Moving your tassel to the left signifies more than just your graduation — it’s a transition! Graduation is a testament to your commitment to your career and professional life after college.
But do you know where you’re headed? Do some research and be a bit of an opportunist — flock toward the most in-demand jobs for college graduates and you’ll be well on your way to your career path.
If you’re looking for a nudge in the right direction or are simply curious about which jobs recent grads gravitate toward, check out the list below (compiled by LinkedIn) of the 10 most popular jobs for new college graduates. Along with the listed jobs, we’ve also included a short description plus the median annual salary, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1. Software Engineer
Typically computer science graduates, software engineers help create computer programs and mobile applications. Some may develop the core software used to run said computers and mobile devices.
Median salary (national): $105,590
2. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses (“RNs” for short) provide patient care, education, and advice in a variety of settings. This role is not constrained to the traditional hospital environment, as nurses can also work in community settings, home healthcare, and even the military. You also don’t need a BSN to become a nurse (an associate’s degree is acceptable) so long as you’re licensed.
Median salary (national): $71,730
“Salesperson” is really an umbrella term for the many positions one can seek in sales. There are tons of opportunities, and you can expect just about any industry — advertising, insurance, real estate, and healthcare tech to name a few — to have some version of the occupation.
Median salary (national): $50,450
Elementary and kindergarten teacher positions are a common choice for recent graduates, because some states will allow graduates with any bachelor’s degree to teach provisionally while obtaining licensure. Teaching the younger generation English, reading, arithmetic, science, and more subjects can be a transitional job or a fulfilling long-term career.
Median salary (national): $57,980
A bachelor’s degree in accounting usually isn’t enough to land a solid role in accounting, but becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) greatly increases the odds of employment and pay. Accountants keep track of financial records and ensure that taxes are paid accurately. They also ensure the financial integrity of businesses.
Median salary (national): $70,500
6. Project Manager
Many self-motivated and organized graduates pursue this versatile role. Similar to sales, project management opportunities exist across a vast span of industries. PMs are tasked with organizing projects and logistics at the onset of new ideas and objectives with a team ready to implement and test said ideas.
Median salary (national): $67,280
7. Administrative Assistant
A recent decline in popularity hasn’t stopped new college grads from putting administrative jobs in the top 10. Administrative assistants help with clerical duties in office settings including filing, staff support, appointment scheduling, and other tasks.
Median salary (national): $38,880
8. Account Executive
This is the job that most business students envision when pursuing the major. Just about every company in every industry requires account executives to manage expenses and budgets, implement strategies to achieve territory sales goals, communicate with clients, and analyze business data.
Median salary (national): varies from industry to industry, anywhere from $46,000 – $130,000
9. Financial Analyst
After account executives, financial analysts are a top choice for business students with a major in finance. Financial analysts often provide advice to corporate and individual investors based on the performance of stocks, bonds, and other forms of investments.
Median salary (national): $85,660
10. Account Manager
Look up account management online and you’ll find that there is no one blanket statement to describe the role, as every company does it differently. Generally speaking, account managers are sort of a hybrid between sales and customer service, liaising between companies and their customers/leads.
Median salary (national): varies from industry to industry, the median is in the $50,000 range
So if you’re ready for your first post-grad entry-level job, log into Handshake and search for available opportunities!