I personally have always aimed for a DevOps-like role, with a focus on automation, and at least some familiarity with the basics of IT. As such, I learned Linux early, try to learn as much practical knowledge when possible, and jump at any opportunity to automate daily tasks.
I’ve spent some time doing some manual UAT (User Acceptance Testing), documentation, and automating tasks in Excel. I’ll never forget helping automate a 20k row sheet, instead of spending multiple days manually doing look ups, I spent 3 hours hacking away at an automation script.
My first IT focused job was just being on-call IT support, having experience with multiple computers at home (and all the issues related to those computers) really helped. I ended up getting my first “real” programming project just building a basic python app to replace an Excel based app. (more like just a sheet were people put their info in, not an app haha)
I knew of a number of people who went to get a CS degree, but got stuck doing IT work after graduation. IT work is everywhere, just being technical usually is a good way to get started, but lets be serious if you want to develop, don’t go for IT jobs unless your really into that, or are desperate.
I haven’t heard of many situations where you do both IT and develop. Large companies will have dedicated resources, or of they are more “leading edge”, individuals on a team dedicated to these tasks. Smaller companies might have more instances of the “IT-dev”, but they also have less budget, and thus work will probably be focused on one or the other at any given time, and odds are you wont be on a team.
I’m not saying these jobs don’t exist, I just don’t think they are common. If you have technical skills and don’t mind doing technical work, then yes open up the possibilities and apply to more tech oriented positions. Just don’t expect to get a development project right off the bat (if ever) if your mainly there for more IT focused work.