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Best Jobs for Recent College Graduates

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As many freshmen get ready to set foot on a university campus for the first time, thousands of summer graduates are preparing to take their first steps into the workforce. While the job market remains tough, summer graduates have some good news: they’ll fare much better in the job market than the class of 2011. Recent grads can expect an increase in job opportunities as many businesses are expanding their entry-level hiring this year, a rise of more than 10 percent over 2011.

Though jobs remain hard to come by, and more than half of young graduates are either unemployed or under-employed, jobs in some fields are projected to grow strongly through the next few years. Here are a few of the fields that recent and upcoming graduates should look to for employment, along with some of the most graduate-friendly businesses around.

Sales may have a bad reputation, but it provides a lot of opportunity for young graduates. Sales positions offer the opportunity to travel, meet new people, and quickly gain experience – three things that are perfect for a recent grad. For example, selling retirement packages to individuals and employers is an incredibly in-demand field, with more than 47,000 openings annually.

Social Work
Social work can take a number of forms, from educational and vocational training, to women’s and children’s services. It can be a difficult field, but provides excellent entry-level positions with highly rewarding work. Social work is a constantly growing field, too, with a projected growth rate of 20 to 28 percent, making it an attractive entry-level field for graduates.

Information Technology
When they hear “information technology,” many people imagine a lonely guy stuck in a server room, but there are many aspects to the industry. There are also a great many jobs, with a lot of growth on the horizon. Even if you don’t have a math or computer science degree you can bring your education to bear in this growing field. Online job boards or staffing companies will typically be your best place to start looking. Look to recruiters who focus on technology specifically, like Kforce which has a continually updated board of quality assurance jobs around the country; you’ll likely get better quality leads that fit your skill set.

Public Relations
Essentially, public relations is about creating dialogue between an organization and its customers. Nearly every field demands public relations. Political campaigns, small and large businesses, and nonprofits need communications specialists. You may not start off running the company’s Twitter account, but there is tremendous room for growth in the industry, with jobs growing nearly 18 percent each year.

Legal Assistant
This is more of a niche field for graduates who may be thinking of eventually pursuing a legal career, but working as a legal assistant or paralegal is a great way to get your foot in the door at a law firm or corporation. Legal assistants help lawyers prepare for cases, help investigate cases, and organize lawyers for trial. It requires a lot of work, but is another job that provides tremendous entry-level experience and offers a lot of growth potential.

Ultimately, the best job to take is the one you can find. While it can be frustrating to take a job that is not in your field, it’s important to remember that you won’t just fall into your dream job. Even working outside your field can be rewarding, fun, and beneficial. Entry-level jobs are all about earning work experience to show to future employers. Don’t be afraid to take a well-paying job just because it’s not exactly what you had planned to do; it may soon lead to bigger and better things.

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About Erin Everhart