When people think about careers related to cutting-edge technology, they may imagine a fairly linear life path involving childhood STEM bootcamps and expensive tech gadgets, then long years in college toiling toward one or more computer science degrees.
Yet there are an increasing number of IT jobs available that don’t require a four-year college degree. Enrolling in an IT training program at a community college or career center can prepare young high school graduates and upskilling adults for lucrative jobs in exciting fields. Consider taking courses in IT Support and Services as well as advanced network courses in order to jumpstart your tech career. It’s wise to choose a training program that will prepare you to take a CompTIA certification exam, since they are required for some roles.
Here are just a few of the jobs that IT training courses can help you qualify for. Keep in mind that if you work in the San Francisco Bay area, your potential salary may be higher:
- Help desk support technician. A help desk support technician assists people with hardware, software, and network problems. This is a worthwhile entry level job both because it pays a national median salary of $41,454 (or $74,866 in the Bay area) and because it offers exposure to a variety of IT fields. This makes it a great choice for anyone who isn’t sure which professional direction they want to take. Once you have some experience in this role, you can move on to a variety of even higher-quality jobs.
- IT support technician. An IT support technician helps users with setup, maintenance, and troubleshooting for products with computer capabilities. In this role, you may be providing assistance on the phone, via online chat, or in person; you might provide support for a particular product or for a broad range of products. You can work in a variety of government, private, and public sectors, so there are plenty of position types to explore.
An IT support technician’s salary is approximately $52,690 nationally, or $79,876 in the Bay area.
- Junior systems engineer. A junior systems engineer or assistant systems engineer supports a senior engineer with developing and maintaining all computer systems in a company. This can involve installing and troubleshooting software, hardware, and operating systems. Junior systems engineers can make a national average of about $57,391 per year, or $80,617 in the Bay area.
- Fiber network field technician. A fiber network field technician connects fiber optic cables for cable TV and internet service providers. If you’re looking for a hands-on career that lets you skip the office cubicle in favor of a variety of indoor and outdoor environments, this job may be for you. Fiber network field technicians work in all weathers and often have to climb to high places to install, maintain, and repair cables.
They work directly with clients and earn an annual salary of about $54,774 (Bay area) to $58,870 (national average).
- Network support specialist. A network support specialist analyzes and troubleshoots computer network problems. In this role, you’ll use hardware configuration and user training to help maintain and secure company networks. Most positions of this kind require certifications like CompTIA Network+, which you can obtain after taking a related IT training course. The national median salary for network support specialists is $63,460; in the Bay area, it’s about $98,058.
- IT consultant. An IT consultant offers advice, critical analysis, problem-solving, and training for companies that need to upgrade their communication, data, or software systems. IT consultants often specialize in a particular type of system or industry. Although a bachelor’s degree is sometimes preferred for this role, its nature can vary significantly, and many employers will accept alternative forms of training. You can make $73,515 (Bay area) to $90,920 (nationwide) per year in this profession.
Get Valuable IT Training With JobTrain
JobTrain is an accredited educational and training institution that transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help the Valley’s most in need reclaim their lives from poverty and unemployment by preparing them for successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields. Check out our IT Support and Training Services Program as well as our Advanced IT Network Plus Program to get started on the path to a high-quality job in this field.
Each of JobTrain’s programs combines vocational training, academics, and essential skills development, preparing students to turn their lives around—from unemployment and poverty to success and self-sufficiency. Contact us today to learn more!