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

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn more about a range of in-demand IT careers and the requirements to get started.

[Featured image] IT support technician studies for popular IT certifications

Information technology (IT) is a versatile, wide, and growing field with many career opportunities. According to CompTIA’s State of the Tech Workforce UK report, tech roles are projected to grow quickly in the next decade, with the number of tech jobs reaching 2,043,622 in 2022 [1].

You can start at the help desk and work up to any specialised jobs as you advance in your career. Or you can jump straight into a field you’re interested in if you have some background knowledge. Here are 10 entry-level IT positions to consider as you begin your job search.

1. IT support technician

Average annual UK salary: £27,666 [2]

Requirements: Knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting. College courses, apprenticeships, and work experience are avenues to enter this profession.

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 IT help desk technicians, service desk technicians, IT service engineers, amongst 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?

2. IT technician

Average annual UK salary: £26,882 [3]

Requirements: Knowledge of computer systems and troubleshooting. College courses, apprenticeships, and work experience are great ways to enter this role, while a degree is not necessarily required.

Like IT support technicians, IT technicians work to support the technical issues within an organisation’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?

Read more: What Is an IT Technician? How to Become One

3. Web developer

Average annual UK salary: £37,419 [4]

Requirements: Ability to program. A foundation degree in a relevant subject, apprenticeship, and work experience are entrance paths to this position.

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 an apprenticeship or college course, 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.

4. Systems administrator

Average annual UK salary: £37,743 [5]

Requirements: Experience with computer systems. Whilst there is no formal career path to enter this profession, a degree in computer science, or a technical subject is an advantage.

System administrators, also called computer administrators, install, configure, and maintain operation of multi-user computer systems and servers. A successful sysadmin uses their software, hardware, and networks knowledge 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?

5. Systems analyst

Average annual UK salary: £36,717 [6]

Requirements: University courses, apprenticeships, and professional experience using computer and information skills can provide a pathway into this role. 

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. 

Whilst not always a requirement, qualifications 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 analysing and evaluating existing systems?

6. Database administrator

Average annual UK salary: £41,524 [7]

Requirements: University degrees in subjects such as computer science, information systems and maths. 

Database administrators store, organise, 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 analyse and leverage this data for growth. 

Build a foundation for a job in database administration with qualifications 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.

7. Site reliability engineer

Average annual UK salary: £77,841 [8]

Requirements: Site reliability or DevOps experience and related skills. A university 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 CV 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?

8. Software developer

Average annual UK salary: £46,379 [9]

Requirements: Experience with programming languages. University courses, apprenticeships, and graduate training schemes provide pathways to this career.

Software developers (sometimes called programmers) 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 degree in computer science or software engineering. You can also gain relevant experience through coursework or a boot camp, or through an apprenticeship.

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?

9. IT security coordinator

Average annual UK salary: £53,400 [10]

Requirements: University courses, college courses, apprenticeships, and professional experience are great ways to enter this career path. 

IT security coordinators (also called information security 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  qualifications in information assurance or computer science. If you can’t land an information security coordinator position immediately, try getting your foot in the door with an IT support 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?

10. Cloud engineer

Average annual UK salary: £55,683 [11]

Requirements: Knowledge of cloud platforms. University degrees 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 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?

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 CV. There are several ways to gain those skills once you know what they are—you can get a certification, teach yourself, or enrol in a course. 

Consider the Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera to build your skills and take your next step toward an exciting career in IT, becoming entry-level IT job ready in as little as six months. Upon completion, gain exclusive access to career resources, resume review, interview prep, and career support. 

Article sources


CompTIA. “State of the Tech Workforce UK, https://www.comptia.org/content/research/state-of-the-tech-workforce-uk.” Accessed July 28, 2023.

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