10 Entry-Level IT Jobs and What You Need to Get Started (2024)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

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

10 Entry-Level IT Jobs and What You Need to Get Started (1)

Information technology (IT) is a growing field that features many career opportunities. In the United States, jobs in IT are projected to grow at a much faster rate than other occupations over the next decade [1].

And IT can be especially versatile, too. You can start out at the help desk and work your way up to any number of specialized jobs as you grow in your knowledge and skills. Or, if you have some background knowledge, you can jump straight into a field you’re interested in. In this article, we'll go over 10 entry-level IT positions to consider as you begin your job search.

1. Help desk technician

Median annual US salary: $59,660 [2]

Job outlook: 5% annual growth [2]

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 may be a good role to consider because it’ll expose you to other areas of IT. As you gain experience, it’s possible to move into other jobs, like system or network administrator, cloud engineer, or information security analyst.

Learn more: How to Find + Prepare for Entry-Level Help Desk Jobs

Basic skills can be gained from the Google IT Support program, and the excitement of learning comes from you.

Yvonne J-W., on taking the Google IT Support Professional Certificate

2. IT technician

Average annual US salary: $49,223 [3]

Job outlook: 5% annual growth [2]

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.

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

Looking to break into the field? Consider learning job-ready skills with a recognized tech name by enrolling in IBM's IT Support Professional Certificate program. In just 3 months, you'll get hands-on experience with IT fundamentals such as network architecture, troubleshooting, cybersecurity, and databases.

3. Web developer

Median annual US salary: $80,730 [4]

Job outlook: 16% annual growth [4]

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.

Learn more: How to Become a Web Developer

You can create your own responsive website using HTML, CSS, React, and Javascript while earning a Professional Certificate from Meta with the following flexible online program:

4. Systems administrator

Median annual US salary: $90,520 [5]

Job outlook: 2% annual growth (as fast as average) [5]

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.

5. Systems analyst

Median annual US salary: $102,240 [6]

Job outlook: 10% annual growth (faster than average) [6]

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.

Read more: Business Systems Analyst: Skills, Jobs, Salary, Career Outlook

6. Database administrator

Median annual US salary: $112,120 [7]

Job outlook: 8% annual growth (faster than average) [7]

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).

7. Site reliability engineer

Average base US salary: $129,422 [8]

Job outlook: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide specific growth statistics for SREs. However, it projects the software developer, quality assurance analyst, and testing fields—all closely related to the SRE field—will grow 25 percent between 2022 and 2033 [9].

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.

Read more: Site Reliability Engineer Salary Guide

8. Software developer

Median annual US salary: $124,200 [9]

Job outlook: 25% annual growth (much faster than average) [9]

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.

Learn more: How to Become a Software Developer | 9 Tips

9. Information security analyst

Median annual US salary: $112,000 [10]

Job outlook: 32% annual growth (much faster than average) [10]

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.

Learn more: How to Become an Information Security Analyst

Read more: 10 Popular Cybersecurity Certifications

10. Cloud engineer

Average base US salary: $114,917 [11]

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.

Learn more: Guide to Becoming a Cloud DevOps Engineer

Start working toward an entry-level IT job today

Not ready to take classes or jump into a project yet? Consider subscribing to our weekly newsletter, Career Chat. It's a low-commitment way to stay current with industry trends and skills you can use to guide your career path.

10 Entry-Level IT Jobs and What You Need to Get Started (2)

Now that you have an idea of what kinds of entry-level IT jobs are out there, you can begin looking for opportunities. If you’re just starting to build relevant IT skills to put on your resume, consider enrolling in a Professional Certificate, like Google's IT Support, on Coursera.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Some IT internships or apprenticeships may not require past experience. But generally, full-time entry-level positions will require you to have some relevant skills and experience that show you can do the job. If you don't have a degree or are trying to enhance your skill set, a relevant certification can show employers that you're capable of completing tasks.

Read more: 5 Tech Entry-Level Jobs in 2024: No Experience or Commute Required

Though this depends on the role, many entry-level IT positions request some knowledge of operating systems, computer security, networking principles, and troubleshooting. If you want to go into software or web development, a versatile and popular programming language like Python can be good to learn.

If you’re stuck, try finding a few positions you’re interested in on a job search website to see what skills are commonly requested.

Read more: 7 Essential IT Skills to Start Your IT Career

An IT certification is a credential you can earn by passing an exam. They can show employers that you have a professional level of knowledge in the field. Studying for the exam can be a good way to gain hands-on experience and learn new skills. Explore entry-level IT certifications to get started.‎

10 Entry-Level IT Jobs and What You Need to Get Started (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 5613

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Birthday: 1996-05-10

Address: Apt. 425 4346 Santiago Islands, Shariside, AK 38830-1874

Phone: +96313309894162

Job: Legacy Sales Designer

Hobby: Baseball, Wood carving, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Lacemaking, Parkour, Drawing

Introduction: My name is Dean Jakubowski Ret, I am a enthusiastic, friendly, homely, handsome, zealous, brainy, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.