Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The 13 Top Jobs for College Graduates (and How to Get Hired!)

Graduation is a difficult time for many young adults because it marks the end of their youth and the start of adulthood.

If you are one of the many fresh graduates, it can be daunting to think of everything that you need to do after finishing your final exams to achieve financial stability. Job hunting is definitely a big task that you need to prepare for, even more so if you need to pay off student loans.

The good news is that there are plenty of accessible resources and actions that you can take to safely jumpstart your job search. Regardless of your background or educational attainment, the labor market is still actively looking for fresh graduates with various skill sets to fill a variety of positions.

Read on to find out the most in-demand positions you can apply for!

The 13 Most Popular Jobs for College Graduates in 2021

Software Engineer

Today’s tech-driven world has prompted companies to search for software engineers who know how to navigate the digital landscape. Software developers are expected to be in high demand for the next 10 years, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting at least 22 percent growth expected. There is an urgent call for fresh graduates to help fill the supply of talent in the local tech industry.

💰 Median entry-level salary: $67,751 a year
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 40,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 316,000

High School Teacher

Do you find yourself informally tutoring your fellow students? Maybe teaching is for you! High school teachers that specialize in math, science, English as a second language, and special education are in high demand, reports the BLS. Teachers are needed to replace those who retire or move to another industry for personal reasons. However, employment growth for public high school teachers may vary according to state and local government budgets. 

💰 Median entry-level salary: $57,500
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 22,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 40,100

Registered Nurse

If you are passionate about taking care of people, nursing is a solid profession to consider. The demand for registered nurses is expected to rise for a variety of reasons. This includes an increased emphasis on preventive care, rising rates of chronic conditions, and demand for healthcare services from baby boomers as this age group is expected to lead longer and more active lives.

💰 Median entry-level salary: $62,400
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 9,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 221,900

Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharma reps make great money right off the bat selling medicine. However, it can be physically demanding; a lot of travel is required to visit hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices to discuss the benefits of the particular drugs that you’re representing. Pharma sales reps must be knowledgeable in science and good at dealing with other people. 

💰 Median entry-level salary: $59,000
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 22,000

Web Designer

Using the internet to read this? We used the internet to write it! It’s unsurprising that more and more people rely on the internet to project their brand. A web designer can help them deliver their products and services, especially with the growing popularity of mobile devices and e-commerce. Designers that are particularly skilled at designing websites to respond to different platforms will be particularly crucial in the future.

💰 Median entry-level salary: $57,500
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 22,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 14,000

Accountant

According to the BLS, the employment growth of accountants is tied closely to the health of the overall economy. As the economy recovers from the pandemic, fresh graduates will be a welcome addition to many companies that are looking to prepare for growth and have their financial records put in check. 

💰 Median entry-level salary: $48,000
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 2,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 61,700

Internet Marketer

Internet marketers are tech-savvy individuals that know how to navigate social media and e-commerce platforms, and who can craft campaigns and marketing strategies that optimize sales. It’s a great job to consider because digital commerce is experiencing rapid expansion. In fact, the BLS reports that the job growth rate of marketers is expected to rise by nine percent by 2024. 

💰 Median entry-level salary: $57,500
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 22,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 18,800

Project Manager

Businesses that are poised to rise from the economic downturn are looking for project managers that can help lead projects for future-facing goals, such as digital transformation and artificial intelligence. Fresh graduates may need to start out as assistants and then work their way up to a promotion and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Statistics for this field are hard to come by because the BLS does not recognize project managers as a separate occupation. However, there’s no denying the rise in demand and the good salary for this job role.

💰 Median entry-level salary: $51,000

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are in demand across the finance industry. The specifics of your responsibilities will depend on your employer, but most analysts start out analyzing mathematical models, preparing reports, and analyzing data. It’s the ideal job for fresh graduates who are good at math.

💰 Median entry-level salary: $59,300
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 4,000
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 26,800

Account Manager

Account managers are responsible for improving the relationship of businesses with their clients. They help ensure that people continue to patronize their company’s products and services, building a loyal audience that contributes to the longevity of their operations. Account managers often find themselves traveling to visit clients and attend conferences to build their network, and are often assigned to advertising, marketing, sales, and finance departments. 

💰 Median entry-level salary: $41,854
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 15,400

Engineer

If you are a math and science whiz, engineering is one of the clearest career paths for you! Graduates with a degree in engineering can specialize in many branches, such as civil, chemical, and nuclear. While starting salaries will vary slightly depending on the branch, virtually all jobs pay well because of the technical knowledge and communication skills required.

💰 Median entry-level salary: $57,698
📈 Projected change in employment from 2019 to 2029: 5,500

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants are needed in almost all businesses. This position is a great way to explore an industry you are curious about or get insight into how companies work. Long-term assistants often land jobs working for high-ranking CEOs, movie producers, or attorneys. Due to the responsibilities associated with supporting these roles, these positions can offer significant salary growth later in your career. 

💰 Median entry-level salary: $35,400
🔎 Number of entry-level roles available in the US: 17,000

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Tips to Land a Job Right Out of College

Get as Much Experience as Possible

While your academic record is definitely important, companies also highly value the experience gained through internships and volunteering. This is because it shows what you are passionate about, your initiative to enter the organizations, and the real-life work you’ve experienced by participating in these activities.

Start Searching Early

Starting early gives you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with applications, interviews, and tests. This gives you an idea of how job hunting works, helps you build self-confidence, and teaches you how to market yourself better.

photo-of-new-college-graduate-in-first-job-using-laptop
Scoring a job as a new college graduate can be tough — but possible. Photo: Csaba Balazs/Unsplash

Expand Your Search and Be Open to New Opportunities

Your first job after graduating is most likely going to be a stepping stone to something even better. People rarely experience the growth and culture that they are suited for in this first position, so your priority should be to learn in this new role. Find out what you enjoy doing on a regular basis and see if there are opportunities to pursue a career in other industries or companies that excite you. 

Polish Your LinkedIn

Even though there are so many new ways to market yourself online, LinkedIn remains the platform of choice for business and networking. While it may seem difficult to establish a presence at first, remember that this is a long-term investment. You’ll enjoy updating your profile as you progress through your career path and sharing these updates with others in your network. In turn, potential employers and recruiters will have a reference point for you in the future.

Be Proactive, and Get in Front of Employers

Don’t be shy! Searching for a job is the best time to step out of your comfort zone. Have faith in your college degree and your personal capabilities, and reach out to businesses that you are interested in. Companies love someone who takes initiative and is passionate about their work and being proactive about starting conversations is a great way to showcase these values. LinkedIn is a great way to reach out to other people for this activity. 

FAQs About Getting a Job After College

When should a college graduate start applying for jobs? 

There is no specific time frame — it’s all up to you and your capacity to start working! Some graduates already have experience working part-time in the summer, through federal work-study programs, or during internships. If you aren’t ready yet, don’t get pressured. Take time to browse through all the job hunting websites you can find online to get a feel of the process and see what employers are looking for.

Where can I find a job out of college?

There are plenty of social media platforms online that can help you with your job search. While Linkedin is the most popular site, its main focus is networking and fresh grads may find it a little intimidating at first. Check out websites like Indeed, CollegeGrad, AngelList, and FlexJobs to browse through job listings and apply to the ones that you are interested in. We also recommend Avenica for fresh grads who aren’t sure about their career paths yet, as well as CoolWorks for short-term and seasonal jobs.

What jobs can you get right out of college?

There are plenty of jobs available for fresh graduates! While some fields may be easier to enter than others, there is always a position available that can help you establish your footing. Teacher’s assistants, bank tellers, junior accountants, and technical writers are great entry-level jobs in different industries that give plenty of opportunities for you to get a feel of how the industry moves and steadily work your way up. 

What are the highest paying jobs right out of college?

High-paying jobs for fresh graduates are often in highly technical career paths. This ranges from jobs in the finance industry, such as investment banking, actuaries, and financial analysts, to IT roles such as software developers and network system administrators. 

Fresh graduates in courses that have a specific career path, such as engineers, nurses, and teachers, can also look forward to high paying jobs. Finally, the rise of e-commerce has given the opportunity for fresh graduates to consider a career as an internet marketer or web designer. 

What jobs are in high demand for college graduates?

According to ZipRecruiter, the most in-demand jobs for graduates are in IT and engineering. However, these jobs may require technical knowledge and specific degrees that are offered in the STEM strand. Non-STEM majors don’t need to worry, because marketing, public relations, and advertising industries are also in need of fresh graduates with strong communication and interpersonal skills.

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