You may have heard – Healthcare and Technology jobs are here to stay and are growing by leaps and bounds! Still topping the list for the highest growth in the job market for the foreseeable future, information technology offers an exciting career path as technology rapidly evolves, new innovations hit the market and virtually every industry undergoes some level of digital transformation. The interesting part however is that you don’t need to be born a tech guru to throw your IT hat in the ring. There are a number of Entry-level IT jobs that can get your foot in the industry door and help you set a foundation you can build upon.
What roles in Information Technology (IT) can be considered “entry-level”?
Entry-level IT jobs will require first and foremost a general working knowledge of how basic computer systems operate. You’ll understand how moving parts work together for operating systems, networks, software applications, security overlays and more, and you can specialize your expertise from there. For instance, a Systems Administrator knows how multi-user computer systems operate, including being able to install, maintain and troubleshoot. A Systems Admin will continue to grow their knowledge base, becoming fluent in different types of operating systems and integrations that comprise enterprise-level system architectures, thus increasing their opportunities for advancement.
There are entry-level positions for every IT sector, including:
- Cloud engineering
- Web Development and UX designing/engineering
- Software Application Development
- Data Management and Analytics
- Security and Compliance
In addition to the entry-level IT positions that manage the function and development of technology systems, a great place to start in IT is in the department that fixes IT problems.
Trusted IT Support Specialists, Help Desk Technicians and Desktop Support are there to answer questions throughout the organization about computer and application functionality, particularly to troubleshoot when issues arise.
What kind of schooling is needed for an entry-level IT job?
As technology advances quickly, it seems a growing trend is to rely less on degrees and more on knowledge, especially since tech experience and background knowledge is so globally varied. That’s not to say that credentials don’t matter. We haven’t reached that point yet; the majority of employers still focus on degrees coupled with experience level for their job requirements.
In general, a bachelor’s degree in a tech-related field is still the status quo, for example in computer science or a BS in Information Technology. Associate’s degrees can also be a good stepping stone, especially if your educational program incorporates a job placement or intern component that can help you gain some ground-level experience.
In some instances, employers may look for professional certifications, especially when it pertains to a specific knowledge-base, like being fluent in a certain programming language, or software application.
If you already have a degree, but want to transition to a tech-related position, consider enrolling in niche-specific courses, online or at local institutions. For example, translating a marketing career to web development might be a great new path: you have the background of understanding branding, messaging and consumer demand; learning how to create the medium where you reach your audience is a perfect next step.
That’s a broad question and often based on the particular role you are interested in. However, there are skills that most professionals in the IT sector have as a baseline for their position. These can include:
- Knowledge of various operating systems and their architecture
- Basic coding in some of the most common languages
- Understanding of Cybersecurity applications
- Good grasp of evolving technology in Cloud systems, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science.
While the above relates to the “technical” skillset, employers look for certain soft skills and general business strengths in candidates for entry-level IT jobs and beyond. This is not an exhaustive list, but includes:
- Critical Thinking
- Creative problem-solving
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Time management
- Strong work ethic
- Team mind-set
- Communication skills (both verbal and written)
An Entry-level IT job is within your reach
With new technologies emerging and a continued concern for technical skills gaps in the industry, the employment landscape welcomes potential new IT professionals to step up and get started. Landing an IT job that fits will take some effort – through networking, applying for positions and perhaps reaching out to a knowledgeable IT recruiter to help facilitate your search. At Matlen Silver, we understand the world of IT employment and can help new candidates create a road map for their new career. Contact our team to speak with an expert in IT recruitment today.