Systems Engineer, Web App Developer: Best Entry-Level Jobs in Tech?

Graduation season is almost upon us. For technologists who’ve just obtained their degree and haven’t locked down a job, this is also an intensely stressful time. Which entry-level roles are enjoying the most growth? What should you consider when applying for a particular position?

In terms of job growth, WalletHub has a new report that breaks down the “best” entry-level occupations (i.e., those with the most immediate opportunities and growth potential, along with the least job hazards). We’ve isolated the report’s top technology jobs below: 

The numbers for Immediate Opportunity, Growth Potential, and Job Hazards represent a particular job’s ranking vis-à-vis the other jobs on the list. As you can imagine, most tech jobs aren’t even a fraction as dangerous as, say, drilling engineer. Technology jobs also offer quite a bit of opportunity and growth, especially as companies everywhere pour more resources into their long-term product roadmaps. 

You can check out WalletHub’s site for a full breakdown of their methodology; for instance, Immediate Opportunity is based on average starting salary, number of job openings, and the position’s unemployment rate. Growth potential, meanwhile, is based on projected job growth by 2029, occupation viability (i.e., chances of a job being automated out of existence), income growth potential, and median tenure with employer, among other factors. 

If you haven’t yet found a job, take heart: even at the best of times, landing a new position is a time-consuming process. It’s important to find jobs that not only interest you, but also align with your skills and background; bombing every potential position with applications isn’t likely to yield as good results as carefully targeting the few jobs you genuinely want. 

Your résumé is a vital part of any job application. If you’re about to graduate and you don’t have any formal experience, don’t worry. You can use your résumé to list your relevant classwork, side projects, and any other educational experience pertinent to the position. By showing that you have the necessary skills, you can often land an interview for an entry-level job. 

Networking is also key. Make sure to build out your social profiles, personal website, and any other online assets to put your skills and background in the best light. Second, figure out which online groups (such as subreddits) focus on the technologies that interest you; by interacting with people in those groups, you can begin to build your personal network—and networks unlock opportunity. Reach out to thought leaders and experienced technologists for their opinions and advice; they can provide valuable information about different career paths. 

Once you’ve landed your first job interview, make sure you do your research ahead of time: you’ll want to know everything possible about the company’s overall strategy, product lines and technology stacks. You’ll also want to sit down and come up with a few “example stories” that put your skills, experience, and problem-solving abilities in the best possible light; recruiters and hiring managers always like to ask how you’ve overcome challenges and learned new things. (Also, keep in mind that many job interviews are still being done via video instead of in-person, which means altering your preparation slightly.)

No matter what happens, stay positive. Sometimes it takes even the most experienced technologists some time to find a new position that fits their needs. Even if you haven’t begun your job search in earnest, there are lots of employers who need technologists with all kinds of skills for entry-level positions.