Surveys show that over 60 percent of college graduates don’t have a clue about how their education and skill sets fit into the modern workforce. So they feel lost and discouraged, and less inclined to apply for jobs that seem to be out of their reach, even though those are the jobs that pay the kind of money needed to take care of student loan debt. Millennials just out of college often lack the maturity needed to know where they fit in with large corporations or small concerns. This lack of certainty is holding back an entire generation of the American workforce.
A good entry-level job that recent grads can latch onto for their future career path is not that difficult to achieve. No matter what your major was in college, you can really go places if you start out in one of these entry-level jobs:
1. Software support and implementation
Organizations creating business software and providing cloud-based apps and services are looking for people to do software implementation and handle many thousands of help desk positions. What is required is feeling comfortable working with technology issues, good communication skills, and problem solving abilities.
Despite what people think, these kinds of positions don’t always demand a computer science degree or even a related certificate. Many companies prefer to hire a well-rounded recruit who can display a wide range of abilities. These types of position are usually most abundant in larger urban areas that have a large concentration of tech companies. Starting salaries average around $40,000 to $50,000 per year, according to recent wage surveys.
2. Claims adjuster
Claim workers for such things as workers compensation, auto insurance, and third party liability claims are in big demand by insurance companies. Any four-year degree will open the door to this kind of a job, if you can demonstrate problem solving skills.
Current claims adjusters are getting ready to retire; over a quarter of them plan on retiring in the next five years, per insurance industry studies. So now is the perfect time to step in and fill their shoes, especially in the Southwest and Northeast United States, where natural disasters are most common.
Beginning claims adjusters can pull down anywhere from $35,000 to $55,000 a year.
3. Data analysis
This is big, and getting bigger. Mining and analyzing metadata is what drives every large corporation on the planet right now. If you have any kind of an analytical mind and can do basic math, you can start out as a data analyst. If you know how to spot trends, and like doing it, this kind of work will come naturally to you.
Information and communication technology companies are especially anxious to sign you up for data analytics. And the medical industry is not far behind in their desire to get you to help them discover trends in everything from disease to life expectancy.
You’ll start in this field at around $52,000 a year.
“A good salesman is born, not trained” claimed Henry Ford, who used thousands of them to make his Ford cars the top-selling line for over half a century. But whether or not you can be trained to sell, if you already possess an open and friendly demeanor and are not afraid to meet new people you are already more than halfway to a successful career in sales. Nowadays, a person with good social media skills and a modicum of self-confidence can start their career in sales and go anywhere from there. A recent study at Brown College found that 62 percent of current American CEOs started out in the sales department.
And the great thing about sales is that you control your own salary, to a certain extent. Most beginning salespeople start at around $30,000 per year, but when you add in bonuses and commissions, it comes out closer to $50,000 a year.
No matter what career you eventually end up pursuing, these entry-level jobs can give you the skills and experience you need to succeed.