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recent grad interviews for entry-level IT job

The best entry-level IT jobs for recent grads

250 hiring managers weigh in

May 1, 2017

By Lisa Dare

Whether you’re about to graduate or still choosing you major—you probably want information on what awaits you after college. IT hiring managers across all industries gave us their thoughts on the best roles for recent grads, as well as what they look for in entry-level candidates.  

If you’re looking to launch your tech career, applications development, tech support and business and systems analysis may be your best options. Web developers also enjoy lots of opportunity, and this skill is likely to be useful for a long time.

[Read 5 real-life success stories from recent college grads]

One caveat: While the help desk is the most common path into an IT career, it doesn’t typically pay as much as other positions. It also may not be as stable as other career paths, as companies experiment with outsourcing this skill set to less expensive staffing models like offshoring. However, for graduates with four-year degrees, tech support can provide a path to IT management—a highly lucrative and stable career.

Survey says: The best entry-level IT jobs

We asked 250 hiring managers this question: Which skill sets provide the greatest opportunity for recent college graduates searching for entry-level positions? Here’s what they told us:

Position  Hiring Managers Recommended
Applications developer 60%
Technical support  54%
Business/systems analyst 52%
Web developer  48% 
Network/systems administrator 39%
Network/systems engineer  37%
Database administrator  35% 
 Quality assurance engineer 27% 

The best tech degrees for getting a job

Are you considering getting a specialized degree in a newer field? It might be safer to start with a more traditional degree, say hiring managers.  

We asked this question: For most entry-level positions, which type of degree is most applicable for recent college graduates? The overwhelming majority—83 percent—said traditional degrees like computer science or software engineering were best for entry-level jobs.

However, if you’re particularly interested in a certain career, it might make sense to commit to a specialized degree.

“If you know upfront you want to go into UX or UI design, getting a degree in human computer interaction can really help,” says Ellen Cleary, a digital recruiter. “It’s a big thing hiring managers are looking for.”

Explore 5 career tips for recent IT graduates. Make sure to return next week to learn what hiring managers look for in entry-level employees.  

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