These Are The Best (and Worst) Entry Level Jobs Waiting After College Graduation

It’s ‘graduation season’ for American colleges and universities and WalletHub recently took stock of the job market for this year’s college graduates by comparing 108 entry-level positions based on 12 key metrics.

The data set ranges from average starting salary to projected job growth by 2030 to median tenure with an employer.

WalletHub then used the data to rank each job.

The top six are all engineering jobs, with software engineer ranked No. 1.

Here’s the top ten:

1 Software Engineer
2 Electronics Engineer
3 Engineer
4 Systems Engineer
5 Industrial Engineer
6 Electrical Engineer
7 Operations Research Analyst
8 Hardware Engineer
9 Web Applications Developer
10 Environmental Health, and Safety Engineer

And, yes, the bottom ten:


99 Architectural Drafter
100 Consumer Credit Analyst
101 Mechanical Drafter
102 Claims Processing Clerk
103 Welder
104 Aircraft Painter
105 Building Inspector
106 Emergency Dispatcher
107 Floor Assembler
108 Boilermaker

Methodology on coming to these conclusions:


In order to identify the best and worst first-timer jobs, WalletHub compared 108 entry-level occupations across three key dimensions: 1) Immediate Opportunity, 2) Growth Potential and 3) Job Hazards.

The dimensions were then evaluated using 12 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for entry-level workers.

Each entry-level position’s weighted average across all metrics was then use to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Immediate Opportunity – Total Points: 40
Average Starting Salary: Full Weight (~13.33 Points)
Number of Job Openings: Full Weight (~13.33 Points)
Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~13.33 Points)


Growth Potential – Total Points: 40
Occupation Viability Score: Triple Weight (~14.12 Points)
Note: This metric measures the probability of a certain occupation being replaced with a computer.
Projected Job Growth by 2030: Full Weight (~4.71 Points)
Income Growth Potential: Full Weight (~4.71 Points)
Typicality of On-the-Job Training: Full Weight (~4.71 Points)
Median Annual Salary: Full Weight (~4.71 Points)
Work Experience in Related Occupation Needed: Full Weight (~4.71 Points)
Median Tenure with Employer: Half Weight (~2.35 Points)


Job Hazards – Total Points: 20
Fatal Occupational Injuries per 100,000 Employees in Past Three Years: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
Typicality of Working More than 40 Hours per Week: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, Indeed.com and Salary.com.

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