Today we’re going to walk you through some of the highest paying jobs straight out of college. We have something for everybody, whether you are creative, technical, or somewhere in between. We’re positive you’ll find at least one of these jobs cool.
#1 Product Managers
Product managers were traditionally reserved for people who had a few years of experience. However, demand for them has grown so much that many companies now have associate product managers who hire fresh out of college. These people are responsible for everything you use daily, from your phone to apps like TikTok, or even your car. Product managers lead teams of different people that create products. When we first heard them, we were confused about why it is an essential role. Isn’t that what standard bosses are for? But think about how many different people and teams are responsible for creating one product. Just to make an iPhone, it took the collaboration of dozens of other groups, all with managers. You have the teams who designed the phone, the teams who engineered all the technical parts, the team who codes the software, and of course, a marketing team. Product managers set deadlines for teams, make sure they are communicating, and might even be responsible for mapping out revenue plans for the product. They are there every step of the way, building the product all the way until it is launched. You need to have a strong technical background and a business mindset to become a successful product manager, and skills like coding are essential. You don’t have to be a pro at it, but it will help you understand how the engineers build products, help you understand design decisions, and set more realistic deadlines. You can work in any industry, but the highest-paid tend to be technology-focused. You’ll most likely have to move to large cities where most of these companies are located, but you’ll get paid a decent amount for it. Associate product managers average $94K, and after 2–3 years, when you go into the actual product manager role, you can expect to make $144K. Not a bad life choice for being in your mid-20s.
#2 Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts are the problem solvers of the tech world. They build computer systems for companies, and they look at a company’s whole technical infrastructure to figure out how they can make it more efficient. You’ll need a computer or information science degree. Management information systems (MIS) or computer science (CS) are great majors if you want to become a computer systems analyst. The role also requires an understanding of business, so a minor in business would definitely help. Because you work with technical issues every day, you’ll also need to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. You don’t need certifications, but some credentials certainly make it easier for you to land the dream job, especially the right of college. The most important thing is that you should get internships that show you are really good with the technical side of things and work well with teams. Salary ranges are extensive. It depends on the company you work at, but some pay around $60K. The median salary for a computer network analyst is $91K and has a greater than average annual growth. After a few years, many network analysts become computer network architects who have a median salary of $112K.
#3 Operations Research Analysts
The next entry-level job is the operations research analyst, the problem solver of the business world. Here’s a real-life example of what they might do: a company whose chief executive officer (CEO) saw that their company was spending a ton of money but didn’t have any idea where to make budget cuts. An operations research analyst can jump in to look at all the financial data and might find that they are spending $2 million a year on ketchup for the cafeteria. Hence, the CEO can then decide to start using ketchup packets instead of whole bottles. They’re buying the same amount, but people useless, so they can actually decrease their costs. That might sound like a crazy example, but stuff like that happens all the time, and it’s why operations research analysts are so valuable. They figure out things no one else can. You’ll need to have problem-solving skills and strong attention to detail. The median pay is for operation research analysts is $85K, and growth is insanely high at 26%.
#4 User Experience Designers
User experience (UX) designers think it is their fault that Instagram is always updating randomly with a new layout every week. We think this is a really cool job that’s a great fit for creative people. UX designers help build websites and applications. Their job is to make sure the person on the other side will be happy using the product. They do a lot of research to see what competitors are doing, they might even host focus studies to see what customers like. Most importantly, they design precisely how an app will look and work. The best part is you don’t have to be a tech genius. Of course, it helps to have a base-level understanding of how coding and other technical stuff works so it’s easier to work with developers, but you don’t need a specific degree to go into design. The most important thing is being creative, communicating your ideas, and really being able to understand what your customer wants and needs. If you’re trying to break into UX, you’ll need to have a portfolio of things you’ve designed. That will help you showcase what skills you have and get hands-on experience by interning. It’s also essential for your network because it’s a competitive field to get into. Demand for UX designers is growing and is only expected to grow faster because recent years have forced companies to expand online. Salaries depend on where you work, but the median starting salary is $76K.
#5 Software Sales Representatives
Software sales reps don’t necessarily need a college degree, but over half of the software sales brokers have at least a bachelor’s degree. So it definitely helps. It’s more about the experiences you have in college, like internships in sales and leadership positions. One of the most essential skills you can have is being good with people because a salesperson’s most valuable tool is their relationships with their clients. You’ll probably work for big tech companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, and Oracle, and it’s common for sales reps to travel to their clients. If you enjoy hopping on planes, this might be the role for you! Like with any sales job, most of your pay comes from commissions, which essentially means you have unlimited upward potential, but you have to perform to see a paycheck. The average starting salary is around $60K plus commission, but if we look at a big company like Microsoft, you’ll see their sales reps make a modest $187K with a $115K base salary and a $72K commission check. If sales interests you, definitely look into software because it’s likely you’ll make a lot of money right after graduating college.
#6 Data Analysts & Data Scientists
And finally, this last career shouldn’t surprise any of you. We’re talking about data analysts and data scientists. The difference between the two is that data analysts just look at data for trends and solving problems, whereas data scientists take a deeper dive into data and predict what might happen in the future. The best degrees for a data role are things like analytics, data science, or even math. Anything that gives you a strong foundation in working with numbers. The median salary for a data analyst is $75K, but the reason it is on here is because of the insane upward potential as you get experience working with data. You can become a data scientist who has a median salary of $101K, and once you get into a managerial role, you can make upwards of $185K.
Thanks for Reading!
Let us know which job you enjoyed reading about in the comments! If you enjoy content related to jobs and careers, be sure to check out our article on the 6 Jobs that Pay Over $1 Million! Don’t forget to subscribe at Millennial Investments to learn more wealth building tips and tricks! Happy reading, and thanks for supporting our work! 😇🙏