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Job Outlook for Recent College Graduates

US News & World Report -  Money logo US News & World Report - Money 5/24/2021 Robin Madell
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Last year, the class of 2020 was dubbed the "class of COVID-19," and recent grads looking for jobs after college had to conduct their job search in what's been called the "worst job market since the Great Depression." Today, while the class of 2021 still will graduate into what’s technically considered a recession, the U.S. economy is in a much better place.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation added more than 900,000 jobs in March 2021. Strong growth is still projected in the coming months, putting newly minted college grads in a favorable position to get hired. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that college hiring is projected to rise 7.2% for the class of 2021 compared to the class of 2020, with nearly 30% of companies surveyed predicting that they will bring aboard recent grads.

That said, it's still going to be important to look for jobs in fields that are likely in need of new workers. According to the BLS, private service-providing fields including health care, social assistance, leisure and hospitality, finance, and government all added more jobs this spring. These are great industries for today’s college grads to target their search for jobs after college.

If you’re wondering what to do after college, the following 10 jobs are projected to be great ones to target in the current economic climate. Data below comes from the BLS.

  • Registered nurse.
  • Medical and health services manager.
  • Statistician.
  • Information security analyst.
  • Actuary.
  • Health educators and community health workers.
  • Social and human service assistants.
  • Market research analysts.
  • Meeting, convention and event .
  • Fundraisers.

Registered Nurse

Median Salary: $75,300

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Nursing has long been considered a recession-proof occupation. At the entry level, a bachelor's degree in nursing will allow you to become a registered nurse, as will an associate degree in nursing or even "a diploma from an approved nursing program," according to the BLS. You must be licensed to work as an RN.

Learn more about registered nurses.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Median Salary: $104,280

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Health care administration will be another area of major growth over the next decade. The BLS projects that the entry-level role of medical and health services manager will balloon 32% through 2029, and the job offers a way for new grads to potentially make six figures right out of the gate. The role involves planning, directing and coordinating business activities of health care organizations. Many types of health care facilities – such as hospitals, group medical practices and nursing homes – hire medical and health services managers.

Learn more about medical and health services managers.

Statistician

Median Salary: $92,270

Typical entry-level education: Master's degree

Statisticians – along with mathematicians – are also on the BLS list of fastest-growing jobs. This big-data job focuses on data analysis and applying statistical and mathematical techniques for industry problem-solving. Key industries that hire statisticians include science companies, engineering research firms and the federal government.

Learn more about statisticians.

Information Security Analyst

Median Salary: $103,590

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Cybersecurity roles are only increasing in importance, as new innovations in technology need to be secured. An information security analyst helps plan and execute security measures to ensure that corporate networks and systems aren't compromised.

Learn more about information security analysts.

Actuary

Median Salary: $111,030

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Jobs that process and analyze big data will be in particular demand. An actuary is an occupation in mathematical science that is responsible for using statistics and financial theory to determine the cost of risk – for example, in an insurance company. The BLS projects rapid growth rate of about 18% for this field, much faster than average for all occupations.

Learn more about actuaries.

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Median Salary: $48,140

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Health educators and community health workers have flexibility in that many industries are looking to hire them, such as government, hospitals, nonprofits, private businesses, colleges and doctors’ offices. The two roles are similar but do have a slight distinction in that health educators focus on helping people learn about wellness-promoting behaviors, while community health workers focus on members of specific populations or communities, with an emphasis on data collection and discussing health concerns. The BLS projects that health educators and community health worker roles will increase 13% through 2029, much faster than average.

Learn more about health educators and community health workers.

Social Workers

Median Salary: $51,760

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Social assistance is one area in which the economy is currently adding jobs, and social worker roles – which focus on helping people problem-solve in daily living – are projected to grow at 13%, according to the BLS. Many industries hire social workers, including private practices, schools, mental health clinics, hospitals and human service agencies.

Learn more about clinical social workers and child and family social workers.

Market Research Analysts

Median Salary: $65,810

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Most industries rely on accurate market research to sell their products and services, making an entry-level market research analyst position an excellent choice for a recent grad looking for jobs after college, since hires take place in many settings throughout the economy. While you won’t need work experience in a related occupation according to the BLS, having strong math and analytical skills is essential to employers hiring for this role. Market research analysts have a much more favorable job outlook than average, with a projected 18% growth rate through 2029.

Learn more about market research analysts.

Meeting, Convention and Event Planners

Median Salary: $51,560

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Leisure and hospitality are high-growth areas this year, so event planners are in demand. Employers hire bachelor’s-level candidates, and while experience related to planning events can help you land a job, additional job experience is not necessary to apply to many positions. The role involves arranging various aspects of professional events and conferences, and is growing faster than average at 8%.

Learn more about meeting, convention and event planners.

Fundraisers

Median Salary: $59,610

Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

With more hiring taking place in finance and government, it’s no surprise that fundraising positions have an impressive job outlook, with a growth rate of 14%, far above the average, according to the BLS. Fundraisers raise money for organizations by organizing events and campaigns. If you’re graduating with a bachelor’s degree and have strong communication skills, fundraising could be a great fit for you. Certain areas of study – including business, journalism and public relations – will make you a particularly attractive candidate to employers, which can be found in diverse industries including education, social services and politics

Learn more about fundraisers.

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