For a long time the phone support helpdesk was the first rung in many a systems administrator's career. With improvements in technology reducing the ratio between support techs and users and a move towards outsourcing and offshoring phone support tasks, many in western countries interested in a systems administration career are finding it more difficult to grasp that first rung.
Some enterprising souls have found their own solution. Move to India and work for a few years to gain that valuable experience. You can find out more in a story published about this topic on MSNBC.
Going overseas for your first job isn't a new idea for everyone in the world. Many of my friends from Australia take jobs overseas straight after leaving University, often getting a few years experience in Singapore, Indonesia or Malaysia before returning to Australia in their late 20's or early 30's.
It isn't for everyone, but for the young and adventurous a few years of something different straight after college might not be such a bad thing.