Entry or mid-level job but security clearance required

I work in the information technology field, a field which in the past rarely required any security clearance. Over the last few years the number of public-sector entry and mid-level IT jobs being advertised requiring little to no experience but requiring a security clearance has grown to a ridiculous degree.
I have over 15 years experience in IT and cannot get a lot of jobs because I do not have a security clearance and nobody will sponsor me for a clearance.
When I attend courses to earn more IT certification I run into people who are there to get the “computer career training” the armed forces told them they would receive in the armed forces. These people often tell me they would never have signed up had they known this would be the extent of the computer training they would receive but, they did get a security clearance by virtue of having served.
(1) Is this trend toward requiring security clearances for entry and mid-level IT jobs simply a tool that is being used to get veterans back into the public workforce quickly at any level?
(2) What, if anything can I do to encourage/convince companies to sponsor me for a clearance?

  1. It’s become more of an issue because the government isn’t handing out interim clearances very often any more AND because the government is hiring. Private industry will now do extensive background checks but they can’t get you a “clearance”. In the case of government jobs, contractors don’t want to hire those who do not already have a clearance because of the length of time it takes to get one. They want you in a seat in 30 days, not 18 months.

  2. The higher your skill level and the more unusual your skill set, the more likely you are to find a company who will sponsor you.

You should ask yourself if you can qualify for a clearance and you should ask yourself if you want one. Do some research if you haven’t already.