list of the companies in your area (or where you want to live) and develop a plan to seek employment with one of them. Visit their Websites and see if they have a job board — more and more companies are posting jobs online — and if so apply to any that interest you. If that does not work next get the names of the vice president/director of information technology at these companies and send a cover letter and resume explaining your interest in a job.

Third talk with the one (or other) temp agency you mention in your email and continue to work with them on positions. Because supply of competent technical people is so limited in many areas firms have gone to temp agencies for help.

The agency you have dealt with seems a little flaky so you might investigate other options. Check out Oya’s Recruiter Directory to search for other possible IT recruitment firms.