10 Entry-Level IT Jobs and What You Can Do to Get Hired

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These in-demand jobs could lead to a new career in IT, from the help desk to the cloud.

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IT is a wide and growing field. Jobs in the IT sector in the US are projected to grow at a much faster rate than other occupations in the next decade [1].

And it’s versatile too. You can start at the help desk and work your way up to any number of specialized jobs as you grow. Or you can jump straight into a field you’re interested in if you have some background knowledge. Here are ten entry-level IT positions to consider as you begin your job search.

Learn more: How to Get a Job in IT: 7 Steps

1. Help desk technician

Average annual salary: $42,508 [2]

Job outlook: 9% annual growth [3]

Requirements: Knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting. Certifications, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees may be requested.

When a computer user or employee is having problems with hardware, software, or a network, they call on a help desk specialist to assist. A help desk technician might maintain, install, or troubleshoot hardware and software, resolve networking issues, or help resolve other problems for other company employees. 

The title for this role might vary. Help desk technicians can also be called help desk analysts, desktop support technicians, service desk technicians, and computer support specialists, among several other titles. These positions collectively are sometimes referred to as help desk positions.

Many IT professionals start their careers in help desk roles. If you don’t know where to start in IT, this is a good role to consider; it’ll expose you to other areas of IT you might be interested in. As you gain experience, it’s possible to move into other jobs, like system or network administrator, cloud engineer, or information security analyst.

Four common help desk technician interview questions

  • What is your troubleshooting process?

  • Can you describe a time when you’ve had to work with someone you didn’t get along with?

  • What would you do if faced with a technical issue you didn’t know how to solve?

  • How important are IT skills in a service desk role?

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2. IT technician

Average annual salary: $42,769 [4]

Job outlook: 8% annual growth [4]

Requirements: Knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting. Certifications, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees may be requested.

Like help desk technicians, IT technicians work to support the technical issues within an organization’s computer system. But while help desk technicians might spend more time resolving user issues, IT technicians are more likely to spend time doing the actual technical work to resolve the issue. An IT technician should be able to troubleshoot, know how to use several operating systems, and understand the basics of IT networks.

IT technicians can also be called IT associates, IT analysts, or IT specialists. Some companies may have IT technicians do help desk work as well.

Four common IT technician interview questions

  • Can you tell me what an IP address is?

  • What do you like about being an IT professional?

  • Tell me about a time you worked on a team.

  • What do you do to maintain your technical certifications?

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IBM Technical Support

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Average time: 9 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Networking/Cybersecurity Essentials, IT Fundamentals, Hardware/Software Setup, Technical Support, Cloud Computing, Information Technology, Customer Service, Ticketing Systems, Service Level Agreements, IT Service Management (ITSM), Troubleshooting, IT Career, Software Development Process, database management, Software Application Development, Computer Programming, Cloud Storage, Network Architecture, Networking Hardware, Computer Network, Wireless Networks, Information Security (INFOSEC), Cyberattacks, Application Security, Cryptography, security, Cloud Native, Devops, Iaas PaaS Saas, Hybrid Multicloud, Networking Setup, Software Configuration, Helpdesk Ticketing Systems

Read more: How to Get a Job as a Computer Technician | 10 Tips

3. Web developer

Average annual salary: $77,200 [5]

Job outlook: 13% annual growth [5]

Requirements: Ability to program. Associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees may be requested.

Web developers create websites that businesses use to operate and interact with their customers. This field breaks down into three main areas: front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. Front-end developers design the parts of a website that users interact with. Back-end developers build and maintain the server, application, and database that power a website. Full-stack developers do both.

Requirements for entry-level candidates will vary by company and industry. It’s possible to get a job with a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, especially if you’ve done some web development on your own. Front-end programming languages you’ll want to learn include HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Back-end programming languages might include Python, Ruby, or PHP.

Four common web developer interview questions

  • Can you tell me about a project you’re most proud of?

  • What APIs have you worked with?

  • What are the differences between developing for mobile and desktop?

  • Explain long polling.

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4. Systems administrator

Average annual salary: $80,600 [6]

Job outlook: 5% annual growth (as fast as average) [6]

Requirements: Experience with computer systems. Certifications, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience may be requested.

System administrators, also called computer administrators, install, configure, and maintain operation of multi-user computer systems and servers. A successful sysadmin uses their knowledge of software, hardware, and networks to keep businesses running smoothly. Their roles can overlap heavily with network administrators.

Keeping up with the latest network technology is a lifelong learning process. As you expand your skill set and learn to use the latest products, you can advance to roles like systems engineer or systems architect. 

Four common systems administrator interview questions

  • What is a frustrating support issue you’ve encountered?

  • What is DNS and how does it work?

  • How would you go about troubleshooting a problem you don’t understand?

  • What experience do you have with hardware components?

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5. Systems analyst

Average annual salary: $99,270 [7]

Job outlook: 7% annual growth (faster than average) [7]

Requirements: Certifications, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience may be preferred.

Systems analysts might sound similar to systems administrators, but they’re quite different. The goal of a systems analyst is to make a company’s computing systems more efficient and effective. They identify opportunities for improvement and design, test, and deploy systems to execute those improvements. 

While not always a requirement, a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science can make you competitive for this job.

Four common systems analyst interview questions

  • What is a DHCP server and why would you use one?

  • What would you include in a software audit?

  • What’s the largest project you’ve worked on in the past?

  • What is your process for analyzing and evaluating existing systems?

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Information Technology . Become a better manager of information technology to address business problems

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6. Database administrator

Average annual salary: $98,860 [8]

Job outlook: 8% annual growth (much faster than average) [8]

Requirements: Certifications, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees may be requested.

Database administrators (DBAs) store, organize, and secure data. This is an especially critical task for companies with large information systems (like banks and hospitals). Ensuring that databases operate efficiently helps companies analyze and leverage this data for growth. 

Build a foundation for a job in database administration with a bachelor’s degree in a computer or information-related field. You can also set yourself up for success by learning database languages, most commonly Structured Query Language (SQL).

Four common database administrator interview questions

  • How do you prevent data loss during a migration to the cloud?

  • How do you troubleshoot database problems?

  • How do you learn about new applications?

  • Describe your workflow without direct supervision.

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7. Site reliability engineer

Average annual salary: $101,923 [9]

Job outlook: 34% annual growth (much faster than average) [10]

Requirements: Site reliability or DevOps experience and related skills. Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience may be requested.

Site reliability engineers (SREs) keep the websites and apps we use up and running smoothly. SREs develop automated solutions for common development and operational tasks, like latency monitoring, capacity planning, and emergency responding. As long as technology continues to play a role in our day-to-day lives, there will be a growing demand for SREs. 

Besides a computer science degree, you can elevate your resume with a certification in DevOps or SRE. You may also expand your job opportunities by learning a scripting programming language, like Python. As you start out as an SRE, you’ll develop skills that transfer to other roles in IT, including cloud or full-stack engineering.

Four common SRE interview questions

  • What does your current deployment pipeline look like?

  • What’s the difference between DevOps and SRE?

  • What are some common architecture bottlenecks?

  • What is cloud computing?

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8. Software developer

Average annual salary: $110,140 [11]

Job outlook: 22% annual growth (much faster than average) [11]

Requirements: Experience with programming languages. Bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees may be requested.

Software developers (sometimes called software engineers) build the systems and applications that run on computers, phones, and other devices. These programs are typically designed to allow companies or employees to perform specific tasks, like managing data or collaborating across teams. 

Many software developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. You can also gain relevant experience through coursework or a boot camp, or through an internship.

Four common software developer interview questions

  • What are your top programming languages?

  • Can you tell me about a tough development problem and how you solved it?

  • How would you diagnose and resolve a bug in a critical application?

  • What projects are you currently working on?

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9. Information security analyst

Average annual salary: $102,600 [12]

Job outlook: 33% annual growth (much faster than average) [12]

Requirements: Certifications, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees may be requested.

Information security analysts (also called cybersecurity analysts) are tasked with protecting a company’s computer networks and systems. This involves planning and implementing security measures and quickly addressing security breaches should they occur. As technology continues to advance, so does the need for robust security. 

Develop your skill set through an entry-level information security certification like the CompTIA Security+. Many information security analysts have a bachelor’s degree in information assurance or computer science. If you can’t land an information security analyst position immediately, try getting your foot in the door with a help desk or IT technician position, and build experience from there.

Four common information security analyst interview questions

  • What process would you use to secure a server?

  • How do you defend your personal wireless access point?

  • What tools do you use for performing security assessments?

  • What are three ways to authenticate someone?

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Read more: 10 Popular Cybersecurity Certifications

10. Cloud engineer

Average annual salary: $103,903 [13]

Job outlook: 27% annual growth (much faster than average) [14]

Requirements: Knowledge of cloud platforms. Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or equivalent experience are typically preferred.

Cloud engineers help businesses migrate applications, functions, and processes to the cloud. They typically oversee the design, configuration, and monitoring of cloud-based services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform. As more companies move their IT infrastructure to the cloud, the demand for cloud engineers continues to rise. 

Many companies look for entry-level candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. That said, having relevant experience can set you up to be competitive for the job as well. If you’re working your way up to become a cloud engineer, try starting in positions like system or network administration that’ll expose you to some work with the cloud. As you gain experience, you can advance to become a cloud developer, cloud administrator, or cloud architect.

Four common cloud engineer interview questions

  • What is the benefit of cloud computing for a business?

  • How do you design for failure?

  • Can you describe your most challenging cloud computing project?

  • What are the advantages of cloud computing?

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Next Steps: Landing an entry-level IT job

Now that you have an idea of what kinds of entry-level IT jobs are out there, you can start looking into landing one. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to start building relevant skills that you can put on your resume. There are several ways to gain those skills once you know what they are—you can get a certification, teach yourself, or enroll in a course.

Not sure where to start? Consider checking out the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. The coursework will cover all the basics of IT and get you job-ready in six months. Plus, it’ll prepare you for the entry-level CompTIA A+ certification exam—and the first week is free.

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Article sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Computer and Information Technology Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

2. Glassdoor. "Help Desk Technician Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/help-desk-technician-salary-SRCH_KO0,20.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Computer Support Specialists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

4. Glassdoor. "IT Technician Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/it-technician-salary-SRCH_KO0,13.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Web Developers and Digital Designers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Network and Computer Systems Administrators, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Computer Systems Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Database Administrators, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

9. Glassdoor. "Site Reliability Engineer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/site-reliability-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

10. LinkedIn. "2020 Emerging Jobs Report, https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/emerging-jobs-report/Emerging_Jobs_Report_U.S._FINAL.pdf." Accessed June 10, 2022.

11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Software Developers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

12. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Information Security Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

13. Glassdoor. "Cloud Engineer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/cloud-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm." Accessed June 10, 2022.

14. LinkedIn. "2020 Emerging Jobs Report, https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/emerging-jobs-report/Emerging_Jobs_Report_U.S._FINAL.pdf." Accessed June 10, 2022.

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