Breaking Into Tech — Online Videos & Courses
Leveraging free online resources to accelerate your career
Hello and thanks for joining me in part 2 of Breaking Into IT and Tech With No Experience.
In part 2 of Breaking Into IT and Tech With No Experience, I’ll be highlighting my top five YouTube channels when it comes to tech.
While we all learn in different ways, it’s hard to deny the value of a good YouTube playlist. One of the great things about tech and IT, in general, is that a lot of great resources can be found online, for free.
These channels are in no particular order but they do cater heavily to IT professionals. Basically, if you are in help desk, a SysAdmin, looking to get into DevOps, or wanting to learn more about cloud technologies, these YouTube channels can provide some valuable information.
Note: Just because I am including specific YouTube channels or educators on this list does not mean these are the best channels in their field. These channels are just specific to my career and my learning path. I’m excited to learn about yours so please share in the comments.
Without further ado, here is my list of top five YouTube channels anyone who is trying to break into tech and IT should subscribe and binge-watch:
1. Eli the Computer Guy
Eli the Computer Guy’s origins started out on YouTube around 2009 so he is no stranger to the YouTube tech scene. Eli’s video style is very personal as he does a great job at breaking down technical jargon and acronyms into easy to decipher and remember analogies or examples.
One thing I always appreciated about Eli the Computer Guy is his approach was almost always from an SMB (small to mid-sized business) MSP (managed service provider) perspective.
This connected with me and seems to connect with a lot of others because working in an MSP for SMBs is how I got my real break in IT and learned a lot quicker to excel my career at a much faster pace than if I were to have stuck it out on a help desk waiting to get promoted.
Eli not only does a great job at breaking down fundamental IT concepts, but he also takes you through the customer journey or experience one would have when working with typical MSPs.
As someone who has just started out in IT, learning all the technical aspects of it is tough enough, but if you somehow land yourself in an MSP, you will be not only be working behind the scenes in a technical aspect, but also as a client-facing consultant where you will need to use communication skills and learn how to manage customer expectations.
Eli covers how to navigate those waters as a young IT professional.
Other Eli YouTube videos to check out
- Understanding servers YouTube playlist.
- Windows server 2012 YouTube playlist.
- Cloud and virtual computing YouTube playlist
2. Professor Messer
Professor Messer probably has by far the most comprehensive and easy-to-follow CompTIA guides on the internet right now.
To be fair, I only really used his Security+, Network+, and A+ study guides, but I have no doubt that Professor Messer’s guides on any topic in IT and Systems are bound to be comprehensive and cover anything and everything possible in the exam.
I learned a lot of my fundamental knowledge of networking and security through Professor Messer’s CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ training video YouTube playlist.
Each playlist consists of 50 to 70+ YouTube videos, each video going over each topic or subject you are bound to find in any of the CompTIA exams.
Even if you don’t plan on getting CompTIA certified, the information and knowledge within these courses and playlists are required knowledge for any networking engineer or IT professional.
Some of the topics you’ll find in Professor Messer’s training videos include:
- Basic desktop support and troubleshooting.
- Network topology, mapping, and configurations.
- Systems, information, and end-user security.
Other Professor Messer YouTube videos to check out
- CompTIA A+ 220–802 certification videos
- CompTIA Network+ N10–006 training course
- CompTIA Security+ SY0–401 certification course
Anytime I go on LinkedIn, Indeed, or even turn on the news, I’m constantly seeing reports on how the tech industry is constantly in a shortage of good candidates. Meanwhile, I go on Reddit and constantly find people who are struggling to break into the IT field or tech industry.
If you really want to stand out from the crowded IT entry-level market, your best bet is to start learning Unix/Linux, now.
With 70% of the web-servers running Linux, and 100% of supercomputers being powered by the penguin, having a working knowledge of Linux on your resume is an instant leg-up on the competition for getting a job in IT.
For me, learning Linux was double-handy as I started out as an Apple help desk technician, and with macOS running on Unix, learning Linux was not only future-proofing my career, it was helping me get better at my current role.
Learning your way around a command line is great for automating repetitive manual tasks. As an entry-level engineer in IT, one of your tasks will probably be onboarding new users or configuring new systems.
Doing all of those set-ups one-by0one with a manual GUI would take forever. This is why I highly recommend TutorialLinux.
His channel goes over basic system administration fundamentals for Linux environments. TutorialLinux also covers tricky end-user situations and also common interview questions you can find in system administrator interviews.
Other TutorialLinux YouTube videos to check out
- The Linux file system
- What every SysAdmin needs to know YouTube
- The Linux basics course: Beginner to SysAdmin, step-by-step
4. MacAdmins Conference (Specific for Mac SysAdmin)
While it’s important to continue to learn new things whenever possible, eventually you will want and need to take a break from all the technical nonsense. While it’s good to unplug, sometimes I like to continue my education by what I would call “passive knowledge ingestion”.
A lot of IT is learned by doing, but sometimes, I just need to put on a podcast or Ted Talk and listen to professionals in my field go over issues or problems they face that can’t be solved by the latest software patch or code fix.
Finding a good conference pertaining to your job or role is a good way to learn about the latest offerings, gotchas, or tips in your industry, while not needing to actively participate in a tutorial or side-project.
Other MacAdmins Conference YouTube videos to check out
5. CBT Nuggets
CBT Nuggets offer on-demand training and resources for IT pros of all levels. Tons of Fortune companies turn to CBT Nuggets for training their enterprise IT staff and getting them certified.
The great thing about CBT Nuggets is they offer a lot of their core educational videos and resources, online, for free, on YouTube!
The CBT Nuggets YouTube video series is informative, meaningful, and engaging. With more than 9,000 videos in their training library, taught by respected industry experts, they’ve got your training needs covered.
One of the bigger reasons I really love CBT Nuggets and continue to go there for educational resources is they are one of the premier educational channels that cater to IT professionals and also introduce more advanced topics such as database management, virtualization, cloud administration, and DevOps practices and principles.
Eventually, you will want to graduate out of help desk or support and learning about advanced technologies will help prepare you for the future.
Other CBT Nuggets YouTube videos to check out
As mentioned, this list is not the end-all-be-all of free YouTube resources. I could make a top 20 list of YouTube tech educators and still not have enough time in the day to cover everything.
If you are trying to break into IT or tech, use these channels as a starting point and make sure to find resources that cater to the path you are trying to take.
Florida man, cloud engineer, trader and investor