You’ve probably heard that the job market is on the upswing, and that’s great news for 2017 college graduates. In their annual Job Outlook survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers that participated plan to hire 5.8% more new college graduates in 2017 than they did in 2016. Indeed, with a current unemployment rate of 4.4%, recent college graduates are being welcomed by a strong job market.
But if you have little working experience, it can be a challenge determining what kind of a job would be a good fit for your skills. And it always helps to know which jobs are the best to start out with, because of factors such as earning potential, future career growth and job availability. Here are four of the best entry level jobs for college grads in 2017:
1) Data Analyst
We are in the age of big data, and employers need more help in data science and data analysis than ever. Every company collects various data about its customers, sales figures, spending, etc. Data analysts use statistical methods to analyze this data. They use the data to help identify trends in the business and its customers, make recommendations about ways to save money and actions that should be taken, and help businesses make more educated decisions.
Job growth is looking excellent for these positions, making data analysis one of the best entry level jobs for college grads in 2017. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expect market research analyst jobs to grow 19% between 2014 and 2024, and operations research analyst jobs to grow 30% in the during the same period. These are 2 very common types of data analyst positions. While some data analysis jobs require a master’s degree, there are plenty of entry level jobs out there that only require a bachelor’s degree. On average, entry level data analysts earn about $55,000 per year.
2) Training and Development Manager
For a college graduate looking to start a career in the business world, one of the best entry level jobs for college grads in 2017 is the role of training and development manager. In this job, you plan and direct training programs strengthen the skills of employees, and ensure everyone is equipped to do their job effectively. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for training and development managers is $96,000. While jobs are only expected to grow about 7% between 2014 and 2024, as of 2014 there were 32,900 of job openings in training and development, which means there is likely to be plenty of job availability in this field.
3) Software Engineer/Software Developer
If you have good technical and math skills and just graduated college, this is a great time to embark on a career as a software engineer. The demand for software continues to grow, and more software engineers and software developers are needed to keep up with the need for not only a higher number of software programs, but also more advanced and complicated software. Typically, when pursuing a career in software development, a bachelor’s degree in a technical field such as computer science is preferred. BLS expects jobs in this field to grow tremendously, at 17% between 2014 and 2024. This fact, along with excellent earning potential makes software engineering and development one of the best entry level jobs for college grads in 2017. At entry level, the average salary for a software engineer is about $76,000 annually. Later in their careers, software engineers are looking at an average salary of about $102,000.
4) Customer Service Representative
While the earning potential for this role may not be as high as many other entry level jobs, there are a tremendous amount of customer service representative job openings there, making this one of the best entry level jobs for college grads in 2017. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of 2014, there 2,581,800 customer service representative jobs available, and jobs are expected to grow 10% between 2014 and 2024. Since there are customer service job openings in a variety of industries, from healthcare to retail to technology, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door in the industry you prefer.
Customer service representatives are the first point of interaction with a business’s customers, and their efforts support multiple departments, from product development to sales and marketing. The average annual salary for customer service representatives is about $32,000. If you are new to the working world and not quite sure yet what you want out of your career, customer service is a great place to start.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.