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switching careers to IT

switching careers to IT

switching careers to IT


I am new to the IT field and I used to work as an accountant about more than a year ago. Since then I have earned my A+, Network+, Security+, and MCP certifications. I am now studying to pass the last two exams to earn my MCSA certification.

However, from my last position as an accountant I was fired due to poor performance, mostly because I couldn't keep up with the large workload and long hours.

Long before being fired, I was planning to leave the accounting field anyway in pursuit of a career that was more interesting such as IT. I developed a strong interest in computers over time and gradually decided to switch to IT long before being forced to leave my accounting job.

Now, as an entry-level candidate with some certifications and no experience in IT, and having been fired from a career from a different industry, how difficult would it be for me to find an entry-level IT job such as helpdesk support? How can I explain being fired in an interview and how would an IT hiring manager view my work history and credentials?

I saw from another post about a suggestion to offer to work with lower pay and to set up a trial period so that I can demonstrate that I am capable of performing the job. It sounds like a good suggestion.


RE: switching careers to IT

Try to have someone help you with that, like a recruiter or on IT Temp company.  See if you can meet up with some Temp firms and recruiters and try to establish a relationship with them, and see if they can help you out.  As a Temp, if the employer doens't like your performance, then they can ask for a replacement.  It helps you with a "Trial Period" type situation and the temp firm could get you in the door.  Once you get established, you have something to stand on.  Aside from that, i believe that hnesty is the best policy, so just be upfront and forthright about the termination reason.  Hope this helps and good luck.

A+, Network+

RE: switching careers to IT

IMHO, You've come to the wrong profession.

You will have extreme difficulty with I.T. if you couldn't keep up with the hours and workload of accounting. It's routine to put in 12 hour days and six or seven days a week. This is especially true if you are part of a project that's about at deadline. Multiple projects with difficult deadlines is also common.

I found helpdesk work to be extremely stressful.

I have worked in accounting and I.T. and found accounting to be much less stressful. I.T. is more interesting and exciting, though.  

RE: switching careers to IT

In response to tcsbiz, the previous company I worked for that I was fired from was a unique situation.

I have worked in public accounting before as an auditor and I had no problem working long hours and meeting the demands and the workload of the job. In fact, I would believe that public accounting can at times be more stressful than IT.

I am entering IT based on my strong interest in the field, not to just change to another career.

I am interested in maybe starting out in helpdesk and then ultimately go into network administration. If I want to get into an entry-level network administration role, do I first need to have some years of experience? Also, does it really matter whether I was fired from a job from a completely different field?

RE: switching careers to IT


I found accounting to be much less stressful but much more boring than I.T. At one point, I did both.

Since your experience with your last firm was unique it's hard to tell how your interest in I.T. will translate into enjoying working in I.T. I know quite a few people in different fields who are very interested in I.T. They found that interest did not mean they enjoyed working in I.T.

I love what I do in I.T. but the stress can be difficult. I hated helpdesk work but love development.

To get a start in I.T., I would be ready to explain why I want to leave accounting. The last job could be tough. How do you explain getting fired due to the workload? The interviewer may have the same reaction I did. I wouldn't say anything about it all unless asked. Then I would say the fit wasn't right and point out your history of staying with companies. I would also point out that your accounting experience can be helpful to the organization. I have made that point successfully several times.

Be positive even about your last job.

Good luck.

RE: switching careers to IT

Is there any reason to say why you've lest your last job?  Clearly if you're going from an accountant position to an IT position that something fairly major has changed in your life.  Is it not sufficient to state that you decided that you wanted a career change and were very interested in IT? To say that accounting no longer appealed to you?  Is it likely that the employer will find out that you had been fired from your previous position?

I'm not saying to flat out lie necessarily, but not bringing up your termination in conversation would be the prudent course.  If you live in the U.S. then the odds of your former employer ratting you out if called for a reference is quite slim.  We're just too litigious for people to take the risk of badmouthing former employees.  Usually they only verify your dates of employment and title.

CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Windows 7
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Server Administrator
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator
MCITP:Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2
Certified Quest vWorkspace Administrator

RE: switching careers to IT

I used a reference checking service and they confirmed that if anyone inquired about my work history they can find out if I got fired. So, the previous company I worked for does not just give out title and dates of employment. I do not think I can start a lawsuit in this case, and I don't want to further explain why because I don't think it relates to the original question. And I plan on explaining why I was fired if I am asked that question, of course. Please don't say anything about lawsuits.

So, I decided to find work at a temping agency. Will a temping agency still want to place me on a short-term assignment given the fact that I was fired from my last job? Do temp agencies try to ignore such candidates like myself or will they at least give me a chance? I want to go out and put some work experience on my resume and show that I am a responsible employee.


RE: switching careers to IT

You're the one who brought up lawsuits.  All I said was that the United States is such a litigious society that most employers will not risk a lawsuit by providing any more than the bare minimum details.

I wouldn't think that you'd have too much trouble getting work through a temp service, but the work will suck and the pay will too.  And of course what you can get will depend quite a bit whether your termination was strictly performance related or if there was some illicit activities involved.  Most agencies will require a drug test and criminal background check, as will their customers.

CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Windows 7
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Server Administrator
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator
MCITP:Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2
Certified Quest vWorkspace Administrator

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