Generating some cash towards your student loan debt payments could mean adopting a new savings plan or finding new and creative ways to garner extra money in your pocket. Nothing compares, however, to a steady paycheck to bolster your finances.
For the newly minted grad looking to jumpstart their career prospects, getting hired can be difficult since those between the ages of 20 to 24 have an unemployment rate that tops 8 percent. So can landing the best paying jobs with ample room for advancement — they often depend on the field in which you earn your degree.
Here are six of the fastest growing, best paying jobs to earn you the most money at the entry level, straight out of college.
6 best paying jobs for college graduates
1. Investment banker
Average starting salary: $73,000
Arguably the highest paid job one can obtain with a bachelor’s degree (with an average median salary into the low six figures), becoming an investment banker doesn’t mean you’ll simply be crunching numbers all day. No, you’ll need to channel your inner Warren Buffett to stand among the brightest and best.
Becoming an investment banker requires a good eye for economics, math, or business, so you should have a degree in at least one of those three fields. Whether you’re Wall Street-bound or looking for a smaller-scale gig, expect a high pressure working environment and long hours protecting your clients’ funds and predicting the best investments for them.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, investment banking will have grown 10 percent between 2014 and 2024.
2. Software developer
Average starting salary: $54,000
Software developers wear many hats and can sometimes carry different titles. A new bachelor’s degree holder in a field like computer or information science, math, or engineering offers enough diversity that you could be designing video games, writing complex computer coding like C++, or developing software.
An entry-level software developer may hold the title of software engineer, and depending on the company or firm you work for, you may hold a more integral role managing the organization’s entire IT structure or support system.
Engineers are often recruited by everyone from larger companies to smaller startups. Though one drawback is a constant learning curve to stay abreast of new technologies and skills as they emerge, it’s one profession that’s future-proof against becoming obsolete. If Apple or Microsoft come calling, you can climb into a six-figure salary.
Average starting salary: $65,000
What actually is an actuary? Using a combo of math, statistics, and financial theories, actuaries assess and analyze the financial consequences and outcomes associated with risk-taking business moves.
Companies — mostly insurance firms — employ actuaries when determining the rates they assess to customers. A solid mathematical education and proficiency mean you could find yourself branching out to work for the government, banks, other financial institutions, or health care organizations and hospitals.
The BLS predicts a whopping 18-percent job growth in the actuarial field by 2024.
4. Network systems administrator
Average starting salary: $62,000
When your company’s computer systems crash, who do you call? If you’re thinking of a career in software engineering or development, a computer science degree can also qualify you to become a network systems administrator, the person who gets the system back up and running.
The network admin doesn’t just fix bugs or reconnect faulty Wi-Fi connections. Your role is much more critical than that. You’ll need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to predicting and safeguarding your network against hackers, viruses, and security issues that could compromise your organization financially and professionally.
There’s a lot of responsibility attached to being in charge of an entire network (or several), such as developing proprietary firewalls and other software, as well as overseeing phone connections — thus, your starting-to-median income will show for it.
Newbie network admins can pull an initial salary in the low $60,000s as a starting engineer, but a fully fledged admin with the right technical acumen may earn closer to $100,000.
Average starting salary: $53,000
An engineering degree can open up so many doors in the field that it’s a smart and financially sound career move for anyone looking to be well-compensated immediately following graduation.
Engineering students have a wide variety of concentrations to choose from: Nuclear or electrical engineers earn a median salary that tops $90,000, where you’ll have a leading role in developing processes, fixing issues, and finding solutions.
Like software development, engineering is a diverse, wide profession. Agricultural engineers, civil engineers, chemical engineers, and petroleum, aerospace, and environmental engineers are just a small sample of career choices to make.
6. Internet marketing
Average starting salary: $41,000
In a nutshell, marketing is the practice of advertising and finding opportunities to sell a product, a service, or something else of value to someone else. Internet marketing is the use of the web to broaden a company’s marketing efforts and customer base to increase its revenue and reach.
But internet marketing is more than just being a social media coordinator. A savvy marketer will need to be a branding whiz who knows instinctively how to leverage email, search engine optimization, blogs, podcasts, videos, and other outlets to maximize your company’s presence.
To start as a marketing specialist, a bachelor’s degree in marketing won’t earn much at first — only the low $40,000s — but the career and income growth can expand exponentially. (Marketing managers can take home $120,000+ annually.)
It’s one of the most secured and open-ended professions unlikely to die out, either — the internet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Research the best paying jobs
The best jobs for recent college grads don’t have to be elusive when you choose what you study wisely.
Parents and kids should talk about the costs of college to determine how much tuition may cost for that engineering or computer science degree at your school of choice. After that, research how much the job will pay upon graduation and beyond to see your earning potential.
By taking these financials into account, you’ll know what college will cost, how much to borrow in loans, and what the curriculum entails — but most importantly, what your future earnings will be to keep you ahead of your loans and out of debt.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 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% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 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.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|