The class of 2018 is entering the workforce at an interesting—and exciting—time. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in years, and new technology is disrupting multiple industries.
As a result, today’s entry-level job seekers are embarking on careers that in many cases will prove both rewarding and surprising, as new pathways open up and old ones take on different forms.
But what do these job seekers want to do right now? Our analytics team looked at the data to determine the most popular searches among people with less than five years’ work experience, as well as associated salary data.
But that’s not all: To get still deeper insight into what’s trending, we also assigned a “popularity index” score that shows how much more popular that job is among entry-level job seekers than others. Here’s what we found.
Engineering and tech lead the pack
Ideally entry-level job seekers will be looking at roles with growth potential even in a changing labor market. And when we look at the top 15, that is what we see: a variety of positions representing different interests and skill sets, from the primarily technical to those that require a mix of analytical and soft skills that are difficult to automate.
Nine of the 15 most popular entry-level jobs are technical, including a number of both computer jobs and engineering-related jobs. Interestingly, a more “traditional” technical job occupies the number-one spot—junior mechanical engineer, which with a popularity index score of 4.78 is nearly five times more popular among entry-level job seekers than non-entry level.
Mechanical engineering goes back thousands of years, even if the types of machines we make today are different than, say, the boats of ancient Egypt. An entry-level mechanical engineer makes on average $57,822.
Next, we see some more recent entries to the world of work. Junior Java developer and CAE engineer occupy the second and third spots, followed by number-four industrial engineer and fifth-place junior product designer. These jobs all require technical proficiency and a STEM degree, and are essential to how businesses run today.
For instance, Java enables programmers write computer instructions using English-based commands rather than numerical code; it is widely integrated into business applications, websites and software. This job is more than four times as popular among entry-level job seekers than non-entry-level job seekers. Not to mention it pays well, too—$70,193 a year on average.
Entry-level jobs in marketing and comms also popular
But not everyone is technically inclined, and the workplace needs many different types of talents. So it’s no surprise that we also see jobs emphasizing soft skills in marketing and communications ranking highly, including junior publicist, junior marketing associate and media planner.
However, although these jobs require soft skills, they have also been transformed in recent years, and many if not all require a solid grip of analytics. It’s that combination that makes them so forward-looking.
A media planner makes on average…