You’ve taken online courses to learn how to code. You’ve finished some projects to include in your portfolio. You’ve set up your technical resume. Now, you’re ready to look into how you can best apply your new skills. Even if this is your first foray into the tech industry, you’re in luck. Many jobs in tech are in high demand, even those at the entry-level.
In this article, we’ll give you a concise run-down of a few of the best entry-level jobs in tech. We’ll describe what they do on a daily basis and their average salaries (in the U.S.) to give you a feel for which job could be a good fit for you. Keep in mind these salary ranges are averages, so you may need a couple of years under your belt to get to that level. But each of these entry-level tech jobs is a smart choice because they’re all expected to expand, providing you with serious job security.
1. Front-End Engineer
Front-End Engineers work at a unique intersection. Their work can be creative and artistic, like when they design buttons, website layouts, and select colors for a webpage. And they’re also very technical and meticulous, using code to create exactly what their boss or client has requested.
Front-End Engineers make an average salary of $77,200 per year, with an expected growth of 8% over the next decade.
2. Back-End Engineer
Back-End Engineers get to solve problems, troubleshoot issues, and house all the data that other applications need. For example, a Back-End Engineer will write code that prepares data to be sent over to the front-end programs.
Back-End Engineers make an average salary of approximately $110,140 per year (falling under the umbrella of Software Developers in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Back-End Engineers can expect their profession to see a 22% increase over the next decade.
3. Full-Stack Engineer
Full-Stack Engineers combine elements of front-end and back-end engineering. They can write programs for the client-side, the server-side, and the APIs that function in between. Full-Stack Engineers are an asset to companies because they understand how all elements in the business’s tech stack interact and work together.
Becoming a Full-Stack Engineer means that you’ll need to learn the programming languages required for both front and back-end development. But, if you enjoy doing a variety of different tasks in your work, full-stack engineering might be just the ticket. You can solve problems, use your creativity and imagination for design elements, and delve deep into databases.
Full-Stack Engineers can also expect to make an average salary of $110,140 each year, just like Back-End Engineers.
4. Data Scientist
Data Scientists work in an emerging field in tech, and many companies are on the lookout for someone that can collect data and design systems in-house. Data Scientists take on the detail-oriented tasks of cleaning data, organizing it, storing it in databases, and creating the systems that allow it to be easily accessed and analyzed.
Data Science requires knowledge of Python, SQL, and experience with data analysis, statistics, and visualization. These professionals also build models based on the data they prepare and employ machine learning techniques.
Data Scientists make an average salary of $93,290 per year (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the related Mathematician and Statistician positions), and their profession is expected to expand by 33% over the next decade.
5. Data Analyst
A Data Analyst is a tech specialist that takes all the tools and systems created by Data Scientists and puts them to good use. They’ll analyze business data, create reports, and make suggestions to management based on the company’s data. They’ll also need to know SQL, Python, and knowledge of data acquisition processes, data visualization, and statistics.
Data Analysts can take their skills to almost any industry, meaning they can work in a field that interests them and use their coding skills to add value to an organization. For example, they could report on digital marketing campaign effectiveness or work in the finance department to help analyze customer data and purchasing trends.
Data Analysts make an average salary of $86,200 per year (the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to these professionals as Operations Research Analysts). Their field is predicted to see a 25% growth over the next decade.
How to start learning the skills you need for a career in tech
All of the careers we discussed have a common thread. Learning to code, gaining a foundational understanding of programming concepts, and practicing the application of these skills by solving problems are all required.
Each career has a different set of programming languages that must be learned, but don’t get too caught up in all the specifics. Once you’ve mastered one, learning another is much easier. For example, once you know how to use Python, you might find it’s relatively easy to pick up another language.
Also, if you’re trying to decide between a few different careers, check out our sorting quiz. It’ll give you some guidance on which jobs and programming languages you might like best.
For all of the tech careers we covered, there are dedicated Career Paths where you can acquire all the skills you’ll need to succeed. Our Paths take the guesswork out of which languages and tools you need to learn and help you make the most of your time. You’ll also get to create a portfolio, prepare for technical interviews, and more.