Main image of article Are More Employers Seeking Junior Developers?

Spend enough time around junior developers, and sooner or later you’ll hear some complaints about the job market. Specifically, many junior developers are under the impression that companies only want developers with considerable experience. Is that true? And if so, what can they do about it?

According to CompTIA’s latest exhaustive Jobs Report, nearly a quarter of employer job postings (22 percent) are targeted at tech professionals with 0-3 years of experience, while 29 percent ask for between 4-7 years of experience. Another 34 percent don’t have specific experience requirements. Here’s a handy chart:

That data doesn’t align with every report out there, of course. According to Hired’s 2023 State of Software Engineers report, the demand for engineers with zero to four years’ experience dropped to 8 percent in 2023, offset by a bigger demand for engineers with six or more years’ experience. Meanwhile, a 2024 analysis of LinkedIn data showed that listings for “entry-level” software engineers generally wanted candidates with 4.5 years of experience.

Whatever your viewpoint on the market for junior developers, though, one thing is clear: racking up as much experience and skills as possible—even if that means emphasizing personal projects and school courses on your resume—is the key to landing a position you like. If you’re just starting out in tech, some great ways to show off your skills include:

  • Open Source: Don’t just contribute to open-source projects on platforms like GitHub; target projects relevant to the field you want to break into. Actively engage with the developer community, fix bugs, propose improvements, and even contribute new features. If you can show a hiring manager that you’re passionate about the relevant tech, your chances of landing the job will increase.
  • Personal Projects are Key: Personal projects are your chance to shine a light on your passion and technical versatility, but the key is depth. For example, don't just build a basic website: develop a full-fledged app that tackles a problem you're interested in. Your projects should show that you can stick with an idea and transform it into something useful.

  • Build Out Your Portfolio: Build a user-friendly (i.e., something understandable to a non-tech person such as a recruiter) website or online document that showcases your projects, complete with clear descriptions, visuals, and downloads. Quantify your achievements whenever possible.

As a junior tech professional, specializing in cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning can also help you stand out in a crowded field of applicants. Whatever your path, keep in mind that many companies are more than happy to hire tech professionals starting out in their careers—it’s just a question of finding the right match.