You’ve finished your final exams, walked across the stage, and are holding that shiny diploma for which you’ve worked so hard. Now what? I mean, after the Instagram and Snap stories.
Taking those first steps into the job market can be scary — but it can also be exciting. If you’re one of the few who know what you want to do when you started college and have earned a degree in that field, congratulations! If not, don’t worry. As few as 27 percent of college graduates work in their field of study after graduation, so if you’re still deciding on a direction or wondering “What’s next?,” you’re not alone.
And, while we hear a lot about STEM and the world’s growing need for graduates knowledgeable in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, one of the most promising career fields is focused on helping people. Almost everyone needs help planning for retirement savings, debt repayments and tax planning and specialized financial knowledge isn’t a pre-requisite.
Whatever your situation, don’t limit yourself to just the jobs you already know about. A helpful strategy is to identify fast-growing jobs in expanding fields with good pay and long-term growth prospects that can offer financial stability and promise for years to come. Here are a few promising careers you may not have heard about that are worth investigating:
1. Solar Photovoltaic Installer
So maybe it’s not easy to say, but as rooftop solar arrays have become increasingly affordable and effective, their popularity has grown among consumers with a wide range of backgrounds and in a wide number of economic brackets. Solar has been volatile over the past decade, but it looks to have longevity, in addition to its current rapid growth. A college degree isn’t needed for this field, but having one won’t exclude you — as long as you’re not afraid of heights and enjoy working outdoors Perhaps the best part? Most solar energy companies provide robust training for employees.
- Median wage: $39,490 a year
- Job growth: 105% a year
- Entry-level education requirement: high school diploma
2. Genetic Counselor
Ever done a 23andMe test with your family to find your “hometown” vacation destination? Genetic testing to assess risk and match family members has been around in commercial form for less than 20 years, but the technology has advanced to make the tests more reliable and available than ever. The ease of use is spurring widespread adoption, allowing people to find long-lost family members and find out more about what conditions they might be susceptible to long before symptoms appear. For those with a master’s degree in genetics, genetic counseling is a great new career choice. Counselors can help interpret genetic information, specifically as it relates to inherited diseases and conditions, and be advocates for people at risk. If you’re interested in this career path, consider applying to graduate schools after obtaining your bachelor’s.
- Median wage: $77,480 a year
- Job growth: 29% a year
- Entry-level education requirement: master’s degree in genetics
3. Information Security Analyst
Looking for a way to make that video gaming pay off? With technology touching every part of life, personal information is more at risk than ever. And with headlines featuring constant reports of data breaches, that’s a concern that has long passed the line between theory and reality. In order to stop the bad actors from finding and exploiting weaknesses in cybersecurity, good people are needed to find—and fix—them first. That’s where information security analysts come in. While many information security analysts have bachelor’s degrees in computer science or engineering, others have degrees in more broad topics, such as business administration, information science or other topics.
- Median wage: $95,150 a year
- Job growth: 28% a year
- Entry-level education requirement: bachelor’s degree
4. Financial Advisor
No, it’s not Wolf of Wall Street. Almost a quarter of Americans have no retirement savings, and most of those who have saved are underfunded, experts warn, making financial planning more important than ever. Financial advisors often enjoy flexible hours, and can work in a large firm or for themselves, and are compensated well. They can help both clients and their family and friends find financial stability at their current stage of life and set them up to succeed financially for years to come. No day is the same, which keeps the job interesting – people’s personal situations, market fluctuations, changes in tariffs and tax policy, and geopolitical climate all affect financial planning. The field is growing fast, and there is immediate demand for advisors of all backgrounds to work with a diverse client base.
- Median wage: $90,640 a year
- Job growth: 15% a year
- Entry-level education requirement: bachelor’s degree
There are many other jobs that aren’t obvious during the career-choosing process, but that are rewarding.
When you’re ready to start applying and interviewing, take a minute to update your LinkedIn profile and make sure your other social media accounts shine a positive light on you. If you’re still using your school email address, create a professional email address. Make sure your voicemail is set up and update your resume with relevant experience, including skills you may have gained in college or in other jobs or internships that carry over across industry lines.
If you’re still not sure what a job or industry is like — or if it’s right for you — try asking someone working in it. Network to find people who are in or connected to the fields you’re curious about, or contact them over social media. Don’t feel shy about asking someone to answer questions over email, phone, Skype or even a quick meeting for coffee. Very few people will say “no” to taking 15 minutes or a half hour to help someone interested in learning more about what they do. Even if you decide that the field isn’t what you’re looking for, you can make a new contact that will help you find your way to a role that works for you.
This article was written by Kate Healy and originally appeared on Fairygodboss.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.74% – 9.51%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 6.20%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.05% – 5.25%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.24% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.86% – 7.98%||Undergrad |
|1.74% – 7.99%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.24% – 9.23%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2022.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 5/17/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 2.05% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Important Disclosures for Navient.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 2.24% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
6 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.
7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%-9.23% (2.24%-9.23% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29%-9.73% (4.29%-9.73% APR).
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 5.37%- 8.81% (5.37% – 8.81% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.87% – 9.31% (5.87% – 9.31% APR).
Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24% – 8.75% (2.24% – 8.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 9.25% (4.29% – 9.25% APR).
Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%- 8.40% (2.24%- 8.40% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 8.90% (4.29% – 8.90% APR).
Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24% – 8.75% (2.24% – 8.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 9.25% (4.29% – 9.25% APR).