Entry-level jobs hire people with little or no experience in that job. There are plenty of entry-level tech jobs on the market these days because of the ever-growing demand for technology-savvy workers.
There are many reasons to join the tech industry such as competitive salaries, promising career paths, and work-life flexibility. In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons to work in tech is that some tech companies even hire without a formal 4-year degree.
In this blog, I will share some entry-level tech jobs and their potential career paths. I will also share some tips that will give you an extra edge and help you stand out in your job applications.
If you have decided to embark on your tech journey but are unsure about where to start, this blog post is for you.
How to prepare for entry-level tech jobs
For an entry-level job, you should be comfortable working on a computer and be familiar with commonly used operating systems like Windows or Mac.
If you plan to work remotely, you should have a working machine and stable internet. Most companies provide the necessary equipment, but if you plan to work as a freelancer, then it is always better to invest in a good machine.
Entry Level Tech Jobs
I have prepared a list of entry-level jobs that can help you get started with tech.
Help desk analyst
A help desk analyst usually works on tier 1, which means you would be in direct coordination with customers and users.
In this role, you are responsible for answering calls and offering support according to the company's processes.
For example, a user is using Outlook and their emails are not refreshing. You can help that user fix their Outlook issue by sharing some troubleshooting steps. If the issue is complex, you can engage tier 2 support and delegate the issue.
While prior technical knowledge can be a plus, there are some soft skills that are especially required such as communication and problem-solving skills.
As most of the time you'll be dealing with customers and users over calls or emails, it is important that you are able to convey your message properly while understanding their problem.
Regarding the technical aspects of the job, most companies provide on-the-job training to help you grow your skills.
Potential career path
When you gain ample experience as a tier-1 analyst, you can progress to the tier-2 support where you would be able to handle even more complex issues.
Pros and cons of begin a help desk analyst
- The learning curve can be steep, but you'll get on-the-job training.
- There are a lot of networking opportunities as you will be coordinating with numerous clients daily.
- Troubleshooting steps are applicable and helpful for your personal day to day issues as well.
- The job can get hectic in case of an unforeseen issues.
- As this is a support role, there is a possibility of working on a shift basis including weekends.
Computer technicians repair computers and fix any other equipment issues. They usually work for companies or businesses as per contract.
A typical day as a computer technician could involve fixing printers, repairing laptop batteries, replacing faulty cables, and so on.
As a computer technician, you will need to be aware of how a computer is built and how other peripheral devices are interconnected in order to troubleshoot and fix any hardware issues.
Once you start working in the field, you can select a niche and excel in that area.
Potential career path
Once you are comfortable in your current role, you can work as a consultant for companies that require hardware support.
You can also provide support as a freelancer and work on your own terms.
Pros and cons of being a computer technician
- You'll learn a lot and you'll get to explore multiple domains. For example, if you are working in the network domain you can ramp up your skills by passing networking certifications.
- In-depth knowledge of hardware helps in almost every tech field. For example, managing server hardware is similar to managing regular hardware.
- Being a support role, you can expect to work in a shift basis including weekends.
- The job could be physically exhausting if it involves lifting heavy equipment.
- There is a possibility that the job could involve traveling
Technical writers are responsible for creating documentation for a product or a company's processes, or services.
Documentation is really important in IT as it provides guidance for software development as well as helps in troubleshooting later. Clear and concise documentation reduces the chance of errors and helps users understand issues in the end product. So, there is always a need for technical writers.
If you are interested in writing and want to get your foot in the door, technical writing might be a good fit for you.
To get a job as a technical writer, you'll need a strong writing portfolio to showcase your writing skills.
Your writing should be able to clearly explain the subject to your audience. You should be able to break down complex matters into understandable smaller blocks as technical topics can get really complicated sometimes.
Potential career path
You can write paid technical articles for various companies as a freelancer. Some companies pay a good price per article for certain topics.
Usually, there are editorial teams that work with you and share their constructive feedback before accepting your article.
Pros and cons of being a technical writer
- You can get good side projects that you can work on at your own pace.
- You can publish E-books and manuals and monetize them.
- You can create your own blog and a strong personal brand.
- Some topics are difficult to research, especially newer topics in tech.
- Writing is a creative process, and you might not be able to write when you are tired.
Data entry officer
Data entry professionals are responsible for manually entering data into the computer. They use data processing programs to enter information into either a database or in spreadsheets or word documents.
Transcribing data also falls in the domain of data entry. Transcription includes transcribing data from audio recordings, videos, or phone conversations.
Usually, you'll need a good understanding of data processing programs like MS Office and Excel. Good typing speed is a plus that you can improved on as you progress into the role of a data entry officer.
Potential career path
If you have decided to stick with this career, there are some strategies to power up your skills and move up the career ladder.
If you are studying, continue your education while focusing on subjects like data science and data engineering. Try to learn programming languages that focus on training the data like Python and R. It is also good to learn complex data processing and reporting tools like PowerBI.
Once your experience is coupled with good technical skills and preferably a degree, you can advance to supervisory positions or other positions like a data analyst.
Pros and cons of being a data entry professional
- As a beginner, you can start with very few technical skills.
- There is a possibility of remote work.
- The job can get a bit monotonous.
- As many companies offer remote data entry jobs, there is a high chance of getting scammed.
And once you've learned some coding, you can apply for software developer jobs.
Software developers build applications and websites using languages and frameworks like C#, Java, and C++. They also fix bugs in production systems or during quality assurance testing.
Software developers work as part of a team, where requirements come from business teams and are evaluated by project planning teams. As this process involves managers as well, you can highlight your hard work to them.
Some companies require an IT-related degree, but others accept applications without a formal degree.
In order to stand out when you don't have a tech-related degree, you'll need to work hard to showcase your skills by engaging with the development community through open source contributions, hackathons, and presenting a strong portfolio.
Potential career path
Once you have spent a while developing software you can transition into a senior role as a Software architect.
Software architects are responsible for designing efficient systems based on the requirements of the business.
Apart from working full time, you can also work on your own SAAS and monetize it to get an additional income stream.
Pros and cons of being a software developer
- Software developers are offered good salary packages including attractive perks.
- You can work at your own pace as some companies offer flexible hours.
- As tools and technologies are always evolving, there is a lot of room to learn.
- Depending on project deadlines, the job can be a stressful.
- Troubleshooting can be difficult sometimes specially in the case of unforeseen issues.
- You have to constantly keep up with the pace of continuously changing technology.
Tips for landing entry-level IT jobs
If you are looking to land a job in tech, the following tips can help you on the job hunt:
Work on your online presence
Recruiters regularly search online for potential candidates. It's useful to have accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and specially GitHub where you can showcase your skills and qualifications.
Another tip is to have a domain registered with your name where you can showcase your portfolio and also provide links to your social media.
In this way, it'll be really easy for recruiters to find you. Just be sure that your name and profile picture is consistent across platforms because you don't want to make it hard for recruiters to find you.
Accelerate your networking skills
Through networking, you can meet people with similar interests across the tech industry.
Networking enables you to highlight yourself within the community. IT professionals have some great options like hackathons, GitHub, discord chat servers, and other open-source communities where you can expand your network.
Use your personal connections
Getting a recommendation from a real person adds to the credibility of your job application. This is always better than applying to a company as a complete stranger.
Reach out to your family members or friends in the field who may be able to help you get an interview for an entry-level IT job.
Get suggestions from a recruiter
Professional recruiters have access to a vast network of opportunities. They could be really helpful in connecting you with the right hiring managers and land your dream job.
Volunteering experience such as contributing to open-source, mentoring, and writing helpful articles makes you more prominent in the tech industry.
It also adds some soft skills to your profile such as being self motivated, organised, and possessing a good work ethic.
The next steps
Once you have decided on a path for yourself, start working on the necessary skills. Create a compelling résumé and don't forget to include the details of your portfolio.
Search for jobs on sites like Indeed.com, Glassdoor, Crossover and Monster. Be sure to tailor your résumé to each job application.
In case you land an interview, thoroughly research the company and salary ranges. Be confident in your ideas and skills and don't sell yourself short. Good luck! :)
I hope you found this tutorial informative.
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