Employment Trends Getting Started

The Best Jobs for Recent College Graduates

Written by Peter Jones

it’s rough entering the job market after college these days, and a rough market regardless. candidates with experience are almost universally privileged in the hiring process. it can take a while to find your opening and grab it.

that said, recent grads have the advantage of being (usually) single and flexible. you might consider moving across the country for a job, where someone more entrenched would not. if you’re that flexible, consider the states on this list, by field, where recent grads and gen y-ers will have the best luck getting a great gig.

industry: airline

possible jobs: engineering (aerospace, flight, electrical, mechanical design, etc.), pilot, customer service rep, officer, flight attendant, pricing analyst

best place to be: minnesota. younger workers in their 20s make up a much larger percentage of the work force there, and the median annual salary for employees of this age group wasn’t any lower.

industry: ambulatory health care

possible jobs: physical therapy, personal training, dental hygienist, case manager, office manager, pa.

best place to be: connecticut, with median salaries for employees under 30 at 21% above the national average.

industry: banking

possible jobs: teller, assistant branch manager, analyst, customer service rep, loan officer

best place to be: utah

industry: beverage and tobacco marketing

possible jobs: account manager, sales manager/rep, event coordinator, financial analyst, designer, marketing manager

best place to be: new york. try first at pepsico and phillip morris.

industry: broadcasting (tv/radio)

possible jobs: account executive, advertising film/video editor, graphic artist/designer, reporter, producer-director, radio show host, etc.

best place to be: new york. try: viacom, cbs, nbc, abc, fox, turner broadcasting, or mtv.

industry: clothing and accessories

possible jobs: assistant buyer, designer, assistant designer, retail department manager, graphic artist/designer, retail sales

best place to be: new york

industry: computer and electronic manufacturing

possible jobs: electrical or mechanical engineer, film/video editor, graphic artist/designer, software developer/programmer

best place to be: virginia. try qimonda, micron technology, and genesic.

industry: construction

possible jobs: manager, commercial estimator, marketing coordinator, project engineer, staff accountant

best place to be: washington, d.c.

industry: education

possible jobs: admissions counselor, elementary school teacher, financial aid counselor, high school teacher, non-profit program coordinator, special education teacher, teacher’s assistant

best place to be: washington, d.c.

industry: electrical, appliance, and component equipment manufacturing

possible jobs: account manager, sales, customer service rep, electrical or mechanical or manufacturing engineer, inside sales rep, operations manager, outside sales rep, sales engineer

best place to be: new jersey. try tyco, cn burman, sea gull, and griffith electric supply.

industry: executive, legislative, and other general government support

possible jobs: accountant, administrative assistant, auditor, cpa, financial or intelligence analyst, senior tax accountant, software engineer, developer/programmer, staff accountant, data entry specialist

best place to be: washington, d.c.

industry: service

possible jobs: barista, cashier, supervisor, restaurant manager, marketing, grocery staff accountant

best place to be: new york. the higher-end the place, the better your paycheck.

industry: funds, trusts, etc.

possible jobs: benefits or business or research analyst, financial/securities/investment analyst, fund accountant, pension administration, staff accountant

best place to be: massachusetts. surprising though it may be. try watson wyatt worldwide, putnam investments, fidelity investments, and harvard management first.

industry: heavy and civil engineering construction

possible jobs: accountant, administrative assistant, civil engineer, financial analyst, mechanical engineer, petroleum engineer, project engineer, staff accountant

best place to be: utah. try questar!

industry: hospitals

possible jobs: rn, medical/clinical laboratory tech, occupational therapist, physical therapist, pa

best place to be: nevada

industry: hotels

possible jobs: assistant general manager, front desk clerk, guest services manager, night auditor, sales manager, shift manager

best place to be: washington, d.c.

industry: internet service providers, web search, and data processing

possible jobs: graphic artist/designer, marketing coordinator, it project manager, web developer, software engineer, web designer & developer

best place to be: maryland. try bay broadband communications and comcast.

industry: legal services, accounting, and scientific research

possible jobs: paralegal/legal assistant, certified public accountant (cpa), civil engineer, graphic artist/designer, information technology (it) consultant, interior designer, staff accountant

best place to be: washington, d.c. try booz allen hamilton, corporate executive board, ibm, bearingpoint, accenture, and sra international

industry: miscellaneous manufacturing

possible jobs: biomedical or manufacturing or medical device quality engineer, biotech research associate

best place to be: nevada. try international game technology and aristocrat technologies.

industry: museums, historic sites, etc.

possible jobs: art gallery curator, graphic artist/designer, program coordinator, recreation coordinator, special events coordinator, zookeeper

best place to be: new york

industry: national security and international affairs

possible jobs: aerospace engineer, contract administrator, electrical engineer, financial or intelligence analyst, mechanical or software engineer

best place to be: massachusetts. try raytheon in waltham and general dynamics in quincy.

industry: oil and gas extraction

possible jobs: accountant, chemical engineer, financial analyst, mechanical engineer, oil & gas landman, petroleum engineer, and geologist

best place to be: utah. try questar and chevron. or louisiana as an alternative.

industry: online publishing

possible jobs: copy editor, graphic artist/designer, news reporter, software engineer/developer/programmer, web designer

best place to be: new york. try nytimes.com, yahoo!, aol, and fox interactive.

industry: performing arts, spectator sports, etc.

possible jobs: copy editor, event coordinator, executive assistant, film/video editor, graphic artist/designer, marketing coordinator, producer-director, tv/cable broadcast, special events manager

best place to be: new york

industry: pharmaceutical/chemical manufacturing

possible jobs: chemical or mechanical engineer, biotech research associate, research scientist, pharmaceutical sales representative

best place to be: maryland. try otsuka maryland medicinal laboratories, bowles fluidics, and millennium inorganic chemicals.

industry: print publishing

possible jobs: assistant editor, copy editor, editorial assistant, graphic artist/designer, managing editor, marketing coordinator, newspaper reporter, software engineer

best place to be: washington

industry: securities, commodity contracts, financial investments

possible jobs: associate in investment banking, banking analyst, financial/securities/investments analyst, financial adviser, fund accountant

best place to be: new york

industry: social work

possible jobs: case manager, child care/day care worker, child, family, or school social worker, director, child care, nanny or au pair preschool teacher, (not special education) program coordinator, nonprofit organization social worker

best place to be: washington, d.c.

industry: sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores

possible jobs: customer service rep, store department manager, graphic artist/designer, inside sales representative, marketing coordinator, retail sales associate/assistant manager/manager, and wholesale and retail buyer

best place to be: new jersey. try toys ‘r’ us, sports authority, heino’s sky & cycle, barnes & noble.

industry: transportation equipment manufacturing

possible jobs: aerospace engineer, electrical engineer, financial analyst, industrial engineer, manufacturing engineer, manufacturing process engineer, mechanical design engineer, mechanical engineer, product development engineer, automotive senior mechanical engineer

best place to be: maryland. try alcore.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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