Learning IT by yourself is tough. Instead, an instructor-led course can provide the support, advice, and expertise you need to succeed.

The trouble with most websites that claim to show you how to learn IT is that they’re less interested in you learning than in you buying their product. But if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you might not have the spare cash lying around to invest in what they’re selling.

What we offer is different, because with Climb Hire, you can learn IT completely free.

Climb Hire is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help low-income and underserved working adults begin careers in the tech industry. We offer training programs in tech, including a program in IT Support.

Here are some key highlights of that program:

  • It’s completely free for all of 2024, thanks to our generous donors.
  • It’s designed specifically to help you learn fundamental IT skills and get industry-standard certification you need for a job in tech.
  • It includes dedicated one-on-one support as you search for a job.

Over 80% of Climb Hire students secure jobs within six months of completing one of our programs. The average starting salary of our graduates is $50k.

In this article, we’ll explain why we think enrolling in an instructor-led IT training program is the best way to learn IT fundamentals. We’ll also talk about CompTIA A+ certification, a universally recognized credential that validates your proficiency in information technology (IT) skills to potential employers.

Finally, we’ll give you all the details about Climb Hire’s IT Support program and how it sets you up for immediate success in launching a tech career.

Why Learning IT by Yourself Can Be Such a Challenge

The internet is full of tutorials, videos, courses, and bootcamps meant to teach you the skills you need to land an IT job. These are generally self-guided learning experiences, where you gain access to written and video material covering the IT basics and you follow along on your own.

Options like these can seem appealing at first because they offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace and the ability to tailor your learning plan. Plus, a lot of self-guided learning options, like YouTube videos and pre-made online courses, are either very affordable or free.

The problem is that learning IT by yourself is not for everyone. Here’s why.

There are Loads of Tricky Concepts and Methodologies to Learn

It’s important that you really know the basic IT concepts in and out, as you’ll need them to do well in any tech role. For instance, you’ll need to know networking principles well so that you can effectively troubleshoot any connectivity issues, while competence in cybersecurity will enable you to robustly tackle any threats.

There’s lots more you need to know, though. As a start, you’ll need to know your way around networking, hardware, software, troubleshooting, operating systems, mobile devices, security, operational procedures, virtualization, and cloud computing.

These are complex and technical concepts that can be hard to comprehend on your own without a teacher or expert there to guide you. You’ll also have to practice the skills by yourself without any guidance, so you’re able to take responsibility in the workplace.

You Need to Be Really Self-Motivated & Disciplined

Teaching yourself IT means you’re the only one responsible for your growth and skill set development. You have to hold yourself accountable to your learning goals. This requires doing things like:

  • Creating a structured study plan, which involves breaking down complex subjects into manageable chunks, scheduling study sessions, and meeting your own deadlines. This requires discipline and determination to stay on track, even when you’re faced with distractions or setbacks.
  • Consistently monitoring your progress, which requires the ability to accurately identify areas of weakness or misunderstanding. This can be challenging without objective feedback from an expert.

On top of that, not all self-guided IT courses advertise themselves transparently. Some are free or inexpensive, but they may not comprehensively cover what you need to know to both land and hold an IT job. And some courses come across as free at first, only to reveal later on that there are extra materials and costs.

You’ll Struggle to Get a Job Without Certifications

In the IT industry, certifications demonstrate proficiency and expertise. CompTIA A+ certification in particular is highly valued by employers and serves as a standard requirement for many entry-level IT support roles, such as a help desk technician or technical support specialist position.

Other certifications for IT beginners include the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals, and Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT).

These IT certifications do not hold the same industry-wide recognition as CompTIA A+ and may be more specialized to certain technologies or vendors. That’s why CompTIA A+ is usually the best choice and the one employers seek out on resumes.

What does CompTIA A+ certification involve?

CompTIA A+ certification is a universally recognized credential for professionals in IT support, the entry-level role in the industry.

You earn this certification by passing two exams:

Together, these cover computer and operating systems, network and cybersecurity, troubleshooting, and more.

Passing the CompTIA A+ exams can be challenging, but IT beginners can do it with the right preparation. We recommend enrolling in an instructor-led program to ensure you learn everything that’s on the exams in detail.

It’s worth also noting that training for CompTIA A+ certification can be pretty expensive. For example, CompTIA offers self-guided courses that are around $1500 for their comprehensive learning bundle. This is understandably out of reach for many people.

Thankfully, not all CompTIA A+ training programs come with a hefty price tag. This means you can enjoy all the benefits of an instructor-led program without emptying your wallet.

The Benefits of an Instructor-led IT Training Program

Beginners in the tech industry first have to master the IT fundamentals, which can feel overwhelming if concepts like “virtualization” and “cloud computing” are foreign to you. This is why an instructor-led program can be particularly beneficial.

An instructor-led program provides:

  • A structured curriculum — ensuring that you cover all necessary topics in appropriate depth.
  • Access to experienced instructors who can clarify complex concepts, answer questions, and provide personalized feedback.
  • Class sessions and assignments help keep you accountable and motivated to stay on track with your learning goals.
  • Interactive hands-on labs and practical exercises, allowing you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios and gain valuable experience.
  • The opportunity to connect with fellow learners, instructors, and other IT professionals through the program to expand your professional network.
  • Flexibility in pricing. While some instructor-led programs can be fairly expensive, others are free or low-cost, so you won’t have to invest a ton of money in your education.

Climb Hire’s IT Support program is a free, instructor-led option that will fully prepare you to pass the CompTIA A+ exams. Read on for more information, or sign up now.

Why Choose Climb Hire to Learn IT Skills?

Climb Hire is a nonprofit organization specializing in tech. Specifically, we provide tech training programs to low-income and overlooked adults ages 24–40 to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in the tech industry and secure rewarding careers.

Our IT Support program takes only 6 months to complete and includes all the benefits of an instructor-led course and then some:

  • Climb Hire’s programs are completely free for all of 2024 — no strings attached. We have our generous donors to thank for that.
  • We also cover the cost of CompTIA A+ certification, which will save you the $500 fee for the exams.
  • Climb Hire’s teachers are experts in the IT field who provide personalized instruction to small cohorts of students.
  • Climbers learn in small “pods,” which gives them the opportunity to build genuine connections with like-minded classmates. These connections often last far longer than the course of study. Around 77% of Climbers rate the community offered by Climb Hire as among the program’s most important elements.
  • All classes are fully remote, in live, scheduled sessions.
  • The technical coursework teaches everything students need to know to pass the CompTIA A+ exams and go on to excel in IT roles. You can check out our IT Support syllabus here.
  • The program includes assisted lab work, allowing students to get hands-on experience practicing the skills they’ve been learning.
  • We dedicate lots of class time to teaching students soft skills, such as interview preparation, resume and cover letter writing, and other professional communication skills. This is a game-changer for job applications, giving Climbers a clear edge in landing their dream roles.
  • After you’ve completed the program, you’re assigned a Career Development Advisor who will be there to guide and coach you throughout the job application process.
  • You’ll gain access to our alumni community and wide professional network, which can significantly speed up the process of finding a job in the field.

Over 80% of Climbers find a job within 6 months of graduating, most of them earning salaries of $50k or more. That means most graduates go from little or no tech background to gainfully working in tech in a year or less.

Alumni testimonials highlight the transformative impact of our programs.

Dominick joined Climb Hire because he wanted to learn new skills that would benefit him in the future. He had been working odd jobs that weren’t going anywhere and had no network to help him move forward professionally. Thanks to his training at Climb Hire, Dominick has now begun his tech career at what he calls “a dream job.”

The application process for our IT Support program is simple. You don’t need any specific educational background or field experience to apply.

Once you submit your application, if you meet the requirements, you’ll be invited for a 30-minute interview where we ask you about your goals and explain more about the program. If you’re a good fit, you’ll get an invitation to enroll.

Get the application process going and apply now.

Climb Hire is Your Direct Path to an IT Career

When you enroll in Climb Hire’s IT Support program, you’ll learn everything you need to know to earn CompTIA A+ certification and be fully prepared to launch an IT career in 6 months. Plus, you’ll have the hands-on experience and soft skills training that will put your resume at the top of the pile.

To reiterate, here’s what you can expect from Climb Hire’s IT Support program:

  • Completely free tuition to all 2024 students
  • Hands-on experience through in-class lab work
  • Personalized coaching and support as you apply for jobs
  • Average starting salary of $50k after you graduate
  • A supportive community of peers to learn and grow with during the program (and beyond)

Many tech professionals who begin in IT support go on to advance their careers to other industry specializations, such as systems administrator, programmer, data analytics, cybersecurity, web development, or software engineering.

Ready to begin your career path in IT? Apply now.

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