4 Best Jobs For Recent College Graduates (And 20+ Part Time Jobs)

After graduation you’re bound to feel a little bit of confusion. If you are looking for the best jobs for a recent college graduate, be sure to read this whole guide.

Let’s start with the confusion you’ll feel. Being in school, nearly your entire life means you know one thing: school. And attending a four-year university doesn’t exactly help, either. You may have majored in something like communications or business but that leaves you left wondering what exactly you should be doing. Here’s the trick, find what you’re good at.

It sounds simple, but knowing what you’re good at, that others aren’t necessarily good at, will help you get a job. And it will also help you pick what type of job you should get. For example, let's say you excelled at math. Maybe working in finance is the right job for you, even if you have a business major.

Your Skill & Passion Is Key To Success

What hiring managers and companies are truly looking for is someone who is willing to dig deep and work hard. And use the talents that they have for the benefit of the company. That’s really what hiring managers want to see. And when you leave university, you won’t have any prior experience. But you can show off your talents in other ways.

Let’s take the example of wanting to be a software engineer. As a software engineer, you have the benefit of being able to work on projects, build tools and improve open-source code all on your own. You don’t need to be employed to be able to do that. If that’s your true skill and passion, you can build something creative and use that to your advantage while presenting to hiring managers.

This type of extracurricular thinking is exactly what you’ll need to stand out, in any job you go and apply for. But when you are thinking about what type of job, try to think about what you are great at and how that might help make your argument for why you should get hired.

What Departments Are Always Hiring

For the most part, there’s a few departments in a wide variety of industries that are always hiring. That is marketing, sales and customer support (or retention).

These three departments are growing in almost all businesses across America. As we begin to be a more digitalized nation, help desks become more important. And similarly, marketing departments are becoming more important due to the fact that more American’s need awareness about products or services.

Even without prior knowledge of marketing, sales or customer support, you can get a job in these departments. Entry level positions quickly lead to mid-level positions that have compensation in the $80k-$120k range depending on the geography and business category you’re working within.

If you are jumping into sales, it’s important that you consider what type of sales you are jumping into. Retail sales, for example, isn’t the most lucrative type of sales. But software sales, as another example, is going to be. This is primarily because you are selling software on an enterprise level (or to another business) and that means you have greater compensation packages.

4 Best Jobs For Recent College Graduates

Here are some jobs that are perfect for you if you are a recent college graduate. Know that while some of these are entry-level positions, they all lead to an opportunity to gain bountiful experience which will lead to higher degrees of compensation and salary.

Here are some jobs within the sales, marketing, and customer support departments which are going to compensate slightly higher than most entry-level positions.

Enterprise Sales Associate

This sales position is one that is going to compensate you slightly higher due to the fact that you may be selling to larger size businesses. You’ll be presenting either software solutions or professional service solutions to large organizations. You can expect anywhere from $70k-$90k as a starting salary, plus potential sales commissions.

Marketing Associate

Sometimes known as a marketing coordinator as well. Your primary role will be to work with the marketing department on their initiatives and campaigns. This could mean managing their paid search campaigns or maybe their client services (if they are a digital marketing agency). In general, most marketing associate positions will be compensated in the $65k-$85k range as starting salary, with significant upward mobility very quickly.

Customer Success

While this role resides within the customer support realm, customer success is a role that ensures that high paying clients are receiving proper care. Customer success as a role is exactly how the title sounds. For example, if we’re working at a digital marketing agency or a digital creative agency, customer success is going to be a vital role. It ensures retention of the customer as well as overall connectivity between customer and agency. Salary ranges vary but you could expect $70k-$90k in salary if you can show great communication skills.

Software Engineer

Being a software engineer is a highly sought after job function. But as more and more engineers enter the job market, the talent requirements for software engineers have increased. If you don’t have at least a few years experience, you might only be able to expect an $80k salary range, with upward mobility to $100k in salary after showing your ability to execute. This will vary on geography, style of software organization and their size.

20+ Best Part-Time Jobs For Recent College Graduates

If you are waiting to really get into your career and are looking for work immediately after college, there’s plenty of positions that are a perfect fit for you. What is recommended is that you take your time in finding the right position after college and spend time working part-time until you find the right fit for you. That may mean taking a few additional internships before you land your first full-time salary position. Here are some jobs you can pick up right now while you develop your career plan:

While these positions aren’t exactly the most lucrative, nor do they fit with your potential major, it is important to immediately start working after you graduate. You don’t want to find yourself taking the summer off, trying to find your path and ultimately feeling even more confused. Get to work and let that be your motivation and inspiration for finding your true passion and role inside a business.

Why Are Only Some Jobs Great For Recent Graduates

Most recent college graduates aren’t going to have a significant amount of experience. And prior work experience is absolutely becoming the most important part of the resume. In fact, education is often placed towards the bottom of the resume when optimized by resume writing professionals.

Some jobs don’t require a significant amount of experience because there is natural training apart of the process. For example, the help desk is one where a company will provide formal training for you. Even if you had prior work experience, you would go through this training. Because of that, companies are often okay with overlooking the fact that you might not have experience because they’ll provide your training.

Most positions that were mentioned in this article are ones that provide some type of training of guidance along with them. Even in the marketing departments, you’ll receive a healthy amount of collaboration that you wouldn’t be expected to receive if you applied for a mid-level position.

Remember that if you focus on what you know you do well, you’ll be able to create a relationship with that and the job you want to apply for. Employers will notice that and give you the benefit of the doubt, even without experience. The key is passion, motivation and exuding excellence.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


Help us by spreading the word