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Top 10 jobs for IT majors and who’s hiring

Are you an IT major? Discover the top 10 entry-level jobs in this field, what they involve, and who’s hiring today.

If you’ve picked a college major related to information technology, you’ve made a smart choice. Demand for IT careers is expected to rise in the future. On top of that, these jobs tend to pay a lot more than the average career salary.

For example, the median annual wage for computer and IT occupations in the United States is $97,430. Compare that to the national average of $45,760 — more than twice as much!

Another great thing about IT jobs is their diversity. You’ll find various career opportunities, from network engineer to IT technician and software developer. There are even more creative jobs, like web development.

We talk about popular job types and their requirements below. We’ll also provide a list of job alerts available on Handshake so that you can start your job search immediately. Explore the top companies hiring in it here.

Is IT a good career path for you?

Maybe you aren’t 100% sold on an IT career yet — that’s OK! We’re here to give you an honest assessment of whether IT is right for you. First, let’s talk about some skills you should have to work in IT.

Of course, you’ll need to be tech-savvy to work in IT. Exactly what those skills are depends on the niche. Possible specialties include technical writing, network configuration, and operating system knowledge.

That said, you’ll benefit from soft skills like:

  • Analytical skills. Analyzing tech issues allows IT pros to pinpoint potential problems and present solutions. For example, as a PC technician, you’ll have to determine what’s wrong with a computer’s hardware or software.
  • Project management. IT roles often involve juggling multiple tasks. Being able to manage diverse projects and prioritize them is useful. Front-end web developers may work on many websites at once, for example.
  • Attention to detail. The little details matter in IT roles. For example, if you’re a software developer or database developer, getting one line of code wrong can ruin your entire project.
  • Communication. Communication is a valuable asset for IT professionals, allowing them to explain IT issues and processes to people with nontechnical backgrounds. For example, if you’re a help desk analyst, you’ll troubleshoot issues for people without computer expertise.

Do you tick those boxes? If so, you’ll have a lot of job opportunities to look forward to. Overall employment in the computer science and IT areas is expected to grow faster than the national average from 2021 to 2031 at a rate of 15%.

Now, let’s get down to the harsh facts and talk about the pros and cons of an IT career.

Benefits of IT careers

An IT career offers some unique perks, including:

  • Future-proof. IT is a field that will remain in demand going forward, making it both future-proof (and largely recession-proof). The need for great IT pros will rise as our daily processes move to the digital world.
  • Earning potential. As mentioned, IT offers great earning potential. You’ll find that most IT jobs pay well above the national average.
  • Flexibility. If you dream of a remote job that doesn’t require an in-person presence in the office, you’ll find plenty of options in IT.

Challenges of IT careers

We’ll always give you straight facts, including that IT careers aren’t perfect. Here are some cons to anticipate:

  • Heavy workload. IT careers can be demanding, especially since many roles require you to multitask and work on multiple projects at once.
  • Skills gaps. The IT field constantly evolves, so you’ll have to learn new technologies and skills continually. There can be a lot of pressure to keep up with the latest developments, or you’ll face a skills gap.
  • Stressful. The heavy workload and pressure to learn continually can make IT a stressful path. Resilience is an essential trait if you want to thrive.

Industries where you can build an IT career

Many assume that working in IT means you’ll inevitably work for some major tech giant like Microsoft or Oracle. However, there are plenty of fields beyond tech that hire tech experts. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Health care. Health care organizations like hospitals and doctor’s offices hire IT professionals to manage patient data systems and ensure cybersecurity (which is especially important when it comes to private health data).
  • Government. The government hires all kinds of IT roles, from IT support specialists to software developers, network architects, and help desk technicians. Cybersecurity is also a big topic for governments.
  • Finance. Cybersecurity is a central concern for financial institutions, including banks, brokerages, and insurers. Other jobs available in finance range from software engineer to database developer.
  • Education. The education sector is another industry with a need for diverse IT professionals. For example, you can provide IT support for teachers and students or design databases for colleges and universities.
  • Marketing. The marketing field is a great way to combine your passion for creativity and your love of technology. You can work as a web developer creating stunning websites, for example.

Curious about what other types of jobs you can find in tech? Scroll down for a peek at who’s hiring on Handshake right now.

Most valuable degrees to earn a job in IT

If you think IT might be the career path for you, the first step to success is getting an appropriate degree. These options will open up the most doors:

  • Information technology. An IT degree can lead to a career as a PC technician, database developer, systems administrator, network engineer, or (with an additional credential) even a cybersecurity pro.
  • Information systems. With a degree in information systems, you could become a quality assurance analyst or help desk analyst.
  • Computer science. A computer science degree can lead to a job title as a PC technician, database developer, web developer, or software developer, to name a few.

Beneficial IT certifications

If you really want to stand out from the competition in the IT field, an additional certification can help. These credentials can be a nice addition to your cover letter and resume:

  • Apple Certified Support Professional. An ACSP certification provides the knowledge needed to offer help desk support for Mac users. Apple offers training options.
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. This credential gives you the essential know-how to provide basic IT services, including coding, cloud security, and troubleshooting tech issues. Amazon has more info.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate. This CCNA credential is ideal for people working in networks, covering topics like IP services, security, and network connectivity. The Cisco Learning Network has programs that are worth a look.
  • CompTIA Security+. This can be a great credential for people working in cybersecurity, as it provides information about digital vulnerabilities, risk management, and cryptography. CompTIA has the details.
  • ITIL 4 Foundation. This is a great certification if you want to become a team leader. It covers methods for improving team efficiency when creating tech products and services. You can find out more through Axelos.

Who’s hiring in IT on Handshake?

Top 10 entry-level jobs in IT

So, what entry-level opportunities do IT professionals have? Here are some top picks, along with their job descriptions.

1. Help desk analyst

IT help desk analysts or computer user support analysts troubleshoot issues with IT systems to ensure they’re fully functioning. They may also walk employees through common troubleshooting issues and propose IT solutions for greater efficiency.

Median salary: $41,600 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in information systems or similar


  • Systematic and analytical
  • Time management abilities
  • Interpersonal skills

2. PC technician

PC technicians help organizations maintain their computer systems, focusing on issues like internet connectivity and hardware integration. They may troubleshoot errors and run diagnostic tests.

Median salary: $39,520 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, or similar


  • Strong diagnostic and troubleshooting ability
  • Proficiency in diverse operating systems
  • Excellent critical thinking abilities

3. Database developer

Database developers build digital storage systems designed to hold large amounts of digital data. They may work in-house managing data systems for a given entity or as consultants on a case-by-case basis.

Median salary: $81,944 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science, or similar


  • Proficiency in programming languages
  • Eye for technical detail
  • Patience

4. Front-end web developer

Front-end developers design websites, creating designs that are aesthetically pleasing but user-friendly and functional. They may also optimize websites for smartphones.

Median salary: $61,840 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or similar


  • Proficiency in programming languages
  • Graphic design software knowledge
  • Understanding of search engine optimization (SEO)

5. Systems administrator

Systems administrators oversee computer systems, ensuring an organization’s network functions smoothly. They may configure networks, update them, and monitor them for performance issues.

Median salary: $65,258 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in IT or similar


  • Familiarity with database operations
  • Superior critical thinking skills
  • Professional and patient attitude

6. Software developer

Software developers create software used in computers and cellphones. In addition to software design, they may check software performance and create updates for optimal use.

Median salary: $75,917 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or similar


  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Knowledge of deep programming language
  • Software testing expertise

7. Network engineer

Network engineers oversee the daily operations of organizational computer networks, working for companies, educational institutes, and others. They may deal with local area networks, wide area networks, intranets, and extranets.

Median salary: $78,691 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in IT or similar


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical mindset
  • Well-organized multitasker

8. Cybersecurity technician

Cybersecurity technicians help keep sensitive business data safe by protecting computer systems against hacks and data breaches. They plan and implement security measures, monitor for problems, and update security systems.

Median salary: $99,965 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, systems engineering, IT, or similar
  • Cybersecurity certification helpful


  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Knowledge of programming languages
  • Great attention to detail

9. Quality assurance analyst

Quality assurance analysts help optimize organizational technology. They may check software, systems, and tech products for defects and ensure they’re updated and functioning ideally. Some quality assurance analysts focus on software products.

Median salary: $59,249 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in information systems, computer science, or similar


  • Excellent communication skills
  • Knowledge of quality inspection techniques
  • Detail-oriented

10. IT technician

IT technicians diagnose and fix software and hardware issues within organizations. They may also install and configure new hardware and provide general IT support.

Median salary: $39,520 per year


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or similar


  • Detail-oriented
  • Problem-solver
  • Excellent communication skills

Common IT job FAQs

Before you start scoping out information technology jobs, check out these FAQs. They address common questions about IT jobs.

What IT jobs are in demand?

Popular IT jobs that will remain in demand include software developer, data scientist, IT manager, computer systems analyst, and network architect. As the IT landscape changes, some roles, such as machine learning (artificial intelligence) specialist and information security analyst, will become even more popular.

What is the average salary for an IT job?

IT jobs cover a lot of roles, from help desk technicians to software developers. The salaries for these roles can vary widely.

For example, the median salary for a cybersecurity technician is $99,965, while the median salary for an IT technician is $39,520. In the middle, you’ll find a front-end web developer with a median annual salary of $61,840.

Find the right IT career for you with help from Handshake

IT jobs offer great job security and earning potential. In the future, the demand for jobs in IT is expected to increase. That’s good news for you! You also have various job options to choose from. IT truly offers a career to suit every style.

If you’re creative, you might love web design, for example. If you have a more technical mind, software development might be for you. Finally, you may enjoy technical support if you have a customer-service mindset.

Don’t wait to start your IT job search. You can scope out job postings on Handshake right now. Handshake connects employers and employees and features full-time, part-time, and internship roles. Find your dream job now.


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