If you’ve always loved technology and have decided to enter the industry, you may want to know which are the best entry-level jobs in information technology. Tech is always a booming industry and it likely will be for a very long time.
What’s more, IT jobs tend to pay more on average for entry-level positions than jobs in other industries. There is a wide spectrum of job duties and titles, so whether you’re more into programming or developing, administration, or technical support, there’s something that’s bound to cater to your skills, level of expertise, and interests.
There are many great positions to help you get started in your IT career. It’s often easy to transition from one role to another as you gain more knowledge and time on the job. You could even more your way up to an IT engineer position.
These are some of the best entry-level IT jobs today, followed by great tips to secure your dream job today.
A network administrator is also known as a system administrator. A network or system administrator is responsible for making recommendations for the company’s network, communication, and intranet systems. They also install and maintain the systems. As a network administrator, you would also seek resolutions to any network problem that arises while optimizing the network’s performance levels.
Part of a network or system administrator’s job function also includes evaluating potential threats to the company’s systems while establishing protocols to enhance its security.
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a network or system administrator is $82,500 or $39.45 an hour.
Help Desk Technician
Help desk jobs are a common starting point for IT workers. This involves a lot of remote work and handling IT calls. Think of it as triage for computer or networking problems. Many companies have Tier 1 and Tier 2 technicians.
As a Tier 1 help desk technician, you could be responsible for intaking calls, logging them, and helping with simple IT issues. Tier 2 technicians assist with more complex problems.
Both help desk positions require great problem-solving and communication skills. Experience with customer service is also a great help. In-depth technical knowledge isn’t as important for Tier 1 support as it is for Tier 2 support. However, understanding the general nature of potential issues is a must. On-the-job training is often a huge part of Tier 1 help desk positions.
The average pay for both positions varies widely, depending on your skillset and qualifications. The more knowledge you bring to the table, the more potential you have for earning on the higher end of the pay scale. The average annual salary ranges from $41,500 to $58,776.
While help desk technicians offer more in the way of remote support, computer technicians offer more hands-on technical support. As a computer technician or computer support specialist, you might be responsible for installing software and hardware on the company’s computer systems.
You are also likely to troubleshoot problems with the company’s computers and make necessary repairs. When new systems are set up in the office environment, you are also likely to play a large role in making it happen.
Computer technicians need extensive knowledge of hardware and software, Windows operating systems, and networking abilities. Because the field is constantly changing and adapting, you also must have the ability to learn new things quickly.
Certification as a CompTIA A+ Technician is also recommended. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer technicians earn an average of $53,470 annually or $25.70 an hour.
Applications or Software Developer
If you’re interested in creating software or applications for computer systems, you might find work as an Applications Developer rewarding. This position has become highly popular. If you think about it, the world today revolves around the use of software apps. These apps enable us to perform specific tasks at work, personal use, and even social justice causes.
An application or software developer is more than a developer. He/she is also a computer software engineer. The primary duties include creating, testing, and programming the apps for various devices, including mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
As an app’s developer, you would likely work as part of a larger team of data scientists, graphic artists, and other experts. You would be involved in the concept phase as well and would be expected to generate ideas for various product developments. You should also be able to anticipate problems, test new products, and fix any issues before a product is launched.
Understandably, you need to have a good grasp of coding languages and how to apply them.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that applications developers earn an average wage of $105,590 per year, or $50.77 an hour.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science is usually recommended for an entry-level application developer position.
Business or Systems Analyst
The business analyst analyzes, explores, organizes, and evaluates the IT systems of an organization while ensuring that it functions and aligns with the company’s business model.
As a business analyst, you would mostly be responsible for documenting and gathering requirements for the business. You would be the liaison between the business’s clients, customers, the development team, IT, and management.
You would likely work with the development team during the implementation process to ensure that the needs of clients and consumers are met.
As such, you would need to understand the language of IT as well as the viewpoints of the stakeholders of the company. You would help evaluate new technology and review options in the best interest of all involved while making recommendations on new systems and monitor them once they’re in place.
The average annual salary for a business or systems analyst is $74,612. A bachelor’s degree in business administration is usually required to work as a business analyst.
How to Land an Entry-Level Position in the IT Field
IT positions tend to open up as quickly as they’re filled. As you read this there are jobs available around the United States, including IT Engineering Jobs in New York City. While many of the job listings you might find advertised ask for degrees, it’s helpful to note that IT is a field where experience is valued as much, and sometimes more than a degree. This is especially true for entry-level IT jobs.
If you have amassed a lot of experience, even in freelance or pro-bono capacities (such as work with a non-profit), use that to your advantage. Even if a listing asks for a degree, apply anyway because these experiences could give you a competitive advantage over a candidate with less experience.
Here are some other pointers:
- Ask around about potential job openings. Referrals from family and friends can help tremendously when looking for entry-level IT work.
- Create a presence online. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, use your social media platforms as an online resume. Make it attractive to hiring managers and recruiters, who often look for candidates online.
- Get help from a recruiter. Staffing agencies often know about IT positions that aren’t advertised. A recruiter may also be able to advise you on what you can do to improve your chances of landing the job you want.