It's not an easy time to be job hunting, considering that more than 44 million workers have filed for unemployment since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. That's a lot of people looking for new and ideally lucrative job opportunities.
While experts expect increased competition will lower the average starting salaries, there are still a number of entry-level jobs, mostly in tech, that pay as much as $72,000 per year or more. Careers site Glassdoor compiled the highest-paying entry-level jobs, based on salary reports from employees age 26 or younger with a college degree. Most require a bachelor's degree in a related field.
Here are the top 10 highest-paying entry-level jobs, according to Glassdoor:
Front end engineers are web developers who design and build websites. They work with clients to learn what kind of website they need, write code for those websites, work with graphic designers to build the website's aesthetic, and later monitor the site's traffic.
Median starting salary: $72,659 per year
Systems engineers manage systems in fields ranging from tech to automobiles to the stock market. While other engineers may have a focused discipline — like electrical engineers who work with circuits or software engineers who develop software — systems engineers analyze multiple interacting components to build more efficient systems overall.
Median starting salary: $72,761 per year
Video by Courtney Stith
Electrical engineers design and develop electrical equipment used in anything from automobiles to communication systems to medical systems. They analyze their customers' needs and then build products that address them, test the equipment, and continue to monitor it thereafter.
Median starting salary: $73,801 per year
User experience (UX) designers help to build the experience a user has with a given product, like a website or an app. They conduct research to see what competitors in the field are doing, conceive of the users' experience when they're interfacing with the product, and create prototypes to test efficacy.
Median starting salary: $75,704 per year
Product managers help lead a product from its creation to its use by consumers. They work in industries ranging from travel to information technology. The day-to-day operations of a product manager vary, but tasks may include conducting customer interviews, planning out the various steps of building the product, figuring out a revenue model, and delegating tasks to a team.
Median starting salary: $81,891 per year
Data engineers build and maintain systems that help deliver, store, and process data for businesses that ultimately helps them improve their products or operations. Data engineers must know coding language like Python or Java, and be familiar with database systems like SQL (Structured Query Language).
Median starting salary: $85,933 per year
Investment banking analysts support investment bankers who advise clients about transactions like mergers and acquisitions. Analysts build financial models, find financial alternatives, perform administrative tasks for bankers, and create material for the bankers' clients.
Median starting salary: $86,076 per year
Video by Courtney Stith
Hardware engineers design, build, and test electronic equipment like computer processors, routers, and circuit boards. They analyze the results of their work and improve their hardware accordingly.
Median starting salary: $87,478 per year
Software engineers develop software, design computer programs and smartphone applications, monitor their systems' functionality, and make any updates necessary to ensure their tech runs smoothly.
Median starting salary: $94,111 per year
Data scientists collect, analyze, and interpret data from platforms ranging from social media to email. They then offer their organizations ideas for how to implement change that could improve performance and efficiency. They may also build tools to collect data and see results more quickly.
Median starting salary: $100,793 per year
You can apply for these jobs on sites like Monster, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn. Given the ongoing risk of contracting the coronavirus, it's important to ask prospective employers if these jobs can be done remotely — and if they can't, to ask what the company is doing to ensure workforce safety.
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