Top 25 College Graduate Entry Level Jobs

By Joyce Huber

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects 1,882,000 students will graduate this year with a bachelor's degree. While some of these graduates will go on to pursue advanced degrees, many will begin searching for entry-level jobs. The good news is that employers are expected to hire 5.8 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2017 than they hired from the Class of 2016, according to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual Job Outlook survey.

High expectations

College graduates have high expectations before graduation that their college degree will open doors to a new career. Still, competition for college graduate entry level jobs is strong. But that doesn't mean all is lost. New grads just need to know where to look. Analysts at WalletHub, a personal finance website that launched in early August 2013, recently published a list of the 2017 best and worst entry-level jobs. They compared 109 entry-level positions and ranked them according to factors such as availability, starting salary, and growth potential.

WalletHub's Top 25 entry-level jobs

Of the top 25 entry-level jobs, more than half are in engineering, and all are in either the health, law, or STEM fields.

Job Type/Rank/Score
  1. Engineer I (75.08)
  2. Systems Engineer I (74.89)
  3. Architect I (70.46)
  4. Web Applications Developer I (68.11)
  5. Electrical Engineer I (67.28)
  6. Safety Rep I (67.11)
  7. Training Specialist I (66.76)
  8. Software Engineer I (66.45)
  9. Electronics Engineer I (65.74)
  10. Chemical Engineer I (65.11)
  11. Env. Health Safety Engineer I (64.76)
  12. Certified Nursing Asst. (64.42)
  13. Industrial Engineer I (64.20)
  14. Web Designer I (64.08)
  15. Aerospace Engineer I (64.02)
  16. Network Engineer I (62.47)
  17. Attorney I (62.10)
  18. Safety Tech I (61.75)
  19. Biomedical Engineer I (61.66)
  20. Systems Engineering Tech I (60.62)
  21. Systems Administrator I (60.60)
  22. Tax Attorney I (60.06)
  23. Industrial Designer I (59.88)
  24. Certified Occupational Therapist Asst. (59.40)
  25. Financial Analyst I (59.12)
The results can be viewed at

Top 5 fields for job growth

WalletHub also listed the top 5 fields that represent the best job growth through 2024:
  1. Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant
  2. Operations Research Analyst
  3. T-3 Web Applications Developer I
  4. T-3 Web Designer I
  5. Biomedical Engineer I
If money is at the top of the list, WalletHub also ranked the Top 5 fields for highest starting salaries:
  1. Tax Attorney I
  2. Drilling Engineer I
  3. Attorney I
  4. Patent Attorney I
  5. Employment Law Attorney I
On the other hand, the list includes the top 5 in each category for the worst entry-level jobs, such as mechanics, machinists, carpenters, and painters; the jobs with the lowest starting salaries; and the jobs with least potential for income growth. This last category is important because so many jobs are being replaced by technology.

Where to look

Even if your area is not listed as one of the top 25, that doesn't mean you have to settle for a horrible entry-level job. Every job field offers several career directions, each with its own respective growth and potential.

For example, your field may be human resources. One of WalletHub's top 9 entry-level jobs is a Training Specialist. This job provides training and education in a certain area and usually functions as part of an HR department. What's more, it has a good starting salary of $48,411, a high immediate opportunity rank of 2 (which means this job is in demand by employers), and good job growth potential.

Other high immediate opportunity entry-level jobs include software engineer (4), safety representative (1), architect (7), Systems engineers who build and design complex systems, including spacecraft and bridge (3), and engineer (5). Engineer positions also have high beginning salaries.

To read the complete list, visit

Where to find the jobs

College graduates have spent much time and money on their education. Searching for the right entry-level job will require some work, but the opportunities are there. Hard work and perseverance will land you, not just a job, but the beginning of a new career.

To start your search for the newest available entry-level job listings, click HERE.

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