For many career changers, the fear of starting from scratch in a junior position is high on the list of concerns. It doesn’t help that the term “entry-level” is often associated with other, more negative terms like “low-skilled,” or “low-paid”.
On the other end of the spectrum, you might have read that it’s impossible to get your foot in the door of the tech industry—and that even entry-level tech jobs require years of previous experience or a relevant college degree.
In reality, this is just not true.
An entry-level tech job is simply the access point into the industry—and a gateway into a long and fulfilling career path.
From day one, you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits of working in tech: Flexible working, rewarding salaries, limitless career growth, and the chance to work on the world’s most exciting and innovative digital products (to name a few).
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the top entry-level tech jobs you can get without any previous experience—and the soft skills employers expect in entry-level candidates.
We’ll round off with some practical advice about how to land your first entry-level tech job and the tools and strategies you can use to stand out in today’s red-hot job market.
- What entry-level tech jobs can I get with no experience?
- What skills do I need for entry-level tech jobs?
- How do I land my first entry-level tech job?
What are the top entry-level tech jobs (no experience needed)?
Let’s dive right into the top entry-level tech jobs. All salary averages are taken from Glassdoor.
Entry-level salary: US$55,924 per year
UX designer is a well-established tech role—and a go-to choice for career changers. Why? Because it overlaps so many other fields; including psychology, UI design, research, and business strategy. Unlike many other digital professionals, having a diverse background (and transferable skills) in UX design is seen as an asset rather than a drawback.
At its core, UX design is the process of designing the functionality, usability, and overall experience of a digital product. User experience (UX) designers will conduct user research and create user personas to understand what their needs are. They’ll also create user flows and wireframes, working with the UI designer to make sure users can navigate through each page as seamlessly and intuitively as possible.
The UX design job market has seen steady growth over the last 10 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Glassdoor even added “UX designer” to their list of best 50 jobs to have in 2022. The best part is that UX design is an incredibly easy field to pivot into—especially in light of the numerous credible UX design schools and bootcamps available to beginners.
To learn more, check out our guide to getting a job in UX with no industry experience
And to get an idea of what a UX job interview is like, check out the video below, where UX designer Dee Scarano shares the four most common UX interview questions:
Entry-level salary: US$64,793 per year
Cybersecurity refers to the process of protecting company data and software from cyber threats — including cyber attacks, and data leaks. A cybersecurity specialist’s responsibilities might include analyzing security threats and vulnerabilities, auditing a company’s security systems, and researching IT security trends. However, it’s important to note that cybersecurity is a broad field that encompasses several more specialized entry-level positions, like
- Penetration testers, who’ll (ethically) hack their company’s security systems to identify potential areas of weakness.
- Security auditors, who’ll run ongoing audits to ensure a company’s security systems remain compliant.
- Information security analysts, who’ll develop cybersecurity strategies, and monitor networks for ongoing protection against cybercrime.
As more organizations move their operations online and into the cloud, there’s a skyrocketing demand for cybersecurity professionals who can protect their digital assets.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cybersecurity field is expected to grow by 22% over the next decade—with a projected 1.4 million jobs in cybersecurity by 2024. For newcomers to the field, the global cybersecurity talent shortage means you’re almost guaranteed to land a job (no previous experience needed).
Entry-level salary: US$72,006 per year
Web developers build digital experiences using programming languages and frameworks. They’ll work closely with UX and UI designers to turn their prototypes into real, responsive digital experiences that users can interact with.
As well as building interfaces, web developers are also responsible for maintaining systems over time; including debugging code, using libraries and frameworks, and contributing to web development best practices.
There are three kinds of web developer:
- Frontend developers build and add interactivity to the graphical elements of a user interface, like the menus, forms, and layout.
- Backend developers work on the application’s server, which the users don’t see. They’ll make sure any information the user inputs gets processed.
- Full-stack developers work on both the frontend and backend of a digital product.
Check out our guide to web developer salaries to get a sense of what you could earn from day one.
Entry-level salary: US$51,685 per year
Data analytics is the process of analyzing raw data to make predictions, identify trends, and find patterns. Data analysts don’t just crunch numbers—they leverage their acute business acumen to help decision-makers make smart choices about how the company should move forward. They’ll filter, clean, and interpret the data to extract maximum value from the insights. Then, they’ll create custom reports, which they’ll use to find less obvious solutions to business problems.
Data analytics is one of the hottest (and most accessible) career paths in tech—although it’s important to note that it’s not exclusively a tech role. As so many industries handle overwhelming amounts of data, beginner data analysts can choose from a variety of different industries and sectors to go into, from healthcare to finance, e-commerce to agriculture.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted that the field of data analytics will grow by 23% between now and 2031—so there’s truly never been a better time to get your foot on the data career ladder. To learn how we’ve written a guide to getting a data analyst job with no experience.
Entry-level salary: US$83,171 per year
If you spend hours scrolling through beautiful images on Pinterest or Instagram, a career in UI design just might be the right entry-level tech role for you. User interface (UI) designers are responsible for the look and feel of a website or app. They’ll design the:
- Graphical elements (i.e., icons, buttons, and forms),
- Information architecture (i.e., the layout and order of information on the page); and
- Visual design (i.e., color and typography) of a user interface.
They’ll also work closely with the UX designers to ensure the digital product is intuitive and functional—as well as visually appealing.
In today’s increasingly digitized world, good design is becoming less of a nice-to-have and more of a business imperative. Businesses understand that users expect well-designed, modern digital experiences—which has led to increased investment in UI design teams across the tech industry (and beyond). If you pride yourself on your keen eye for detail and creative flair, you’ve already got the baseline soft skills needed to succeed in UI design. To become a UI designer with no experience, all you need is the technical skills (like prototyping and color theory), which can be taught in a UI design bootcamp program.
Entry-level salary: US$52,476 per year
Digital marketing involves marketing to a specific audience through digital channels, like search engines, social media, or email.
Digital marketing is a broad field that includes a number of different specialisms, from content marketing to search engine optimization (SEO). Generally speaking, digital marketers will create and oversee marketing campaigns in order to acquire new customers, drive conversions, and develop the company’s relationship with its audience. This involves two main types of activity:
- Paid (i.e., Google ads or paid influencer campaigns); and
- Organic (i.e., Blogs or emails).
As the way we interact with brands online is constantly evolving, digital marketing is an exciting and innovative field—which involves staying abreast of emerging trends and audience insights. The discipline also involves a nice balance of analytics and creativity; looking at the full picture to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Digital marketing also promises limitless career growth and earning potential, with the option to go down specialized routes and work in pretty much any industry in the world. Learn more through our blog post: What does a digital marketing specialist do?
What skills do I need for entry-level tech jobs?
Ok, but it’s still no less scary to shift to a brand-new career. Especially since, when researching how to break into tech, the emphasis is usually placed on technical skills.
But it’s the soft skills that make junior tech workers attractive to hire. And these are what entry-level joiners should emphasize.
Let’s look at five in-demand soft skills every entry-level tech professional should have:
So much of the tech industry is about solving problems. What do the users need? What are their pain points? How do we stay competitive?
No matter what entry-level tech job you’re going into, you’ll need to approach the work with an analytical mind: Looking beyond the obvious to identify practical, efficient solutions. You’ll also need to be able to tackle problems collaboratively with your team, whether that’s through workshops or whiteboarding sessions.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in the process of creating—and maintaining—a digital product. To make sure everything runs smoothly, tech workers are expected to have exceptional communication skills. This includes presenting your work, delivering (and receiving) feedback, active listening, and being able to communicate the value of the work that you do to stakeholders.
Tech involves a lot of autonomous work—but overall, tech workers are pretty much in constant communication with one another. Even when working remotely.
Tech is an ever-changing field that will keep you on your feet. Tech professionals are expected to quickly respond to changes at both company and industry levels—which often means adapting their strategy or quickly changing priorities.
Particularly in startups, where change is rife, you need to be able to quickly adjust to new situations, tools or software, people, and ways of doing things. Being able to maintain a positive and proactive attitude during periods of turbulence will definitely stand you in good stead as an entry-level tech worker.
Empathy is a crucial pillar of the tech industry. In order to build and design digital products that your users will love, you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Quite often, entry-level tech professionals are easier at being empathetic and advocating for the user than senior professionals, which makes them an asset to any tech team.
Empathy is most commonly associated with UX and UI design, but being empathetic is a core skill for pretty much any entry-level tech job that involves some proximity to the end user. Empathy can also help you integrate into a tech team, and collaborate effectively with colleagues who are balancing different priorities.
As an entry-level tech worker, your employer won’t expect you to have all the technical skills of your new job. But they will expect you to be proactive about learning the skills and taking on more responsibility.
This includes taking initiative about solving a problem, coming up with ways to work more efficiently, and making difficult decisions. Easier said than done as a tech newbie—but a proactive attitude will likely see picked first for promotional activities, which means moving from entry-level to mid-level positions on a faster timeline.
For more information, read about the best soft skills for tech, or why not hear directly from real people working in tech. We asked some recent career-changers what they consider the most important transferable skills for working in tech are, and asked them how they leveraged their soft skills when making a career change into tech. Check out what they had to say in this video:
How do I land my first entry-level tech job?
Now we have a sense of which entry-level tech jobs are worth your consideration, and which skills you would be expected to have, you still might be wondering “But how do I land my first job with no previous experience? What do I even put on my resumé?”
Let’s take a look at the practical (and realistic) steps you can take towards getting that very first “you’re hired” phone call.
Do a career-focused course
Many courses and bootcamp programs have been specifically designed to turn complete beginners into job-ready professionals. If you’re looking to forge a career in tech, but you’re not sure how to get started—a tech bootcamp program will teach you all the in-demand technical (and soft) skills you need to land your first role. Some programs also have built-in career support, which means you’ll be completely supported on your entry-level tech job hunt.
Have a killer portfolio
Anyone can say they’ve got the technical skills to succeed in an entry-level tech job. But you have to prove those skills to employers so they can feel confident in your ability to perform the role. To do this, you need a technical portfolio.
A standout tech portfolio will demonstrate your skills—and skill level—with real-world examples. Through your portfolio, employers can get a sense of the kind of projects you’ve worked on—and the approach you’ve used to tackle the work. It also showcases your ability to explain and defend certain technical decisions and walk stakeholders through the step-by-step process you’ve taken to arrive at certain conclusions.
Build a personal brand
When embarking on your job hunt, it’s important to have a personal brand that differentiates you from other candidates. Having a strong and consistent online presence that communicates your values, personality, and USP will help you stand out in a competitive tech job market.
Personal brands are all about storytelling. What led you to your chosen field? What are you inspired by? How do you intend to positively impact users through your work? Having a narrative beyond being a bootcamp graduate or tech newcomer will make you more memorable to recruiters—and demonstrate a vested passion for your new field.
Network, network, network
In conjunction with building up an online presence, you have to put yourself out there in the real world too. Networking is so much more than an industry buzzword; it provides invaluable opportunities to get face time with potential employers and get your name out there in the tech community. You’re much more likely to get hired if people get a sense of the personality behind your resumé, and are able to engage you in conversation about your journey and career goals.
Start by attending meetups, workshops, and webinars. Before you know it, you’ll have built up a network of connections who can vouch for your personality—and will think of you when a role pops up that they think you’d be right for.
Find a mentor
Think back to your first day of school. You were scared, overwhelmed, and intimidated. But it’s likely there was one teacher who went out of their way to offer support; guiding you through this scary new experience and helping you understand what to expect.
For tech newcomers, mentors work in the same way.
A mentor is an experienced, industry-leading tech professional who’ll offer tailored guidance and support as you navigate the industry. They’ll help you hone your skills with feedback and critiques, and help you understand what it takes to succeed in your chosen field. They’ll also go beyond the generic career advice, pulling from their own experiences to help you market your new-found skills and accelerate your tech career.
To learn more, check out our guide to making the most out of your mentor.
When it comes to entry-level tech jobs, you don’t have to have a take-what-you-can-get mentality. As our lives become increasingly integrated with technology, the demand for motivated tech professionals is booming—and there are more than enough roles to go around.
However, even entry-level tech jobs require a baseline skill level—which varies depending on the role you’re pursuing. To give yourself the best shot, you’ll want to invest in a tech program that teaches you the skills and tools that employers look for in today’s tech job market. The good news? You can learn these skills in under a year, as long as you’re committed to making the switch.
To learn more about breaking into tech, check out these blog posts: