How to find IT volunteer opportunities for hands-on experience

Finding a job that requires little or no experience is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome when trying to get into IT. Job seekers often feel frustrated when they see job postings that require hands-on experience.
This article will discuss how to find volunteer opportunities that will add value to your resume.
Fundamentals
To be able to pursue volunteer opportunities, you must first acquire fundamental knowledge in specific areas. You will need some knowledge, regardless of whether you have completed technical training or self-study for certifications, before you can apply for volunteer opportunities. If you don’t understand the basics of a router, you shouldn’t be looking to volunteer with an ISP.
Once you have the technical skills, you can volunteer to gain practical experience.
What kind of work do you do?
You might be curious about where and what type of work you could volunteer. Here are some places to start:
Nonprofit organizationsSchools and school districtsHospitals and Healthcare providersHospitals and healthcare providersShelters, churches, and other nonprofit organizations like the YMCA often rely upon technology professionals or professionals to be to do everything from setting up local networks to developing Web sites. Nonprofit organizations often have limited IT resources and require as much assistance as possible.
Volunteer work with non-profits can be varied and cover many aspects of IT. You can learn a lot of hands-on skills in a short time and have a wide range of skills.
Schools and school districts are another great place to look. Schools face constant challenges from many angles. Students need to have secure access to resources. With the emphasis on distance learning, the demand for technology professionals will continue growing.
Typically schools need extra resources with physically installing equipment in classrooms, moving computers, and cleaning/re-installing software. With distance learning becoming more popular, schools now have more options for networking, security, application delivery, and other services. Many schools are now familiar with the process of setting up Chromebooks and tablets.
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful at hospitals and healthcare providers. These environments are more diverse than schools and nonprofits because they have larger IT departments. This can lead to more policies and procedures, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Doctors, nurses, as well as other staff in healthcare clinics, always require additional support. Computers and technology are used constantly to look up patient information, schedule appointments, and input data into lab tests. Volunteer opportunities in hospitals will include support. You should be able to troubleshoot printing issues, install software, update software and help end users get their job done.
Where to look
It’s now easier than ever for people to find these opportunities. You can search online to find nonprofits in your local area. Call the IT manager to discuss how you can volunteer and help their organization. For job opportunities, you can also check out Indeed and Monster. There is a site specifically for school openings.
Another thing I recommend is to create a Linkedin account and start to network with professionals in your local area. Your headline can be “Looking for volunteer opportunities” and “Open to work”. It’s worth taking the time to improve your profile and network with professionals in your local area to help you get a job or volunteer opportunity.
Conclusion
Volunteering is a great way to show your skills, even though it is not a way to get professional experience. You can also make contacts that will help you find the right job.
Volunteering should be a genuine effort to help others, not just a quick job.
Volunteer work is a great way to get hands-on experience, and it looks great on a resume.