With college graduations coming to an end and summer kicking off, it’s time for new grads to put their education to use and enter the workforce.
Granted, even with a degree, finding employment in your desired field is easier said than done.
But, overall, 2019 is a great time to be entering the job market.
“Unemployment is at a 50-year low and the share of graduates finding their first job within the year after graduation has been steadily increasing since 2012,” according to LinkedIn.
And luckily for 2019’s grads, employment perspectives this year are much better than they were for those who wore their cap and gown in 2018.
Throughout the United States, employers plan to hire nearly 17 percent more new graduates from the class of 2019 than they did from the class of 2018, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Here are some key job data that will give new grads hope for their job prospects along with tips on effective ways to market yourself so you land yourself a job.
Most popular jobs for new grads
By analyzing user data, LinkedIn was able to pinpoint which jobs are the most popular among new grads.
Below is LinkedIn’s list of the 10 jobs that the most 2018 grads entered into, including details about salaries and openings. The jury is still out on which jobs 2019’s grads will fill, but all signs suggest they will likely follow those who earned their degree last year.
1. Software Engineer
Number of open U.S. jobs: 40,000+
Average entry-level salary: $83,000
2. Registered Nurse
Number of open U.S. jobs: 9,000+
Average entry-level salary: $62,400
Number of open U.S. jobs: 7,000+
Average entry-level salary: $31,000
Number of open U.S. jobs: 8,000+
Average entry-level salary: $40,000
Number of open U.S. jobs: 2,000+
Average entry-level salary: $48,000
6. Project Manager
Number of open U.S. jobs: 22,000+
Average entry-level salary: $57,000
7. Administrative Assistant
Number of open U.S. jobs: 17,000+
Average entry-level salary: $35,400
8. Account Executive
Number of open U.S. jobs: 10,000+
Average entry-level salary: $55,000
9. Financial Analyst
Number of open U.S. jobs: 4,000+
Average entry-level salary: $59,300
10. Account Manager
Number of open U.S. jobs: 8,000+
Average entry-level salary: $52,900
The industries attracting the most new grads
Although individual roles and skill requirements vary within each industry, according to LinkedIn, these are the top 10 industries hiring new grads:
- Hospital & Health Care
- Financial Services
- Higher Education
- Information Technology & Services
- Marketing & Advertising
- Computer Software
- Education Management
The companies hiring the most new grads
Tech and consulting firms top the list for hiring the most new graduates, according to LinkedIn. And in the digital age, this is only fitting.
Here are the U.S. companies who hire the most new grads on LinkedIn:
- Lockheed Martin
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Goldman Sachs
How to earn a job after college
Although 2019’s grads are experiencing the best job market for new college grads since 2007, finding a job after college still isn’t easy. More Americans have bachelor’s degrees than ever before, so new grads can face stiff competition.
For many new grads, it can be difficult to sit unemployed while watching college friends earn promising positions. But oftentimes, unemployed new grads are just a step — or a lucky break — away from finding their first job after college.
In today’s market, job-seekers must stand out from the crowd. So, when applying for jobs, it is important for new grads to show potential employers their unique values.
Here are some effective ways to do just that:
List valuable experience on your resume
Today, even “entry-level” job postings call for applicants with years of experience, but new graduates often fail to recognize how much experience they may already have.
“Many times, students forget that their volunteer work and their leadership in college is experience. They default to this idea that you can only put up there what you got paid for, which is not true,” said Marianna Savoca, Assistant Vice President for Career Development and Experiential Education at Stony Brook University.
Experience can come in many shapes and sizes — and it doesn’t even need to be something “professional.”
“Experience could be something you did with your church youth group on the weekends,” Savoca said. “It could be your volunteer work through a club or organization. It could be a leadership role that you held in the Boy Scouts.”
“What employers are looking for from entry-level college graduates is focus and relevant experience, regardless of where it happens or in what way it was compensated,” Savoca added.
For multiple reasons, new grads who are having trouble finding a job after college should seek out internships.
Firstly, internships can lead to job offers. Many companies will treat internships as trial runs to see if a particular candidate is capable, willing and interested enough to fill a full-time position. Employers won’t always make it overtly clear, but if an intern proves to be a good fit, he or she may leave the internship with a full-time offer.
Secondly, internships can bolster a new grad’s resume and make them stick out as capable candidates to a wide range of employers. In fact, out of those in the class of 2019 that applied for jobs, 57.5 percent who were offered a job had at least one internship, according to NACE.
Lastly, internships teach new grads and students professionalism and skills that are valued across all types of workplaces.
For a guide on how to get an internship, click here.
Build a professional network
Building a professional network is pivotal to landing a job after college. In fact, more than 70 percent of people earn jobs through networking.
So, new grads should make sure they keep in contact with the students, professors and professionals they met in college. And they should continue to make connections after school by attending speeches and networking events, among other things. Additionally, reaching out to family members and friends — even if they are distant — can be immensely helpful.
Quite possibly the best way for new grads to professionally connect with all of the people in their lives is by creating a LinkedIn profile (explained below).
Create an effective and professional LinkedIn profile
Today’s competitive job market forces individuals to create their own personal brand. And like any successful brand, individuals must show that they have value, that they are unique, and that they are trustworthy.
And for job-seekers, one of the best ways to demonstrate professional value is through LinkedIn.
“The more complete and professional your LinkedIn profile is, the more seriously you will be taken as a candidate ready for a professional position in any industry,” Savoca said. “Hiring managers will be looking for you there, so make sure your photo is a clear headshot of you smiling, and that your tag line and summary entice the reader to learn more about you.”
And since many employers and hiring managers will be looking through LinkedIn on their mobile devices, it’s very important to have a good personal tagline and summary, Savoca said.
Altogether, the summary and tagline should be filled with language employers would appreciate, but that varies by industry, Savoca explained.
“If they are looking for a software development job, their summary should indicate the software packages that they know. If they are looking for work in finance, and they have some licensing already — or they have taken courses in certain aspects of finance — that needs to go right up in the summary.”
For more tips on how new grads and students can increase their marketability, click here.
Job search tools
One benefit of living in the digital age is that there are many valuable online tools that can help grads find their perfect job.
This article has made it clear that LinkedIn is a proven and valuable job search tool, but it isn’t the only one. Others include Indeed, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired and more. Each serves the same primary goal of helping people earn jobs, but they all have unique features and target different audiences.
On Indeed, users can post or build a resume, search for jobs by job titles, salary or company names, and apply for jobs on the site. Indeed caters to just about every jobseeker, from those who are still in high school to those with advanced degrees.
CareerBuilder is similar to Indeed in the sense that individuals can use the site to upload resumes and search for jobs. But, employers pay expensive monthly fees to post on CareerBuilder, so many of them are looking for skilled employees with years of experience. However, this isn’t to say that new graduates should be hesitant to use the site. Remember: new grads often fail to recognize how much experience they may already have!
SimplyHired is an aggregator, which means it draws job listings posted on more than a hundred different job boards. The same company that owns Indeed owns SimplyHired, so every job posted on Indeed will also be on SimplyHired. However, SimplyHired sets itself apart by providing unique features, such as the local job finder, salary estimator and its own blog.
Remember, your degree expands your opportunities
It’s easy for new graduates to assume that they can only find a job within the field they majored in. But this is far from the truth. The broad problem-solving and communicative skills students pick up on their way through college can apply to all sorts of jobs.
Additionally, throughout college — and throughout life — people’s interests change. It’s important to remember that a college degree is meant to expand your employment opportunities, not limit them. It’s best to pursue your passions and interests.
“There is often not a straight line through a career path the way that there is in childhood,” said Blakey Vermeule, a professor of English at Stanford University.
“When you’re a kid or a young person you think ‘Oh, there is a path and I’ve got to get on it’,” she explained. “Actually, by the time you reach middle age, you realize there isn’t really a path. There are many types of branching and forking paths through employment.”
News & Content Manager
Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.