The Top 10 Jobs for New College Graduates

College Graduation

The job market is tough for new college graduates, but opportunities still abound. In fact, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington estimates that a four-year college degree is equivalent to an investment that returns 15.2 percent — even when factoring in lost wages while in school, according to The New York Times. So what are 10 of the hottest, highest-paying jobs for new college graduates? The answer may surprise you. (Data courtesy of

#10 — Nurse

As America ages, the healthcare industry booms. Nurses and other health professionals are in high demand. The average salary of a nurse is $72,000. The typical nurse may work for Hospital Corporation of America (NYSE:HCA).

#9 — Web Designer

The world is smaller than it ever has been before, largely due to the Internet. Website designers are in big demand. The average salary of a web designer is $62,000. The typical web designer may work for AT&T (NYSE:T).

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#8 — Pharmaceutical Representative

There are worse jobs than working for big pharma. A lot. As America continues to age, big drug companies are poised to reap the rewards. The average salary of a pharmaceutical representative is $65,000. The typical pharmaceutical representative may work for Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

#7 — Financial Analyst

The recession wiped out the retirement savings of many. Incidentally, financial analysts are in high demand, as their pay can attest. The average salary of a financial analyst is $67,000. The typical financial analyst may work for JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM).

#6 — Internet Marketing

Marketing and sales have increasingly shifted to the Internet over the past ten years. The mobile computing boom is accelerating the speed of the transition. The average salary of an internet marketer is $67,000. The typical Internet marketer may work for Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC).

#5 — Network Systems Administrator

The recent boom in cloud network technologies has made network administration as important as ever. The dawn of cloud computing is the next big thing and even the Xbox One will use the cloud. The average salary of a network systems administrator is $68,000. The typical network systems administrator may work for Microsoft (NYSE:MS).

#4 — Engineer

The growing complexity of consumer products is making engineers a hot commodity. Where would the world be without engineers? Sitting in a dark cave somewhere probably. The average salary of an engineer is $87,000. The typical engineer may work for General Electric (NYSE:GE).

#3 — Actuary

The world is becoming increasingly number-based as new technologies allow nearly everything to be quantified. Few things are worth more than a job figuring out how much something is worth. The average salary of an actuary is $97,000. The typical actuary may work for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A).

#2 — Software Developer

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Apps for smartphones and tablets need developers to go from being an entrepreneur’s vision to a tangible product. With programs needing to run across a variety of platforms now, knowledgeable developers are in high demand. The average salary of a software developer is $90,000. The typical software developer may work for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

#1 — Investment Banker

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite outrage over the high salaries and bonuses of bankers during the recession, their pay is still far higher than what the average worker makes. The average salary of an investment banker is $121,000. The typical investment banker may work for Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

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