I am 23 years old and I live in Alaska. I was recently laid off from the Oil and Gas industry and began to look outwards for new career paths. My wife has a child from her previous relationship so leaving state is not an option. College is not an option due to my financial situation. Trust me. It is not an option, I've looked...hard...please don't say "go to school".

I have some light web development experience but nothing major. I was looking at trying to find a job in the field but find 99% of the jobs want previous experience. So i thought about IT. I have always been a computer "geek" and I have a somewhat basic understanding of them. So I am considering getting a compTIA A+ cert and trying to find a job working remotely. Is this feasible? I realize anything is possible. But is it feasible? If not what can I do to make it feasible?


5 Answers 5


Compt TIA A+ is entry level, and as I recall hardware/OS (two separate exams) related, nothing to do with web development. You are extremely unlikely to get a remote position because what few skills you do learn, pretty much require you to be onsite to implement.

So while it's great to have, it won't get you a remote job.

  • I am not saying I am trying to get into web development with it. Just mentioned that I have experience around computers. I see what you mean about it being primarily based on physical hardware. Is there a certification that would assist me in meeting my goal that you could recommend? or am I basically dead in the water?
    – Weber
    Oct 22, 2016 at 23:35
  • There is always data entry. A dead end job, but it pays real money.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:01
  • Whats real money? 60k+? That doesnt really answer my question though. Is something IT like help desk or some other job that pays well out of the question?
    – Weber
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:05
  • I can't think of any one entry level certification that would do it, if you went through the Microsoft certs maybe, but you'd need to go well past MCP I would think.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:07
  • 1
    I will dig deeper into these as well. Thank you so very much for your time.
    – Weber
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:15

With the increasing popularity of cloud computing, tasks that once required a physical presence are now done remotely, even by employees on site.

You might consider learning Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure initially through their free offerings.

You may find opportunities to freelance for organizations who want to move to cloud but don't have the in-house expertise.

It is hard to find remote work without experience, so you'll need some kind of portfolio, even if it's just projects you've worked on yourself (e.g., moved an application from a local server to a cloud environment, or maintaining a hybrid on-premises/cloud solution).

You will need to be dedicated to learning and hard work, in order to convince others you're worth the investment.

  • 1
    Good luck changing the faulty RAM remotely :-)
    – Kilisi
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:03
  • Not all IT is hardware related Kilisi. Thank you. I will look into cloud computing. I am honestly willing to try any lead at this point or I will be forced to go back to the Oilfield.
    – Weber
    Oct 23, 2016 at 0:10
  • 2
    The whole point of AWS, is that you are not responsible for the hardware maintenance. In fact since Amazon give you the location of their data centres with a precision of around a 100 miles or so, it's impossible to see "your" server in person. Oct 23, 2016 at 16:40
  • @MichaelShaw thats true, but you normally don't let unqualified people with no experience loose on a server.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 23, 2016 at 21:43
  • 1
    Experience cones with time. Companies DO let people with limited experience access servers all the time. They just do so with an appropriate blend of training, support and supervision. Oct 23, 2016 at 21:49

Flexjobs is a pay-to-use job board for flexible (remote, partial remote, flexible schedule) work. A one-month subscription is $15, which might sound pricey, but the site is legit, it's more than enough time to browse all the jobs, and it pays for itself with the first small gig you get. The postings on Flexjobs are of much higher quality than on other freelancing boards where you're competing against $5/hour bids. I am not affiliated with them, just a satisfied customer.

Some CMS's have their own marketplace for job postings, which might get you an entry-level opportunity that you can then build on. Check out the job sites for Drupal, WordPress, and Plone (Plone is not quite entry-level).

Keep an open mind on what constitutes an IT job. I transitioned from developer to lead/project manager almost three years ago and am very happy with the change. (I realize that not everyone wants to go into management, and that's fine.) If you don't have much technical experience, but you're reasonably organized and a good communicator, you can look into project administrator or project coordinator jobs. It's mostly administrative work at the lower levels, but it keeps you in the IT field and can expose you to opportunities that you might not have seen if you were completely with your head down in code.

Kilisi mentioned data entry in one of the comments, which has a very low barrier to entry, but can also be very tedious and boring. Be careful it doesn't consume so much of your day that you don't have time to look for something better.

And don't stop thinking about your education. Udacity, Codecademy, and Khan Academy (there are a few others) offer coding lessons at low or no cost. MIT OpenCourseWare, edX, and Coursera let you learn from some of the same material that is used for actual classes at big-name universities. Some of these sites offer nanodegrees or inexpensive certificates that might help your resumé. Look into MOOCs. (And hey, as soon as I opened the Open Education Consortium's website, I saw that they're looking for a part-time communications manager.)

I know it's hard to start almost from scratch, but there are numerous resources available to you. Remember that being able to demonstrate your knowledge is almost as important as having it, so look for ways you can document your education and work, even if it's not much yet, on your resumé.

Keep at it, and I wish you the best of luck.


Working remotely is always more difficult... Not just because you need to act as your own local manager to keep yourself focused and productive, but because you need to work much more actively to stay engaged with your co-workers. Generally, companies will want to see evidence that you can perform professionally without supervision and that you work well with a team befire they gamble on whether you can do that remotely.

Working remotely can also have significant limiting effects on your career simply because it's easy to overlook your successes, even if you avoid failures.

So, no, it isn't going to be easy for someone who does not have a solid work history to get approval to work remotely. It's a very similar problem to convincing them to hire you as a contractor; you need to bring something to the table that they can't get in other ways.


It's completely feasible. You don't need any kind of certification or degree. Most companies tend to rely on skill tests to evaluate the abilities of candidates. Take these programming tests for example. These kinds of remote tests are given to both remote, and non-remote job candidates, usually as a method of filtering out the weaker ones. But the point is - they want proof you can actually do something, not just credentials. There are websites dedicated specifically to finding remote work, such as We Work Remotely and Remoteok. See if you can find something you'd like.

Light web dev experience is a decent start. I recommend you work on personal projects to build up your skills and portfolio. Companies are always interested in viewing your previous work, even if it only consists of personal projects. Search for web development courses online, there are plenty of them and easy to find. Many of them are free. Best of luck to you.

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