Even with the job market starting to pick up, college seniors are about to graduate into a tough job market with youth unemployment still above 15%, more than a third of their peers living at home to save money because of the dearth of opportunities, and nine month job searches common even for young, qualified applicants.
Best Jobs: Ranking
Of course, not all entry level jobs are created equal, so John S. Kiernan at WalletHub set out to find the best (not necessarily the highest paying) entry level positions based on the depth of current opportunities, income growth potential, and hardships (a combination of overtime and accident rate) facing new recruits. Some of the positions he lists aren’t what you would normally think of as entry-level (attorneys usually have experience before finishing law school), but it still gives a sense for what opportunities are out there.
Best jobs: Entry-level are mostly in tech
It’s probably not a surprise that six of the top ten entry-level jobs are in IT. The hardship level is quite low, there’s a lot of opportunity for young people with the right background, and as a few high flying stock valuations prove, the sky’s the limit. Attorney’s and financial analysts have much higher hardship rankings because of the long hours that you can expect for at least the first couple of years, but there is still a lot of room to grow professionally. Most of the top 20 are similar positions in finance, engineering, and tech, but geophysicist sticks out like a sore thumb ranked 18th overall and number one for growth potential, presumably because of demand in the oil industry.
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While the idea of starting at the bottom might appeal to some, that’s not always realistic. Consumer loan servicing clerk came in at the bottom of the list (with bank teller not much higher) because of the lack of opportunity, low pay, and long hours. Many of the other jobs at the bottom of the list are demanding and dangerous (and a little odd for a list ostensibly aimed at recent college grads).
Attorneys get the highest starting pay
If you’re only interested getting a well-paid job, you might want to head back to school for another degree. Four of the five best paying entry level jobs are for attorneys, and the fifth once again proves that the oil industry has lots spending power. Listing teaching assistants as the worst paid entry level jobs seems like a mistake since nearly all of them are graduate students who teach for a living stipend and tuition, with a total value of much more than the $15,400 average salary.