When I decided to pursue technology as a career, I was overwhelmed by how broad IT was and I did not know which path I wanted to take. I knew I had the choice to work with hardware and networking equipment or learn programming languages and build software, but I was not familiar with the resources or references available.
I created a broad reference sheet for myself. I listed IT categories by experience levels and most common positions. I then researched duties and responsibilities for those positions. Once I had the foundation from entry level to experienced professional, I was able to narrow in on what education and work experience desired. I tried to put myself into a hiring managers perspective. I read through job advertisements and noted what requirements were listed for each position.
Lastly, I researched IT certifications and noted the most useful and most preferred for each position. I found that some required experience and preferred certifications overlapped among positions. For example, it is helpful for a project manager to understand how networking equipment works in order to provide correct timelines and budget project costs.
This is a very basic spreadsheet. There are more categories, positions and certifications within the scope of IT. I created this spreadsheet almost 7 years as a guide to help me pick my path.