Looking for entry level tech jobs that can turn into a six-figure career in a few years?
Below are 22 entry-level IT jobs that can turn into $100,000 or more within 2 years, how competitive each one is, and links to complete guides that show what it takes to get each one.
In particular, we’ll show you:
- 📈 A table of 22 entry level information technology jobs that can pay more than $100,000 within a couple of years
- 🖥️ Entry level engineering, design and product jobs
- ⚙️ Entry level ops jobs
- 🤑 Entry level sales roles
- 📣 Entry level marketing roles
List of 22 entry level tech jobs
If you’re not sure where to start looking for jobs in technology, below is an overview of the main functions and entry level jobs in tech.
Each of these takes you to a job overview I’ve created (based on either doing this job myself, managing someone in the role, or interviewing people who’ve done these jobs and run these departments). The overviews should give you a good idea of what these jobs are, what it’s like to do them, and what it takes to get hired at an entry level.
Overview of key functions in technology
|Function||Years prep||Transparent skills||Competitive||Entry pay||Career||In-person|
|Biz ops: “special ops” team for ops problems in tech||2||Low||High||$$$||Great||Yes|
|Product Management: sits between engineering and marketing||2+||Med||High||$$$||Great||Preferred|
|Engineering: builds the product||1-2||High||Med||$$$||Great||Optional|
|Product Design: designs product||1-2||High||High||$$$||Great||Preferred|
|Graphic Design: designs marketing materials||1-2||High||Med||$$||Great||Preferred|
|Research: understands users for design & marketing||0-2||Med||Med||$$||Good||Optional|
|Customer service: solves users’ problems||0-1||High||Low||$||OK||Remote|
|Customer success: nurtures customer accounts||0-2||High||Low||$||Good||Optional|
|Sales: gets people to buy product||0-1||High||Med||$$||Great||Optional|
|Brand marketing: defines the brand, gets users||1-2||Med||Med||$$||Good||Optional|
|Product marketing: defines the product, gets users||1-2||Med||Med||$$||Good||Optional|
|Content marketing: gets users through writing||0||High||Low||$||OK||Remote|
|Social media marketing: gets users through social||0||High||Low||$||OK||Remote|
|Performance marketing: gets users through ads||1-2||Med||Med||$$||Good||Optional|
|Data science: understands data to improve results||1-2||High||High||$$||Good||Optional|
|Growth: experiments to drive users and revenue||2+||Med||High||$$$||Great||Optional|
|SEO: gets site traffic by optimizing for google search||0-1||High||High||$$||Good||Optional|
|Recruiting: Gets great people for team||0||Med||Low||$||Good||Remote|
|People Ops: Keeps people happy and productive||2+||Med||Med||$||Good||Yes|
|Operations: Runs and improves ongoing ops||0-2||Med||Med||$$||OK||Preferred|
|Project manager: Runs teams for key projects||1-2||Med||Med||$$||Good||Optional|
|Executive assistant: Supports execs logistically||0-2||Med||Low||$$||OK||Optional|
Understanding this table
This table should help you sort through which sound the most interesting for you, by looking at:
- Years of prep. How long do you need to spend preparing to be competitive for an entry-level job? This is a rough estimate, and things like college training or internships are included in training time (so you might be eligible for a job requiring two years prep out of college if you spend around two years preparing in college).
- Entry pay: How well does an entry-level job pay? These are very rough, but in general $ = under $40K, $$ = $40-80K, and $$$ means $80K and up.
- Career: How well does this career scale over time? This includes both how much pay can increase, and how this career can lead to other attractive options like management and executive roles, or the ability to work in more competitive fields.
- Transparent skills. How easy is it to demonstrate your skill? The less transparent a job is, the more barriers it will have for people without high-status credentials (i.e. brand name universities and companies).
- Competitive. How difficult is it to get a job?
- In-person. How important is it for this job to be done in-person (and how good a fit is it for people who want/need to work remotely)?
Entry level tech jobs by function
Entry level product, design and engineering jobs
Engineering, product management and product design are the highest-value, best paying and hardest to get jobs in tech. But skills in these roles – especially design and engineering – tend to be transparent, so it’s easier to demonstrate your capability, even without formal training.
Expect these roles to take the equivalent of 2 years full-time work learning before you’re able to get your first job. But, once you do, you’ll earn six figures. These jobs include:
- Engineering: These roles can include front-end or back-end engineering, and can have a range of specialization. They can lead to technical specialization or to management, depending on how you want to spend your time – and both technical or management tracks frequently pay $500,000 or more for senior roles in big tech firms.
- Product management: Product management — often summarized as “being CEO of the product” involves synthesizing user needs, prioritizing what features to build, and communicating requirements to engineering teams. These give you a lot of control over what is actually built and often lead to senior management roles in product-driven tech companies.
- Product design: With the rise of design-driven countries like Apple and Airbnb, great product designers are the single most sought-after role in tech. It takes many engineers to build what what a designer envisions, so a really good product designer is the highest-leverage individual contributor role of any technology role.
- UX research: User experience researchers are a more specialized role in larger companies, sitting between design and product, focused on understanding how users perceive and use products. It can be interesting and can lead into either product or design roles.
Entry level operations jobs in tech companies
If you’re detail oriented, and like data and optimization or managing people, operations jobs are a great way to get started in tech. These jobs include:
- Business operations: Biz ops is often a strategy or “special ops” like function, responsible for solving unstructured problems for fast-growing teams. The jobs are hard to get, well compensated, and have a great career path – often hiring ex consultants or MBAs.
- Project management: Project management is a great entry level role for detail-oriented people. You’re responsible for keeping the team on track and delivering results on time.
- People Ops / HR roles: People operations roles vary a lot between organizations and can range from compliance-oriented HR roles, to strategic problem-solving. They’re great for people interested in management and building organizations – in a hot labor market, they’re more important than ever.
- Executive assistant: Often an entry-level EA role can morph into a strategic role within a year or two, as you build trust with senior execs, they’ll delegate more and personally want to help build your career.
- Chief of staff: Usually CoS roles require at least 1-2 years of experience, and can range from being senior EA roles to de-facto head of operations for a company.
- Product, Sales, Marketing or Design Ops: These involve project managing the day-to-day operations for functional teams – things like gathering and analyzing data, writing documentation, and making sure people stay on deadline.
- Recruiting: Recruiting is basically a sales role – you’re just selling the company to potential employees. As such, it’s one of the best entry level roles, because it requires no experience, can easily pay $100-200,000 and can lead to management roles in either people ops or sales.
Entry level tech sales jobs
If you’re extroverted, results-oriented and persistent – and if you like creative problem solving – sales is a fantastic way to earn $100,000 in your first year in an entry-level tech job. If you really excel, you can earn $300,000 or even seven figures before too long, since expert sellers are the most mercenary and have the best cash comp of any function in tech.
Entry-level sales roles include:
- SDR or BDR sales roles: Often, people will start out as either sales development represnetatives (SDRs), typically responsible for qualifying inbound leads; or business development representatives (BDRs), responsible for outbound prospecting.
- Junior Account Executive: Some organizations, especially those selling lower-value products, may start entry-level sellers as junior AEs or outside sales reps who are responsible for prospecting and closing their own leads.
- Customer Service: Customer service is one of the easiest ways to get started in sales. While these jobs typically only pay $10-20 per hour, in the right organizations there are opportunities to move up to higher-value, better paid roles.
- Customer Success: Customer success involves supporting and upselling customers to higher-value services. It can be a great entry-level job that lets you earn commission, or can be a stepping stone after a customer service role.
Sales is one of the easiest areas in tech to get started in: companies need to hire lots of people, and because employee turnover is high, there are always opportunities to earn more responsibility (and better pay) – either by managing more people, or by selling higher-value products.
Entry level marketing jobs in tech companies and startups
Marketing is a great place to start your career if you don’t have specific skills: it’s easy to show off your communication skills and judgment, it directly drives revenue so is well paid, and there’s enough variety to suit any personality type. Also, it’s relatively easy to build a career and to move between specializations.
Entry level marketing roles include:
- Social media marketing: IF you like social media, this is a great way to start – younger people have a natural advantage, and it’s a great way to try lots of copy and develop a work portfolio. You can move to other sorts of copy-focused jobs, or to brand marketing role.
- Content marketing: This is a good entry-level role, as all it requires is the ability to write well (and quickly).
- Brand marketing: Brand roles focus on defining and communicating the brand – beyond strict function or benefits of the product. This may start by writing and reviewing ad or email copy.
- Product marketing: This is focused on explaining the product to customers. It’s typically difficult to get and may require a year or two in a related role at most companies.
- Performance marketing: This typically focuses on advertising. It’s quantitative but also can include copy writing. It’s good if you’re objective, data-oriented, results-focused.
- Growth: Growth is quantitative and experimental – focused on optimizing user growth or revenue. Like biz ops, this role is very competitive.
- Email marketing: Email marketing focuses on writing lifecycle or outbound emails, and can be great if you enjoy understanding users and crafting a value proposition that speaks to them.
- Community: Community is often lumped together with social media – or sometimes customer service, but it’s a great way to build knowledge and empathy with customers and can lead to more senior brand or product marketing roles.
How to get any entry-level job in tech
If you want to work in tech, I’ve created a map for you to find the right job. Here’s a process you can follow to learn about and get any job:
- Take the career assessment quiz (coming soon), which I’ve developed based on hundreds of interviews, to understand what tech roles might be most interesting for you (In the meantime, try this article on how to find your ideal career path).
- Explore the different roles and functions in tech above, to understand which sounds like the most interesting (and most accessible) for you.
- Create a plan to learn the concepts, do projects to learn the necessary skills and and get the credibility required, and build a network to land a job.
- Execute your plan to get to the point where you’re hireable.
- Start a formal job search once you’re hireable for the job you want.