Just starting out in IT? Don’t let the perception that “entry-level” means making a little more money than the intern deter you from pursuing your dreams. Here are five starting IT roles that will boost your bank account, while also giving you a strong resume and career starting point!
1. IT Support Specialist
Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you want to pursue a career in IT, this is a good starting point. IT support specialists are responsible for installing, setting up, and maintaining hardware and software. This is an excellent place to get a feel for troubleshooting, as you’ll likely be called upon to solve issues. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for an IT Support Specialist in the U.S. is $45,691.
Another thing about this role is because you’ll likely work with customers, other departments, and vendors, you’ll need to develop strong communication skills. A little on the introverted side? Don’t worry, you’ll quickly learn to break out of your shell on the job.
Training-wise, earning the CompTIA A+ certification will help you immensely in a support specialist position because it covers the basics of computer hardware and software. You’ll also get a decent introduction to networking, which is arguably the gateway to working in almost any area of IT.
2. Software Developer
If you have a passion for developing your own code, software development could be a path you want to pursue. Software developers are the innovative minds behind a lot of complex, collaborative, and crucial tasks such as designing computer programs, developing applications, and testing software.
Software developers also have a knack for identifying issues, assessing them, and delivering solutions. And they are compensated pretty well for their well-rounded skill set — according to Payscale.com, the average salary for a software developer in the U.S. is $64,583.
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3. Junior Systems Administration
Does the idea of being the go-to person for everything from setting up firewalls to troubleshooting a server interest you? Do you thrive under pressure? Well, if you’re able to handle high-pressure situations well, you should explore being a systems administrator.
According to Payscale.com, the average salary for sysadmins in the U.S. is $60,084 — and it pays even more as you move up the ladder. Payscale’s pay range for lead sysadmins extends to more than $100,000.
As with any position in IT, you always need to be increasing your knowledge and keeping your skills sharp. To help ensure that you become a sysadmin guru, consider adding IT security, project management, and/or requirements analysis to your skill set!
4. Network Operations Analyst
Networks are essential to every organization. As a result, there’s a lot that goes into making sure networks are designed and set up correctly, configured optimally, and maintained regularly. A good way to get in the door and build the knowledge and skills you need to become a well-rounded networking pro is to become a network operations analyst.
As a network operations analyst, you’ll likely work very closely with and assist network engineers with the upkeep of your organization’s networks, meaning you could be responsible for many day-to-day tasks such as monitoring servers. The average salary for a network operations analyst in the U.S., according to Payscale.com, is $58,367.
There’ll be plenty of trust and, hopefully, confidence placed in you from the very start. Working closely with other IT pros and departments can be an awesome opportunity to build up your professional connections to bring along in any future career endeavors.
And as you move up from any entry-level IT position, some skills you’ll master include project management, VMware, and cloud technologies. And for good measure, throw in some IT security and IT storage training in there, as well. The more well-rounded you are, the faster you can advance and move into more managerial roles if you so desire. Good luck!
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