Getting an entry level job in IT is harder than it looks. Companies are looking for people with years of experience and a lot of people worldwide are looking for entry-level IT jobs trying to break into the industry. Entry-level job seekers rarely get positive results on their initial job search and many get frustrated while applying to numerous job postings claiming they’re entry-level but end up requiring years of experience.
At Support Aventure we staff MSPs with IT tech support staff of various levels and have placed more than 200 IT support techs and other helpdesk staff with our clients. In our experience, clients will hire entry-level helpdesk technicians, as long as they excel in other categories, like communication, people skills, and their capacity and willingness to learn. While some say these skills are unteachable, you can go a long way in the industry by learning the correct attitude that makes a great IT Support Technician, entry-level or not.
We’ll try to answer the following common questions:
First, we’ll start with reviewing the entry-level job market and later move on to the necessary skills and abilities to land an entry-level IT Support job in 2023.
What Types of Entry-Level IT Jobs Are Available in 2023?
The IT sector has always been dynamic, with new technologies and trends emerging regularly. As we step into 2023, the IT job market continues to evolve, offering many opportunities for newcomers. Here’s a quick overview of entry-level IT jobs available this year:
Front End Developer: At the entry level, a Front End Developer is primarily responsible for creating the visual components of a website. They work closely with designers to translate design mockups into functional web pages, ensuring that the website looks and functions as intended across various devices and browsers.
What Does an Entry-Level Front End Developer Do?
- Designs and implements responsive web layouts.
- Integrates graphics, audio, and video into web pages.
- Collaborates with UX/UI designers to ensure the website aligns with design mockups.
Back End Developer: Entry-level Back End Developers focus on the server-side of web applications. They set up databases, create server-side logic, and ensure that data flows seamlessly from the server to the front end. They often work in tandem with Front End Developers to bring web applications to life.
What Tasks Does an Entry-Level Back End Developer Handle?
- Sets up and manages databases.
- Creates server-side application logic.
- Integrates front-end components into applications.
- Implements security and data protection measures.
Full Stack Developer: An entry-level Full Stack Developer has a broad skill set, encompassing both front-end and back-end tasks. They are jacks-of-all-trades, capable of building a web application from start to finish, though they might lean more towards either front-end or back-end in some projects.
What Can You Expect as an Entry-Level Full Stack Developer?
- Develops both client and server software.
- Connects the front-end components with the back-end logic.
- Debugs and optimizes code for performance.
- Implementing user authentication and authorization.
Web Developer: In an entry-level position, a Web Developer might be tasked with both designing and coding websites. They ensure that websites are functional, user-friendly, and aligned with the client’s requirements. They might also maintain and update existing websites.
What Role Does an Entry-Level Web Developer Play?
- Writing and maintaining website code.
- Testing websites for functionality across different browsers and devices.
- Implementing content management systems.
- Collaborating with content creators to ensure timely updates.
WordPress Developer: Entry-level WordPress Developers often start by customizing existing themes and plugins. They ensure that WordPress sites are functional, secure, and optimized for performance. They might also assist in content updates and basic SEO practices.
How Do Entry-Level WordPress Developers Contribute?
- Installing and customizing WordPress themes and plugins.
- Ensuring website security by implementing WordPress best practices.
- Troubleshooting and resolving website issues.
- Regularly updating WordPress software and plugins.
- Implementing interactive features like sliders, pop-ups, and forms.
- Collaborating with back-end developers to integrate APIs.
UX Designer: An entry-level UX Designer conducts user research, creates wireframes, and tests prototypes. They aim to understand user needs and ensure that the final product offers a seamless and intuitive user experience.
What Does an Entry-Level UX Designer Focus On?
- Conducting user research and creating user personas.
- Designing wireframes and prototypes.
- Testing designs with real users and iterating based on feedback.
- Collaborating with developers to implement designs.
UI Designer: Starting in UI design, the focus is on the visual aspects of a product. Entry-level UI Designers create design mockups, choose color schemes, and design user interface elements, ensuring that the product is both visually appealing and user-friendly.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Entry-Level UI Designer?
- Creating visually appealing design mockups.
- Designing user interface elements like buttons, dropdowns, and tabs.
- Ensuring consistency in design across all web pages.
- Collaborating with UX designers to ensure a cohesive user experience.
Mobile Developer: Entry-level Mobile Developers design and build basic apps for platforms like Android and iOS. They ensure that apps are functional, user-friendly, and optimized for various devices.
What Can an Entry-Level Mobile Developer Expect?
- Designing and building mobile applications for Android or iOS.
- Testing apps on various devices to ensure functionality and performance.
- Implementing mobile-specific features like push notifications.
- Regularly updating apps based on user feedback.
SEO Specialist: At the entry level, an SEO Specialist conducts keyword research, optimizes website content, and analyzes website traffic. They implement strategies to improve website rankings and visibility on search engines.
What Tasks are Handled by an Entry-Level SEO Specialist?
- Conducting keyword research and optimizing website content.
- Analyzing website traffic and user behavior using tools like Google Analytics.
- Implementing link-building strategies.
- Monitoring and analyzing website rankings.
QA Tester: Starting in Quality Assurance, the role involves testing software for bugs and inconsistencies. Entry-level QA Testers write and execute test cases, report bugs, and ensure that the final product is free from critical issues.
How Do Entry-Level QA Testers Contribute to Software Quality?
- Writing and executing test cases.
- Identifying, documenting, and reporting bugs.
- Collaborating with developers to ensure bugs are fixed.
- Conducting regression testing after bug fixes.
Sales Engineer: An entry-level Sales Engineer combines technical know-how with sales skills. They demonstrate product features to potential clients, assist in technical queries during sales pitches, and might even provide post-sales technical support.
What Role Does an Entry-Level Sales Engineer Play?
- Demonstrating product features to potential clients.
- Collaborating with the sales team to understand customer requirements.
- Providing technical support during sales pitches.
- Training customers on product usage.
Technical Support Specialist: In an entry-level role, they assist users with their technical queries. They diagnose and resolve issues related to software or hardware, provide guidance on product usage, and might escalate complex issues to higher-level specialists.
How Do Entry-Level Technical Support Specialists Assist Users?
- Responding to user inquiries via email, chat, or phone.
- Diagnosing and resolving technical issues.
- Escalating unresolved issues to the relevant departments.
- Creating and maintaining technical documentation.
Data Analyst: Starting in data analysis, the focus is on collecting, processing, and interpreting data. Entry-level Data Analysts use tools and software to analyze data, identify trends, and provide insights to help businesses make informed decisions.
What is the Focus of an Entry-Level Data Analyst?
- Collecting and interpreting data from various sources.
- Creating visualizations and reports to present findings.
- Collaborating with business teams to understand data needs.
- Identifying trends and patterns in data.
Database Administrator: At the entry level, a Database Administrator sets up and maintains databases. They ensure that data is stored securely, is easily accessible, and is backed up regularly to prevent data loss.
What Responsibilities Come with Being an Entry-Level Database Administrator?
- Installing and configuring database systems.
- Monitoring and optimizing database performance.
- Backing up and restoring databases.
- Ensuring data security and integrity.
Security Analyst: An entry-level Security Analyst monitors an organization’s IT infrastructure for security breaches. They implement basic security measures, conduct vulnerability assessments, and stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats.
How Do Entry-Level Security Analysts Protect IT Infrastructure?
- Monitoring network traffic for suspicious activity.
- Conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration tests.
- Implementing security measures like firewalls and encryption.
- Keeping up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats and trends.
Where to find entry-level IT jobs in 2023?
The IT sector is booming, and with the rise of remote work and digital transformation, there are more opportunities than ever for entry-level IT professionals. If you’re looking to kickstart your career in IT or make a switch, here’s where you can find entry-level IT jobs in 2023:
- Job Portals: Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and CareerCloud regularly list thousands of entry-level IT positions. These platforms allow you to filter jobs based on your skills, location, and preferred job type.
- Company Websites: Many top tech companies, such as IBM, Amazon, and PlayStation, have dedicated career pages where they post job openings, including entry-level positions.
- Tech Blogs and Forums: Websites like TechTarget and CareerFoundry often discuss the best entry-level tech jobs and might have links or references to companies hiring for those roles.
- Support Adventure: If you’re specifically looking for remote technician, system administrator, or service coordinator jobs, we’ve got you covered. We specialize in hiring for remote IT support positions. Here’s a breakdown:
- Remote Technicians and System Administrators: Support Adventure offers a range of remote IT support roles. We provide opportunities for technicians to work with companies globally, offering flexibility and exposure to diverse IT environments.
- Service Coordinators and Dispatchers: Support Adventure is continuously hiring remote technicians, system administrators, and service coordinators. Our dedicated remote jobs page provides more details on available positions and how to apply.
- Networking: Attend tech meetups, webinars, and conferences. Engaging with professionals in the industry can open doors to job opportunities that might not be publicly advertised.
- Internships and Apprenticeships: Many companies offer internships or apprenticeships for entry-level IT roles. These positions provide hands-on experience and often lead to full-time job offers.
- Recruitment Agencies: Consider registering with recruitment agencies that specialize in IT roles. They can help match your skills with suitable job openings.
In conclusion, the IT job market in 2023 is vast and varied. With the right skills and a proactive approach, you can find the perfect entry-level position to begin or pivot your career in IT.
What Makes An Effective IT Support Technician?
While you can’t expect entry-level tech support personnel to have massive experience in managing infrastructure and complex services, one thing that it’s almost impossible to teach are people skills, a will to learn, and a positive attitude to work. If you’re new in the industry and trying to make it, these are the qualities you have to poses to make it as an entry level support technician:
1. People Skills
Perhaps the most emphasized point is the importance of people skills. Being technically adept is essential, but having the ability to communicate effectively with clients and teammates is paramount. It’s often easier to train someone in the technical aspects than in human interaction. A technician who can listen, understand, and respond to clients in a friendly manner is invaluable. The ability to build trust and foster good relationships can often be the difference between a satisfied customer and a lost contract.
2. Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving
Close on the heels of people skills is the technician’s ability to break down problems and work through troubleshooting processes methodically. Critical thinking ensures that the technician doesn’t just apply a one-size-fits-all solution but truly understands the root of an issue and tailors their approach accordingly.
3. Technological Fundamentals
In an era where new tools and platforms emerge at a breakneck speed, a grounding in the fundamentals of technology remains crucial. Understanding basic principles, such as DNS, SMTP, IP addressing, and the history of computing, can set technicians apart. This foundational knowledge allows them to grasp newer technologies faster and understand how various systems interplay.
Empathy is an often overlooked but crucial quality. By placing themselves in the shoes of the end user, technicians can offer more tailored and understanding support. It’s not just about fixing the problem, but about ensuring the user feels supported throughout the process.
5. Desire to Learn
The tech industry is ever-evolving, and what’s relevant today might be obsolete tomorrow. An inherent desire to learn and stay updated is crucial. While people skills are invaluable, the enthusiasm to continuously expand one’s technical repertoire is just as significant.
While technical skills form the backbone of an IT technician’s role, soft skills like communication, empathy, and critical thinking are equally vital. As MSPs and other IT organizations continue their search for the next generation of technicians, they will do well to consider the complete package: a tech-savvy individual with the human touch and a willingness to learn.
What are the technical skills required for an entry-level IT Support role?
If you’re an IT professional seeking an entry-level IT support role or considering a switch to IT support, it’s essential to possess certain technical skills, especially those related to Microsoft technologies and related infrastructure. There are a lot of free resources available and you can mostly get by without actually getting a certificate in the end, while only taking advantage of the free course materials. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more popular certifications covering the skills that will get you ahead of the pack:
- Microsoft Certifications:
- Skills: These certifications train and affirm the technical skills required to perform Microsoft technology-related positions. Given the prevalence of Microsoft in offices globally, these certifications are crucial.
- How to Acquire: Microsoft offers a variety of certification courses. Some of the most popular include:
- Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
- MTA IT
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional
- Resources: Microsoft typically offers certified guidance programs for free. The usual cost for an exam is $165 USD. Certifications need to be renewed annually. Microsoft Certifications
- Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification:
- Skills: Validates basic knowledge of cloud services, cloud computing concepts, models, and services.
- How to Acquire: Complete the AZ-900 exam. Azure training resources and practice exams are recommended for preparation.
- Resources: The exam costs $100 USD. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
- CompTIA A+:
- Skills: This entry-level IT certification validates understanding of common hardware and software technologies in business.
- How to Acquire: Pass two exams reviewing virtualization, hardware, network, and mobile device efficiency.
- Resources: Each exam costs $219 USD. CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+:
- Skills: Focuses on troubleshooting network issues, maintaining a network, and preventing outages.
- How to Acquire: Pass the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Prerequisites include the CompTIA A+ certification.
- Resources: The exam costs approximately $350 USD. CompTIA Network+
- IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation:
- Skills: Provides training on key IT service management concepts.
- How to Acquire: ITIL Foundation certifications are obtained through exams. No prerequisites, but training courses are recommended.
- Resources: Exam costs range from $599 to $2,199 USD. ITIL Foundation
- Google IT Support Professional Certificate:
- Skills: Provides the skills needed for an introductory-level job in IT support.
- How to Acquire: Complete the online training program and exams.
- Resources: Costs of the program and exam may vary. Google IT Support Professional Certificate
- VMware Certification:
- Skills: Validates skills required to integrate and manage the vSphere technology.
- How to Acquire: Register for the desired exam. Popular certifications include VCP7: Cloud Management and Automation, VCDX: Cloud Management and Automation, and VCP7: Desktop and Mobility.
- Resources: VMware Certifications
- AWS Certification:
- Skills: Validates technical skills for Amazon Web Services.
- How to Acquire: Start with the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification, followed by associate-level or specialty certification exams.
- Resources: AWS Certifications
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA):
- Skills: Teaches networking fundamentals, IP services, security fundamentals, automation, and programmability.
- How to Acquire: Pass the 200-301 CCNA exam.
- Resources: The exam costs $300 USD. CCNA Certification
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP):
- Skills: Provides training in critical areas of cybersecurity.
- How to Acquire: Gain experience in cybersecurity, have it verified by CISSP holders, and pass the CISSP exam.
- Resources: CISSP Certification
Remember, while certifications can give you an edge, hands-on experience, continuous learning, and staying updated with the latest technologies are equally important. If you can’t afford a certificate, consider taking advantage of all the available materials and free tests online. Consider internships, volunteer work, or even setting up your own home lab to practice and hone your skills. Many people disregard this last option, but we’ve seen a lot of candidates impress clients in interviews by showing the knowledge they’ve gained by setting up complex home lab configurations.
How to Prepare for a Tech Support Interview as an Entry-Level Applicant?
Preparing for a tech support interview, especially as an entry-level applicant, can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. The key to success lies in thorough preparation, understanding the role, and showcasing your passion for technology and problem-solving. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you ace that interview:
- Understand the Role:
- Research the specific tech support role you’re applying for. Is it more hardware-focused, software-focused, or a mix of both? Knowing this will help you tailor your preparation accordingly.
- Research the Company:
- Familiarize yourself with the company’s products, services, and culture. Visit their website, read customer reviews, and understand their market positioning. This will show the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the company.
- Review Basic Technical Concepts:
- Refresh your knowledge of fundamental IT concepts, such as operating systems, networking basics, and common software applications.
- Understand common troubleshooting steps, like the process of elimination.
- If you apply for a remote job with Support Adventure, you’ll be given access to a Technician Training Manual which you should review.
- Prepare for Scenario-Based Questions:
- Tech support interviews often include hypothetical situations where you’re asked how you’d handle a specific technical issue. Practice answering these by outlining the steps you’d take to diagnose and resolve the problem.
- Highlight Soft Skills:
- Technical expertise is crucial, but soft skills are equally important in tech support roles. Emphasize your communication skills, patience, empathy, and ability to explain complex concepts in simple terms.
- Prepare Questions for the Interviewer:
- Asking insightful questions can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. Consider asking about the company’s training process, the tools they use, or how they handle escalated issues.
- Conduct Mock Interviews:
- Practice with a friend or use online platforms that offer mock interview services. This will help you get comfortable answering questions and receive feedback on areas of improvement.
- Dress Appropriately:
- While tech companies might have a relaxed dress code, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Opt for business casual attire unless told otherwise, even in an online interview.
- Stay Calm and Be Yourself:
- Remember, the interview is as much about getting to know you as a person as it is about assessing your technical skills. Be genuine, maintain good posture, make eye contact, and listen actively.
- How to conclude the interview?
- At the end of the interview, you can express your gratitude for the opportunity (a “Thanks for this opportunity” will do, no need to go overboard with thanking the interviewer) and reiterate your interest in the position.
To wrap up, while technical knowledge is vital for a tech support role, showcasing your problem-solving abilities, eagerness to learn, and excellent interpersonal skills can set you apart. With thorough preparation and a positive mindset, you’ll be well-equipped to make a lasting impression.
Navigating the job market in 2023 can be quite an endeavor, especially for those seeking entry-level roles. The rapid evolution of technology, coupled with the competitive nature of the IT sector, has made the job search process both exciting and challenging. Many job seekers face the paradox of needing experience to get a job but requiring a job to gain that experience. This cycle can be disheartening, leading to feelings of inadequacy and frustration.
Moreover, the global shift towards remote work has added another layer of complexity. While it offers the promise of flexibility and a broader range of opportunities, it also demands a unique set of skills and the ability to adapt to virtual environments. For many, this transition can be overwhelming, with the added pressure of standing out in a vast digital sea of candidates.
However, amidst these challenges, there are beacons of hope. Companies like Support Adventure recognize the potential in budding IT professionals and offer a solution tailored to their needs. Catering specifically to those seeking tech support roles, we provide a platform where talent meets opportunity. We understand the struggles of job seekers and aim to bridge the gap between IT support professionals and your dream jobs, offering remote positions that not only align with your skills but also provide the much-needed experience to propel your careers forward.