Not sure I want to pursue IT/Help desk work anymore If I want to do Web dev

TLDR: Graduated with B.S. in IT 2019 and have 6 months total in help desk experience between my internship and first job. First job was cut due to COVID-19. I considered doing Web dev throughout my degree and have decided I want to pursue it. I had already built simple websites with html and css and dabbled in JS. I’m 3/4 done with TOP web dev 101. I have no interest in Helpdesk, Networking or System Admin. I dont know if there is a point to pursue entry level IT roles anymore. Thinking maybe I should just get something to pay the bills and focus on Web Dev. I didnt like help desk and dont see the point of focusing on it. Advice?

More details… (can skim/skip if too long, I mainly want advice on whether entry level IT is really worth my time if I want to pursue web dev)

I moved to Raleigh for a help desk specialist position and got cut two months into my contract due to COVID-19 . Competition has skyrocketed and I can’t find work in IT. Filed for unemployment and I have enough saved for 3-4 months plus I am getting unemployment.

Before I went for my degree I was already interested in Web dev. I learned some HTML and CSS and created some very simple websites. Then I decided to get the degree in IT. I took two classes in web development that covered html and css and some JavaScript in my first two years. Since then I have been consumed with my classes and other areas in IT. I graduated and moved to Raleigh for the help desk job thinking I was going to pursue something in IT. I honestly have not enjoyed my help desk role and have no interest in Networking or System Admin.

After working in IT for a little bit I couldnt stop thinking about webdev. Well being let go from work has given me a lot of time to think about things. I really want to get back into it. I really want to pursue this as a career.


I am expecting it to be at least 6 months before I can start applying to web dev jobs. I want to build a portfolio an get a good grasp on html, css, and javascript.

Raleigh is a great place to look for work. However, I am concerned about the economy. The virus is going to make an impact for a long time. Competition for jobs are up and I know even before that its always high for entry web dev jobs. So I am concerned that I may struggle to find work in what looks to be a recession.

I have no job currently and my experience points to me trying to find a new help desk job. But I want to change my career focus and I am not sure that I should be focused on that if I want to do web dev? I dont want to divide my attention. So maybe its ok if I choose alternative work while I work on getting a web dev job?

So I really want to make the move to Web Dev and I see it taking me at least 6 months to get a decent portfolio. Not sure If I should just get any job in the meantime or focus on getting an entry level IT job. The problem is that If I wanted to pursue IT still I should be getting certs and working on a home lab. Instead I’m learning how to code.

I am thinking about applying for Starbucks (I worked there before in college), Target, etc and just sitting on that until I land an Web dev position. I could work part-time to have extra time to spend on learning, but that will only last for so long until I’ll need full-time.

The other options is to just keep looking for entry level IT jobs. The pro would be more money the con would be my attention divided. Because I have money saved I am inclined to work a job like Starbucks for 6 months to a year until I land a web dev job. The con of that is the possibility that I struggle to find work for over a year and get really tired of earning a low wage.

Thoughts? would more help desk benefit me at all? Another thought is that it would be harder to do interviews in a Monday-Friday help desk job.

I would encourage you to check out “support engineer” positions at software companies instead of just “help desk”. This is a great way to get in the door, build expertise, and there is usually a proven path directly from support to engineering.

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I thought most support engineer roles are just help desk roles, but with a different name? The descriptions are mostly exactly the same?

I have thought about learning python and SQL(already studied it a little bit) also while I learn Web Dev, but I can’t imagine picking it up any faster then webdev for work?

Just seems like anything outside of helpdesk is going to involve personal learning and certs. I thought it would be better to just shoot straight for what I want instead of fighting for work that I only would want for a “stepping stone” towards an actually web dev job.

Im trying to figure out if it would be better to just focus on finding entry level web dev work or try to slowly transition through IT work over to web dev work.

That can be the case. Sorry when I said “software company” I really meant to say “developer tools” company. Something like CircleCI, or GitHub, GitLab, AWS, etc…

If you get a help desk job at a company that makes consumer software you will spend the rest of your days helping people install printer drivers :slight_smile:

At developer tools company’s there is typically a direct line from support engineer to software engineer.

I got lucky in my first tech job, but it wasn’t going anywhere. My second tech job I started in support and was promoted to the ops team within six months.

When I lead the support team at CircleCI, 90% of the people I hired are now engineers.

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