It’s been a long four years (or five, or seven), but you’ve finally earned your diploma. You’re ready to set dorm living behind you and strike out into the so-called “real world.”
But what’s next after you flip your tassel to the other side of your cap?
You’ve got a massive pile of student loan debts that have just been waiting for you to graduate so they can go into repayment.
Meanwhile, you’ve been focusing so much on your college career that your resume is almost completely blank except for a few side gigs.
And that doesn’t give future employers a ton of confidence. Trying to find a job without experience is usually a one-way ticket to making extra skinny soy caramel macchiatos for yuppy moms or flipping burgers for her bratty kids.
But never fear: there are a number of entry-level jobs where a college graduate such as yourself can find a steady paycheck and skip the minimum wage jobs.
Here are the highest paying jobs for recent graduates.
Median income: $86,000
Looking at how our world is increasingly dependent on computers and smartphones, it’s no surprise that there is a ton of demand in the tech sector.
Technology has been increasing at an unprecedented rate, and most of that progress is at the hands of software engineers.
We’ve all heard stories of someone who created an app and went on to early retirement. Chances are, they hired a software engineer to make that happen.
Software engineers work with a variety of professionals, business owners, and programmers to create digital solutions for any problem. They might create an operating system, a database, or a network.
And because a software engineer’s work has more to do with their ingenuity than their experience, there are a number of positions you can fill right out of college.
Or, if you want to go the Steve Jobs route, you can buy a fake diploma and prove yourself by your own ingenuity without dropping a small fortune on college.
The stereotypical image of an engineer is a pencil-pushing dweeb who spends all day at his desk drawing up abstract solutions for problems he’s never seen in real life.
If you have a passion for problem-solving but can’t stand the sight of a cubicle, you might want to be a field engineer.
Many industrial sites have unique challenges that require an engineer who is intimately acquainted with those challenges.
For instance, when an oil company wants to start digging in a certain spot, they bring out a petroleum engineer to evaluate the site and create a plan to extract the oil safely.
Most field engineers spend their time traveling from site to site. If you love to travel, this is the job for you.
Median income: $62,000
If you were one of those weird folks that actually really loved math class, you might be able to find a job as a financial analyst.
Financial analysts work with banks, insurance companies, investors, or other businesses. They analyze (duh) market trends, financial fads, and overall fiscal climate to guide their clients or employers into making wise financial decisions.
As a financial analyst, you might help an insurance company build policies, or you might help individuals build healthy investment portfolios.
Financial analysts need good problem-solving skills, a good sense for trends, and should always stay on top of new technology and banking practices.
Customer Service Representative
Median income: $54,000
We’re all familiar with customer service.
Worldwide, companies spend $350 billion a year on customer service. And it makes sense: without customers to give you money, there’s no way your company can survive.
Most companies work hard to keep their customers happy so they can keep them as customers.
As a customer service representative, your job will be handling customer complaints and concerns and coming up with creative solutions to those problems.
It might seem like grunt work, but with a median salary of $54,000, customer service is one of the highest paying jobs for college graduates.
Median income: $48,000
Here’s a challenge for you: try to go half an hour without coming across some sort of marketing of some kind.
Our culture is absolutely inundated with marketing, whether in targeted ads, TV commercials, robocalls, billboards, or even the email lists we voluntarily signed up for.
In 2014, over $546 billion was spent on advertising and marketing, and that number has only gone up.
While most of the big, inescapable marketing campaigns are conceived by big marketing firms with centuries of combined experience, most of those firms have many entry-level positions for bright young graduates.
As a marketing associate, you can help facilitate a lot of the small things that help make these big-picture marketing campaigns a reality.
And, it’s a great way to build experience to someday become a marketing bigwig yourself.
Median income: $47,000
Everyone knows that if you want the highest paying jobs, you become a lawyer.
But that’s like…a lot of work. Getting your law degree takes around seven years-and that doesn’t include passing the bar exam.
If you want to work in law and get a high paying legal job without all the extra schooling, consider becoming a paralegal.
Paralegals do a lot of the legwork for lawyers, including coordinating contracts, managing tax filings, and conducting legal research.
They might not make as much as lawyers, but with a median income of $47,000, becoming a paralegal is one of the highest paying entry level jobs for college graduates.
Make That Money with the Highest Paying Jobs
Graduating college can feel a bit like you’re lost at sea. Entering a new career in a new town in a new stage of life can be disorienting and anxiety-inducing.
The last thing you need is to deal with is a low-paying job that you’re not passionate about.
But with these highest paying jobs, you can find gainful employment even without years of experience.
Thinking of going back to grad school instead? Read this article of helpful tips!