I just graduated with two degrees in IT networking and security, I have a CCNA and a Security+, and I spent a few years working for my college to tutor other IT students, but every "entry level" job I see in either field has hard requirements for years of experience in those specific roles already. I've applied for over 40 of them where the experience requirements were on the lower end, because people have told me that those are often inflated. But whenever I've heard back from any of them, the feedback I keep getting is that I don't have the experience they're looking for.
I've run my resume and cover letter by a bunch of people who say it looks good, so I don't think that's it.
Some people have recommended headhunters, but as far as I can tell these days they're not much different from Monster or Glassdoor- they just take your information and spit out a bunch of related job postings and tell you to go for it. I also have a LinkedIn page that's completely filled out, but I'm just not really getting any offers except for a few low-level and low-paying help desk/tech support jobs.
So how does anyone actually get into any of these fields? I don't mind working at a help desk for a while, but my concern is that the track out of the help desk and into the networking or infosec departments is too long and I'm going to forget 75% of what I know during that time since I won't be using it, and also there's always a line of people ahead of me who want any openings in those departments as well so it seems like it will take forever (one interviewer told me, "Well, anything's possible" in regard to my chances of getting there within five years). So what am I missing here?