Recent college graduates sometimes have unrealistic expectations about how much money they will begin making in their entry-level jobs. Now, with job cuts soaring and employers increasingly cutting budgets and implementing hiring freezes, many young people have discovered that the salary they initially envisioned is even more difficult to come by during an economic downturn.
Despite these obstacles, current college students and recent graduates can still put themselves on the right track to a high-paying career, according to Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., and Michael Farr, co-authors of "200 Best Jobs for College Graduates, Fourth Edition."
In their book, they created a list of the best-paying jobs with a high percentage of workers between the ages of 20 and 24. "These jobs have higher percentages of recent college graduates and may present more opportunities for initial entry or upward mobility," Shatkin and Farr say.
Although several of the occupations on this list have low beginning wages, many provide high growth potential. In such jobs, individuals can receive a significant boost in their earnings as they gain experience and further develop their skills.
Below are several of these jobs, as well as information about their annual earnings and beginning wage.
Computer hardware engineers
Average annual earnings: $91,860
Average beginning salary: $55,880
Average annual earnings: $85,690
Average beginning salary: $48,750
Sales agents, securities and commodities
Average annual earnings: $68,430
Average beginning salary: $30,890
Network systems and data communications analysts
Average annual earnings: $68,220
Average beginning salary: $40,100
Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes
Average annual earnings: $66,440
Average beginning salary: $30,780
Average annual earnings: $64,250
Average beginning salary: $38,280
Average annual earnings: $63,490
Average beginning salary: $36,810
Average annual earnings: $61,090
Average beginning salary: $28,980
Market research analysts
Average annual earnings: $60,300
Average beginning salary: $33,310
Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog (http://jistjobsearchandcareer.blogspot.com/).
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