How to Become A SysAdmin Without a Degree

You don’t need a college degree to get the tech job you want. More and more employers these days don’t even care about a degree. They just want to be sure you know your stuff. Sure, you’ll come across a few recruiters and HR reps who are suffering with a student loan they can’t pay off and take it out on you. But if you try, you can get the job you want without a degree.

Start Small

You’ll need to build experience. Tech related retail jobs or phone Tech Support are the places to look. These types of jobs will take employees with little to no experience, and will often provide tech training you can use throughout your tech career.

Move to HelpDesk

Once you get your feet wet in retail or tech support for a year or two, you can move up to a helpdesk role. Helpdesk jobs are plentiful, and the knowledge you built in retail or Tech Support should come in handy working a helpdesk.

You’ll likely work close with System Administrators on solving issues, growing your tech knowledge at an accelerating rate.

Get Training

While you are working on a helpdesk team, supplement your on the job training by doing online training and workshops. Ask your employer if they have an online tech training application you can use.

Look for online or in-person training programs. Don’t be afraid to ask your manager to foot the bill for any job related training you find.

Gravitate to an Area of Expertise

Are you a security guy? Storage? Maybe you like to dabble in scripting? Whatever it is, figure out what your area of expertise is and focus on training and mastering in that area.

Get Certifications

Certifications don’t mean as much as they used to. Don’t focus on getting certifications so that you can simply list them on a resume. Instead, work on certifications that will best expand your knowledge.

The best way to get certifications is to purchase books and perform the lessons they contain. Many techs believe in bootcamps, but personally I feel they are too expensive and focus too much on passing the exam rather than educating.

SysAdmin Time

You’re ready! Once you have 2 or 3 years under your belt working the helpdesk and gaining all the training you can, you should be able to at least interview for a Junior or Senior System Admin position. Hopefully you have found a good company already and they are interested in promoting you to a SysAdmin role from the helpdesk.


Featured photo by GotCredit

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