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After taking MOUS exams, what can I do to get started in the IT field?

I am an administrative assistant with five years experience in that field. I lost my job seven months ago and will be taking the MOUS Word/Excel expert level exams, and possibly the MCSA exams. I have no experience in the IT field though. What can I do to get started in the industry and find an IT-related job?

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If you're committed to transitioning into information technology, you'll need to continue your educational pursuits. And just as crucial as technical knowledge is hands-on experience. The challenge for you will be to develop some experience while growing your knowledge base.

Once you've developed some skills and experience and feel you're ready to test the job market, consider a role in customer service or help desk support. While recent economic conditions may not have helped the hiring market for entry-level candidates, one trend that seems to be driving demand for their skills currently, is an emphasis on customer relationship management. Firms are hiring individuals to man call centers and help desks, to better serve their client and user bases.

Offering introductions to a wide range of technologies and platforms, these positions make an excellent starting point for entry-level IT professionals.

This was first published in May 2002

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