Bench then IT?



  • A buddy of mine is interested in doing bench work for IT. He is coming from the restaurant industry with no IT experience.

    I recommended taking an A+ course on Udemy. He purchased the course and went through it twice. He seems to understand the concepts well and is doing well on his practice exams. When he first started A+ he didn't understand networking at all, but now that he is starting to learn very rudimentary basics he is interested in it.

    I think benchwork would fit him well at his current knowledge level. He would do well deploying actual hardware, doing bench repairs, and doing PXE boot installs.

    Does it make sense for him to get A+ first? He eventually wants to do more than that, but I think his skill level isnt there yet. Would it make sense for him to go for A+ or go for something a little more advanced that would still help him get his bench job?



  • @irj said in Bench then IT?:

    A buddy of mine is interested in doing bench work for IT.

    What does that phrase mean? He wants to do bench, but only in servicing an IT department?



  • @irj said in Bench then IT?:

    Does it make sense for him to get A+ first? He eventually wants to do more than that, but I think his skill level isnt there yet. Would it make sense for him to go for A+ or go for something a little more advanced that would still help him get his bench job?

    Nearly all bench workers will benefit from an A+. Either because it gets them a job, gets them a raise, or possibly just protects them from unemployment risk down the road. A+ is the singular universal cert for bench, so having it is a big deal no matter how poor the A+ is.



  • @irj said in Bench then IT?:

    I think benchwork would fit him well at his current knowledge level.

    Bench itself isn't high or low in skill level, A+ bench is obviously the entry level. But he could stick with bench and go quite high.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Bench then IT?:

    s them from unemployment risk down the road. A+ is the singular universal cert for bench, so having it is a big deal no matter

    What I'm amazed that Scott hasn't asked yet is - does the guy want to do bench or does he want to do IT. They are two completely different jobs. Granted, in SMB, the IT generalist frequently does bench work as well as IT work, in enterprise, it's generally one or the other.





  • Why bench instead of helpdesk? I think helpdesk generally exposes you to more stuff, and then you have a basis to start learning from.

    Bench is pretty contained in it's own world. You can be a great bench tech, but it's not going to help you move up further.

    Bench experience does help you down the road so that you don't spend hours on an issue only to figure out it is a hardware problem.
    And to teach you not to run chkdsk to test for a failing harddrive 0.0



  • @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    Why bench instead of helpdesk? I think helpdesk generally exposes you to more stuff, and then you have a basis to start learning from.

    Different skills and areas of interest. Helpdesk tends to almost never touch tech (touch with actual hands.) Bench tends to deal very little with customers.

    If you like customer service, helpdesk is likely the best place for you. If you like putting your hands on hardware and manipulating it, bench is likely for you.



  • @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    Bench is pretty contained in it's own world. You can be a great bench tech, but it's not going to help you move up further.

    You can move up a bit, bench will hit six figures.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Bench then IT?:

    @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    Bench is pretty contained in it's own world. You can be a great bench tech, but it's not going to help you move up further.

    You can move up a bit, bench will hit six figures.

    I would imagine it is harder to move up in the bench world.

    At entry level you're no where near working on servers. And job's that are near entry level but let you get near to servers are probably few and far between.

    Plenty of companies will go with manufacturer's warranty until their next hardware refresh, so they isn't really an entry level person (well I guess maybe the person doing the RMAs might count)

    It's just hard to me to visual the path to go from Geek Squad to data center bench tech. And with the increasing popularity of the cloud, it seems like there won't be as many intermediate positions.

    However, I guess the same might eventually be said with the automation of IT.



  • @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Bench then IT?:

    @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    Bench is pretty contained in it's own world. You can be a great bench tech, but it's not going to help you move up further.

    You can move up a bit, bench will hit six figures.

    I would imagine it is harder to move up in the bench world.

    Fewer steps, but overall, I'm not sure that moving up is harder so much as it is just way less granular.



  • @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    At entry level you're no where near working on servers. And job's that are near entry level but let you get near to servers are probably few and far between.

    If you think of entry level bench work as Best Buy / Geek Squad, then yes, absolutely. But if you think about corporate benchwork like in a Fortune 1000, then I think it is way more likely than you'd imagine. I took a part time bench job for a university once, and was working on server stuff on day one.

    Getting hands on with server hardware isn't that hard for a motivated bench tech. Just like IT, if they do nothing to advance their careers they won't move up easily. If they put in some effort, they will leapfrog everyone else.



  • I think a couple of "how to advance in bench careers" might make some good videos for the series 🙂



  • @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    Plenty of companies will go with manufacturer's warranty until their next hardware refresh, so they isn't really an entry level person (well I guess maybe the person doing the RMAs might count)

    Sure, but those manufacturers use bench techs for that work. I've managed bench teams for the big vendors so am very used to how it works from that side. They don't take the most entry level people for that, but they do take "advanced entry level" - meaning the cream of the "haven't worked in bench before" crop.

    There is a good realm of bench work out there that is worlds better than BB/GS type stuff, but isn't server yet. And then there are levels of server bench work. All the big server vendors have bench roles. Refurb vendors like xByte has them. Warehouses have them a little.



  • @flaxking said in Bench then IT?:

    It's just hard to me to visual the path to go from Geek Squad to data center bench tech.

    This is not because of the leap from entry level to senior, it's because of the jump from consumer to business. GS is kind of the "failure mode" of the bench world. It's GS that makes people feel ashamed of bench work because GS is so well known and associated with bench, but it is hardly what most bench looks like.

    If your goal is to work in the consumer products world, then GS is the big player in that space. But never do you touch business gear, never do you work for businesses, never do you interact with that world. GS experience will do basically nothing for your bench career unless consumer is where you want to wind up.

    Entry level bench in the business world, though, has lots of steps from the entry point up to the seniors in the datacenters. Instead of working on someone's grandparents' cheap Walmart laptop to remove a virus or install more memory, you start working on enterprise desktops and laptops with enterprise parts and big vendor warranties and hardware and components.

    Once you work on quality desktops and demonstrate that you understand what you are doing, getting to touch servers is generally pretty simple. And from there you can just move up.



  • Getting the Server+ can help encourage companies to hire you for higher level bench work. Almost no one has it, so it can be a huge differentiator.

    Youtube Video

    I hadn't even thought of mentioning that, but it actually came on in the background as I was posting the last post, so very good timing.


Log in to reply