Top 5 entry-level IT jobs for new grads

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OK, so you've graduated or are graduating very soon. What now?  The parties are over. The all night cram sessions are a thing of the past. Where do you go from here?  Well, for some it's moving back home with mom and dad to figure out what to do next. Some go straight into a graduate degree program, and some get right to it looking for a full-time job.  Where do you start though?  What kinds of jobs are out there for recent grads with a tech degree?  Whether you have a computer science degree, information technology degree or any other tech degree, chances are there are a ton of good jobs out there for new comers to the IT field.  In this post, I've laid out what I believe to be the top five entry-level IT jobs for new graduates.

#1 Software Developer/Engineer

If you graduated with a computer science degree, you likely know how to code or at least have a good idea of what you are doing and could hold your own. Software developers are in high demand these days due to the increasing popularity of apps and games, among other things.  The video game industry is booming and software developers drive the success of the games that are sold.  With Apple recently reaching 50 billion app downloads, it's clear that software development/engineering is a hot job.  The entry level salary for a software developer/engineer is somewhere in the ballpark of $71,000 (salary data from Salary.com and Indeed.com).

#2 Systems Engineer (SE)

I would go so far as to say a systems engineer (SE) is a jack of all trades, but it's not uncommon for an SE to be well versed in more than just one technology. As an SE, you might be in charge of building out your company's server architecture, network design or virtualization environment.  You could be working with Microsoft technologies, VMware, Linux and Cisco.  This job category is a little broader than most, but along with the breadth comes many possible job opportunities.  If you enjoy tinkering with more than just one technology in a data center setting, then being an SE is a job you would love to do.  The average entry-level salary for a systems engineer is around $87,000.

#3 Database Administrator (DBA)

Do you ever stop to think how important databases are to our everyday life?  Most likely not.  However, databases play a major role in some of our most mundane everyday tasks.  Do you or have you ever been part of a preferred shopper or VIP shopper club at your local grocery?  If so, then you have used a database. In those situations, your personal data is stored in a database to keep track of your points or preferences when you shop.  There are so many other more important needs for a database such as police work, education or medical records.  DBAs are in high demand in today's IT job market.  As an IT student, databases are something you either love or hate, so finding a good DBA can be a difficult thing for some employers.  If you are a good DBA then you can rest assured your services will always be in demand.  The average entry-level salary for a DBA is near $70,000.

#4 Network Engineer

What would IT be like without networking? For that matter, what would the world be like today without networking?  Networking is how companies and individuals connect with each other all over the world. It's no surprise then to see how in demand good network engineers are.  If you love configuring routers, switches and firewalls and you have a good grasp on how networks are architected, then this is the job for you. Every company needs a good network engineer, so finding a good job should not be difficult.  The average entry-level salary for a network engineer is somewhere in the range of $60,000-$70,000.

#5 Storage Engineer

Big Data.  That's what we're talking about here. Terabytes upon terabytes of data.  Do you fully understand the ins and outs of a storage area network (SAN)?  Can you rack, stack, cable and configure a SAN with your eyes closed?  Then you probably will want to look for a job as a storage or SAN engineer.  You need to understand iSCSI, NFS and CIFS like the back of your hand, and if you do, you shouldn't have a problem finding a job because storage engineers are highly sought after in today's economy.  Companies such as Dell, HP, Hitachi Data Systems, NetApp and EMC all offer great storage hardware and software solutions. If you can master one or all of them, your resume will be ironclad.  The average entry-level salary for a storage/SAN engineer is $77,000.

Last but not least, congratulations on finishing your bachelor's degree and entering the job market.  An IT degree is no small feat and you should be proud of yourself.  The IT job market is hot right now and shows hardly any signs of economic downturn. Why is that?  Simply because behind every successful company is a team of IT experts managing software, networks, systems, databases and data storage.  The first good decision you made was choosing an IT-related degree path, and your next decision will be a big one too. Make sure to find a company that gives you just as bright of a future as your degree path did.

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Contributor

Greg Stuart

is a vExpert and systems administrator/network administrator by trade, who has worked a slew of IT jobs in his career. He's put his time in with certification training, obtaining A+, Network+, Security+, MCP, CCNA, VCP4, VCP5 and NCDA. He now works as an IT consultant and runs the blogs, vDestination and vLATAM.