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Why is it so hard to find entry-level software engineering jobs?

It’s a hard time to get into the software engineering industry, as coders seeking entry-level jobs have been discovering.
At Technical.ly’s NET/WORK jobs fair in Philadelphia this week, there was a line to get in that stretched around the block. Upstairs, the room was packed with aspiring software devs and others seeking to break into the industry.

Meanwhile, the cohort of hiring companies was smaller than pre-pandemic years — and not offering many early-career positions, according to some job-seekers.

“You go to all of these booths and they’re looking for ‘head of department this’ or ‘senior-level that,’” said attendee Alex Ramos, who graduated from college in 2021. “There are no entry-level positions. Each place has like maybe three openings, and most of them are senior level.”

Even when there are positions open, the requirements can seem paradoxical.

“I feel like entry-level jobs now require ridiculous amounts of experience,” one early-career software engineer told Technical.ly, asking to remain anonymous to avoid jeopardizing future job prospects. “I wish there was a system that actually filtered for entry-level roles.”

Data sourced from LinkedIn in January backs up the sentiment.

Across several hundred job listings resulting from a query for “entry-level software engineer” in the Philly area, the average minimum experience required was 4.5 years.