As you’re planning your post-college life, you may wonder what the best entry-level jobs for college graduates are. Entry-level typically refers to a professional job that requires no previous experience in that field. They’re usually for recent college graduates, in that a relevant degree is all you need.
However, many entry-level job postings ask for zero to one, zero to three, or even zero to five years of related experience in addition to a college degree!
What career options are there for people who have a degree but are just getting started? Plenty! The best jobs for recent college grads are in all kinds of sectors and with different types of companies.
How Can I Get an Entry-Level Job?
So, how can you land one of these entry-level jobs for college graduates? By getting some experience, of course!
While having a paid job in your target field is one way to go, not every student can work while they’re in school. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to obtain relevant experience that won’t interfere with your studies — and can help you land one of the best jobs for college students.
The most common way to gain related work experience is through an internship. You can do these over the summer and work for a company that does what you want to do. Sometimes, you can intern for the very company you want to work for.
2. Job Simulations
A virtual job simulation (like the ones we offer at Forage) is another great way to gain practical skills on the job. Though it’s not the same as a job or internship, completing one or several job simulations demonstrates that you’re interested in the job, willing to master the necessary skills, and can hit the ground running when you’re hired.
3. Transferable Skills
One often overlooked way to demonstrate you’ve got the right skills and experience for the job is transferable skills. These are the skills you master in one job that you can use in any job. For example, you’ll collaborate and communicate with coworkers no matter the role, so highlight these on your resume to demonstrate you’re a team player.
Finally, obtaining a relevant certification demonstrates that you’re willing to learn and master new skills. Plus, you’ve already learned the basics, so an employer can feel confident that you have some idea of how to do the job.
>>RELATED: Here’s how to add your certificate to your LinkedIn profile.
The 20 Best Entry-Level Jobs for College Graduates
While searching for entry-level jobs, it’s important to note that not all titles are created equal. Some may include the word “assistant,” while others may use “junior,” “grade 1,” “coordinator,” or a different designation.
Here are 20 of the best jobs for college students and graduates that also have a free job simulation on Forage to help you master the skills you need to get the job done. Each job title includes salary range estimates from Glassdoor for someone with zero to one year of experience.
1. Lab Technician
Salary range: $35,000 – $49,000
A laboratory technician is responsible for a lot of the hands-on testing that happens in a lab. They don’t design the research, experiments, or tests, but they are responsible for ensuring the test results are valid. Lab techs do this by calibrating and maintaining the equipment, following the proper procedures and protocols, recording the data, and reporting any problems they encounter during testing.
Discover what it's like to work in a lab in this free course from ThermoFisher Scientific. You'll learn how mass spectrometry is used to screen and process samples.
Avg. Time: 1 hour
Skills you’ll build: Understanding mass spectrometry, basic principles of mass spectrometry, stages of mass spectrometry
2. Graphic Designer
Salary range: $41,000 – $61,000
Graphic designers communicate ideas and sell products using visual elements. That includes things like logos, illustrations, infographics, or other images. Though much of a graphic designer’s work is created digitally these days, some graphic designers still design by hand.
3. Human Resources
Salary range: $48,000 – $78,000
The human resources department is responsible for all things employee-related. So, human resources professionals may recruit, hire, and onboard staff, but they also figure out fringe benefits, design and update policies, and maintain employee records. Human resources professionals also need to stay aware of changes to federal and state laws that may impact their policies and decisions.
Explore Human Resources
Try your hand at human resources in this free course from GE Aerospace. You'll learn how to provide effective performance feedback, create a process map, and use data to back up your decisions.
Avg. Time: 3-4 hours
Skills you’ll build: Giving feedback, basics of Lean, process mapping, using continuous improvement tools, pay metrics and positioning
4. Research Assistant
Salary range: $36,000 – $57,000
As the name implies, a research assistant assists the lead researcher with their project. You may find work in an academic setting helping a professor with their research projects. Or you could work in the private sector, like at a pharmaceutical company that’s developing new drugs.
5. Marketing Coordinator
Salary range: $44,000 – $61,000
Marketing coordinators usually don’t develop the marketing plan, but they do execute and track how well it performs. As a marketing coordinator, you may suggest ways to improve the plan’s performance based on the data you gather. Marketing coordinators also collect and analyze information about their target market, competitors, or broader market trends.
Hone your marketing skills in this free course from lululemon. You'll develop an integrated marketing plan, locate brand ambassadors, and use data to analyze your campagin.
Avg. Time: 6-7 Hours
Skills you’ll build: Creative thinking, project management, market research, data analysis, marketing principles
6. Public Relations Assistant
Salary range: $40,000 – $56,000
Public relations assistants handle a broad range of public relations tasks. They are responsible for managing the public relations calendar, responding to requests for comments, and writing some press releases. PR assistants also manage relationships with existing media contacts and develop new ones.
>>RELATED: PR assistant is one potential job for graduates with communications degrees. Learn more about top jobs for communications majors.
Salary range: $50,000 – $78,000
Most accountants start their careers at accounting firms, though some may work for companies that maintain an accounting staff. Accountants have a broad range of duties, but at the entry-level you may audit financial records, help prepare tax returns or other complex financial documents, or track financial indicators (like a profit and loss statement or reconciling payments).
Practical Experience in Accounting
Develop practical accounting skills in this free course from ACCA. Handle receivables for four clients by tracking outstanding bills, uncovering inconsistencies in the data, and tracking physical goods.
Avg. Time: 4-5 hours
Skills you’ll build: Data mining, data analysis, client communication, Excel, data presentation
8. Financial Analyst
Salary range: $60,000 – $85,000
Financial analysts collect and analyze data to create forecasts and predictions for the business. They do this by examining historical data or conducting a technical stock analysis. The financial analyst then builds a model to predict future financial performance and uses these predictions to help the company make strategic decisions.
Experience what it's like to work as a financial analyst in this free course from New York Jobs CEO Council. You'll conduct a financial analysis of a big tech company then present your findings to the executive team.
Avg. Time: 2-3 hours
Skills you’ll build: Financial analysis, Excel, problem solving, critical thinking
9. Sales Representative
Salary range: $58,000 – $104,000
A sales representative works directly with customers interested in purchasing a company’s product or service. Even though sales reps work with customers who have expressed an interest in making a purchase, they are still a “potential” customer. It’s up to the sales representative to close the deal. They often achieve this goal by educating the customer on the advantages of the purchase or by offering a deal that makes the purchase worth it.
Salary range: $46,000 – $77,000
An auditor is similar to an accountant in that they examine and work with the financial records of a company. However, instead of using the analysis to forecast outcomes, auditors use it to identify areas of financial risk or fraud. They review a company’s financial systems and practices, then make recommendations to improve its process to secure its financial data.
Experience what it's like to work as an auditor in this free course from PwC. You'll learn how to draft questions, test how effective existing protocols are, and create a process flow and risk control matrix.
Avg. Time: 3-4 hours
Skills you’ll build: Compliance analysis, control documentation, issue identification, policy interpretation
11. Events Coordinator
Salary range: $40,000 – $59,000
Event coordinators plan special events, including everything from weddings to conferences to fundraising galas. But they’re so much more than party planners. Event coordinators have to pull together an event that runs smoothly. They do this by selecting the appropriate venue, coordinating the details with multiple vendors, and staying within the budget.
Try your hand at event planning in this free course from Moreton Bay Regional Council. Practice communicating with attendees, tracking responses, and develop a run sheet.
Avg. Time: 2-3 hours
Skills you’ll build: Communication, administrative, organization, attention to detail, critical thinking
12. IT Engineer
Salary range: $56,000 – $96,000
Information technology (IT) engineers are responsible for the health and maintenance of an organization’s computer systems. They identify and troubleshoot problems, configure and test systems, identify areas that need improvement, and make suggestions for updating or eliminating software and hardware. The IT engineer is also the team most people turn to when they need tech support.
Salary range: $36,000 – $56,000
Teachers impart their knowledge and wisdom to their students. They do this by creating lessons that engage and enlighten while also assessing how well their students are mastering the information. Teachers communicate with parents and the school, adapt lessons as necessary, and prepare the class for whatever comes next.
14. Social Worker
Salary range: $45,000 – $68,000
Social workers can work in a variety of settings, such as schools or community mental health programs. They work with individuals, families, and groups and help them create an action plan to overcome challenges. Social workers may refer clients to a food bank or help them get food stamps, counsel them to overcome anxiety, or refer them to other treatment providers who can better serve their needs.
>>RELATED: Learn about other jobs for psychology majors.
15. Data Analyst
Salary range: $55,000 – $84,000
People generate a vast amount of data every day (think: scrolling TikTok, shopping with a credit card). Companies hire data analysts to interpret and explain this data to help them make strategic, data-driven decisions. As a data analyst, you’ll clean and wrangle data, analyze it, then tell a meaningful story about what you’ve found.
See what it's like to work with data in this free course from Accenture. You'll learn how to clean, model, and analyze data to create actionable insights.
Avg. Time: 2-3 hours
Skills you’ll build: Data analysis, data visualization, storytelling, data modeling, project planning.
16. Web Developer
Salary range: $53,000 – $86,000
Web developers create, update, and maintain websites. That work includes everything from writing the code that runs the site to designing a frustration-free user experience — not to mention keeping the site safe and secure! As a web developer, you may work for a company, agency, or as a freelancer running your own web development company. Depending on where you work, you may plan the design and function of a site, help with creating individual pages, or maintain and update the backend code.
Hone your web development skills in this free course from Moreton Bay Regional Council. Learn how to structure a website then create a form for the site.
Avg. Time: 3-4 hours
Skills you’ll build: WordPress, HTML, CSS, user flow, site mapping
17. Management Analyst
Salary range: $62,000 – $93,000
Management analysts are sometimes called management consultants, but no matter what you call it, management analysts help organizations find ways to become more efficient. They look at a company’s challenges and analyze data to find inefficiencies or excesses. The management analyst then recommends new systems, procedures, or organizational changes.
See what it's like to work in management consulting in this free course from PwC. Learn how to summarize data, prepare interview questions, and more.
Avg. Time: 4-5 hours
Skills you’ll build: Excel, strategic communications, financial statement, business terminology, data collection
18. Social Media Assistant
Salary range: $37,000 – $55,000
Social media assistants may be part of a stand alone social media team or part of the marketing team. They schedule and post social media assets, respond to follower comments, and flag problematic posts or comments. Some social media assistants create content from the social media plan or contribute original ideas to the plan.
19. Account Manager
Salary range: $67,000 – $108,000
Account managers are the main point of contact between a customer and the business and ensure the customer is achieving their goals. They do this by tracking metrics and creating reports, answering questions and troubleshooting concerns, and providing suggestions to improve the overall performance of the account. Account managers regularly meet with their clients to provide status updates and may even engage in a bit of sales during a renewal period.
Build practical client service skills in this free course from Bloomberg. You'll work with a client to identify the problem and find a solution.
Avg. Time: 3-4 hours
Skills you’ll build: Root cause analysis, multitasking, conflict resolution, critical thinking, time management
20. Case Manager
Salary range: $43,000 – $62,000
Case managers generally work in health care settings, though they also work in some community-based programs. They act as the client’s advocate, supporting and guiding them while coordinating care and services among multiple providers. Case managers may work with families and outside stakeholders (like a court) to ensure the patient’s needs are met.
Find Your Career Fit
The best entry-level jobs for college graduates encompass nearly anything and everything you could want to pursue. But if our list isn’t enough to convince you, consider signing up for a Forage virtual job simulation today. You’ll experience what it’s like to work in these fields and more, while building practical skills that can help you land the job!
And to prepare to apply for entry-level jobs, explore our Job Application Basics series below. This five-part series will show you how to increase your chances of getting hired. Start with the intro, then check out all five parts:
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