Best Entry-Level IT Jobs

Top Entry-Level Jobs in Information Technology

IT experts working on a computer
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Information technology (IT) is a sector with abundant opportunities for tech graduates to earn a substantial income and develop a satisfying career. Which are the best jobs for entry-level candidates ready to launch their IT career? There are many job opportunities that offer both high earnings and a strong employment outlook. Some positions require a four-year college degree. For others, a two-year degree, internship or freelance experience, or certification may get you hired.

TEKsystems surveyed 250 hiring managers and asked them which entry-level roles within the industry provided the best opportunities for recent college graduates. The following jobs were most frequently recommended by hiring managers.

Top 6 Entry-Level IT Jobs

1. Applications Developer

Applications Developers create software or applications for computers and mobile devices to enable users to process information efficiently. They analyze the needs of users and incorporate feedback from tests to modify applications.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), applications developers earned a median annual wage of $100,080 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned $58,300 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $157,590.

Employment Outlook: The BLS estimates that opportunities for applications developers will grow by 31 percent from 2016 - 2026, much faster than for other occupations.

2. Technical Support Specialist

Technical support specialists resolve problems that end users and customers have while operating computer systems and software. They train users to utilize computer software, hardware, and systems and provide updates on system enhancements. Technical support specialists maintain networking and internet systems, troubleshoot problems, and make necessary repairs.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), technical support specialists for computer networks earned a median annual wage of $62,670 while technical support specialists for users earned $49,390 in May 2016.

Employment Outlook: The BLS estimates that opportunities for technical support specialists will grow by 11 percent from 2016 - 2026, faster than for other occupations.

3. Business/Systems Analyst

Business/Systems Analysts consult with managers and staff to assess the needs of organizations for IT systems. They evaluate emerging technology and review options to optimize information processing. Systems analysts recommend new systems and oversee their implementation.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), systems analysts earned a median annual wage of $87,220 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned $53,110 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $137,690.

Employment Outlook: The BLS estimates that opportunities for systems analysts will grow by 9 percent from 2016 - 2026, about as fast as for other occupations.

4. Web Developer

Web Developers communicate with management and end users to determine the needs for web-based technology. They create websites with an eye towards speed, functionality, appearance, and relevance to organizational mission. Web developers collaborate with other IT staff to integrate other applications into websites; they also address and resolve website user issues.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers earned a median annual wage of $66,130 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned $35,390 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,350.

Employment Outlook: The BLS estimates that opportunities for web developers will grow by 15 percent from 2016 - 2026, much faster than for other occupations.

5. Network/System Administrator

Network/System Administrators recommend, install, and maintain local area networks, intranets, and organizational communications systems. They resolve network problems and take measures to optimize network performance. Network administrators also evaluate threats to systems and establish security protocols.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network administrators earned a median annual wage of $79,700 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned $48,870 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $127,610.

Employment Outlook: The BLS estimates that opportunities for network administrators will grow by 6 percent from 2016 - 2026, about as fast as for other occupations.

6. Database Administrator

Database administrators oversee the implementation and maintenance of software to organize records and data needed by staff to carry out their duties. They modify databases to reflect user needs as they emerge. Database administrators ensure the security of organizational databases from threats.

Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrators earned a median annual wage of $84,950 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned $47,300 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $129,930.

Employment Outlook: The BLS estimates that opportunities for database administrators will grow by 11 percent from 2016 - 2026, faster than for other occupations.

Entry-Level IT Jobs for Associate’s Degree Candidates

Graduates with two-year degrees will often be targeted by employers for technician positions where they provide support to IT professionals. Common titles for such positions include “network technician,” “support technician,” “help desk associate,” “web developer,” and “IT operations specialist.” 

IT is considered to be a “show me” field. So, associate’s degree holders with a resume or portfolio showcasing freelance or internship experience and/or certifications will be considered by some employers for software/applications developer, network administrator, and other professional roles. The more experience you have, the better your chances of being a competitive candidate. The IT skills you have acquired will also boost your candidacy. So, don’t hesitate to apply if you meet the requirements for the position.

If you're short on qualifications, consider one of the easy work-from-home computer jobs that don't require much experience.