Best Entry-Level Jobs for College Grads

A college degree can help open the doors to many entry-level jobs within most industries, and this article is going to take a look at some of the best entry-level jobs available for college graduates based on job growth and salary potential.

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Best Entry-Level Job Options for College Graduates

While the prospect of finding that first job after graduating college can be daunting, almost all industries have a multitude of entry-level positions that require nothing more than a bachelor's degree and a willingness to work hard. This article is going to explore some of the best entry-level jobs available with a college degree.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016 - 2026)*
Operations Research Analyst $81,390 27%
Financial Analyst $84,300 11%
Software Developer $103,560 24%
Market Research Analyst $63,230 23%
Technical Writer $70,930 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS )

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Information on the Best Entry-Level Jobs for College Graduates

Operations Research Analyst

With a projected job growth rate of 27% through 2026, operations research analyst positions are a good entry-level option for those with a bachelor's degree in a major such as business, engineering, or computer science. Using a variety of high-level methodologies and techniques like modeling and statistical analysis, operations research analysts are problem solvers who are responsible for studying operations within an organization in order to increase efficiency and maximize production. Operations research analysts gather and analyze data and then report their findings, as well as their recommendations, to the appropriate individuals.

Financial Analyst

If you like working with numbers and have a degree in business, finance or a related field such as accounting or statistics, you may want to consider an entry-level financial analyst position. Many companies such as venture capital firms, banks, and investment banking firms hire entry-level financial analysts, and the BLS predicts a faster-than-average job growth of 11% for this career. Financial analysts gather financial information from a variety of sources, including financial statements and stock market data, and then analyze that data in order to provide investment information, options, and recommendations to their companies or their clients.

Software Developer

Another job that, at 24%, has a faster-than-average growth rate and offers a variety of entry-level positions is software development. Employers are looking for college graduates with a degree in a computer science or other computer-related field, as well as some programming experience, which is easily obtained through summer internships or working part-time while pursuing your degree. As the title implies, software developers are responsible for designing and developing the software that controls different programs as well as computer systems themselves. There are two main types of developers: applications software developers, who develop the programs designed to perform specific tasks; and systems software developers, who develop computer system programs, such as the operating system, that are responsible for operating the computers.

Market Research Analyst

If you enjoy performing research and analyzing data and are looking to utilize your marketing, business administration or computer science degree, you may want to consider a job as a market research analyst. This field has a predicted job growth rate of 23% through 2026. Organizations cannot stay in business without customers, and it is the job of the market research analyst to gather a variety of market data in order to determine who a company's customers are, what they want and/or need, and whether they feel the company is meeting those wants/needs. In addition to researching current trends and compiling data from outside sources, market research analysts may also develop their own tools, such as surveys and questionnaires, to gather specific data to assist them in preparing necessary reports.

Technical Writer

Technical writer positions are available in a variety of industries, and the BLS projects job growth to be faster than average (11%) through 2026. Technical writers write documents, such as instruction manuals, intended to convey information to the readers. For example, the user manuals for a DVD player or a refrigerator are technical documents intended to increase the consumer's understanding of how those devices work. Given the strong emphasis on both written communication skills and technical knowledge in this job, degrees in English or journalism will be relevant, particularly when combined with any technical courses in computer science and other related fields. Employers may prefer to hire technical writers with prior experience in a technical or scientific field, such as previous work as a research assistant, which students may want to consider while in college.

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