Entry-level jobs have, in many ways, become synonymous with low wages. But that’s a generalised idea. The truth is that many entry positions pay well; you just need to figure out which roles and industries will give you the most bang for your entry-level buck.
The secret lies in supply and demand. When there are fewer candidates with specific skills, industries pay more. Also, when companies can charge more for their products and services, they can offer higher salaries.
This is what “entry-level” really means
Entry-level jobs are the most junior positions in any field and require less experience than mid-level and management positions. These opportunities are great starting points for professionals that want to launch a new career in a specific industry. In most cases, these entry-level jobs offer opportunities for employers to train you to help you gain the necessary skills.
Hiring managers understand that applicants for entry-level roles often have limited professional experience. But they still look for specific aspects in candidates such as technical skills required for the position, internship or volunteer experience, and transferable skills.
This begs the question: what entry-level jobs offer the highest salaries from the get-go?
Online job aggregator Adzuna did a little digging, compared salary stats, and made a few interesting conclusions. Here’s how and where to start your new career off on a high-paying note!
A roundup of the best entry-level jobs
Data scientists create the framework companies use to analyse data sets. This includes the design and implementation of algorithms and statistical models, testing existing data, and continually optimising frameworks to ensure accurate results that lead to valuable insights and conclusions. Entry-level data science jobs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in math, engineering, statistics, science, or a related field. Some companies also require an advanced degree and proof that you have experience in core data science skills.
Junior Software Developer
As the name implies, software developers develop various types of software that help solve business problems. They often work with product managers to identify end-user needs and design software solutions that meet those needs.
Some companies require you to hold a degree in computer science to get into this role. But many organisations hire software developers without degrees. If you know how to code and prove it in a technical interview, you should be on the right path.
Banks employ investment associates. So do financial services firms and other financial institutions. These professionals assist portfolio managers in researching and developing investment strategies for private and corporate clients. Responsibilities typically include analysing financial data, managing client transactions, and performing administrative tasks related to the role. In general, a bachelor’s degree in finance or economics is required to land an entry position in this career avenue.
Desktop Support Engineer
Anything that goes wrong with an organisation’s software and hardware get reported to desktop support engineers for troubleshooting. These engineers identify problems, fix them, and ensure all systems are back up and running after they apply the fixes. They also document solutions and keep track of maintenance and backup, along with supporting IT technicians on their team. Many companies prefer desktop support engineers to hold a degree. If you know how to troubleshoot IT problems and can solve them quickly and effectively, you have a good shot at landing a role.
Marketing specialists (or associates) help brainstorm, develop, launch, and measure outbound and inbound marketing efforts. They might also do market research to identify trends in consumer habits. Any relevant experience and related education in the marketing field can help you get into this industry and land a junior role.
Public Relations Assistant
PR assistants are responsible for helping public relations teams with research, preparing materials, and facilitating communication between clients and account execs. They also help with the development of presentations and correspondence between senior employees and clients.
Sales reps sell products and services to existing and prospective customers through cold calling, email, and on-site appointments. Typical duties include product demonstrations, Q&A, and assisting customers through the purchase process. While most junior sales representatives hold bachelor’s degrees, it isn’t a prerequisite for landing a job. Any experience in sales can help you land an entry-level sales rep job. If you previously worked as a customer service representative, moving over to the sales rep department might be an easy migration.
How to land high-paying entry-level jobs
Follow a strategic approach.
Some jobs and industries pay more than others. This means the first order of business is finding the best place to look for these roles. At the moment, STEM fields such as IT and finance offer high-paying entry opportunities.
Don’t focus on your degree.
Many professionals believe that their degrees dictate the kinds of careers they can pursue. But just because you studied finance doesn’t mean you have to work for a financial company. Do not let your degree get between you and a lucrative role. It’s about the skills you have, not necessarily your degree. Your marketing degree might help you pivot to HR and recruiting and use your marketing skills to get potential candidates excited about your organisation and the position they’re applying for.
Expand your network
Obviously, your skills are a major determining factor when it comes to landing a new job. It’s not only about what you know, but it’s also about who you know. Building your network is a lifelong commitment if you want to grow and climb the career ladder. Did you know that up to 85% of jobs are secured through personal connections? It’s absolutely essential to tap into your network and ask for help if you’re serious about your job search. Your network can help expand the reach of your search and help make introductions.
Over the last decade, the definition of “entry-level” has changed dramatically. These days, a shiny new degree might not be enough to help you land your first professional job.
But you can build your resume with internships, fellowships, and skill-based volunteering opportunities. The more opportunities you pursue, the faster your network will grow and the more attractive you become as a potential candidate for employers.
Finding your dream position as a junior candidate might feel like an uphill battle, but armed with the right knowledge, you CAN find the job (and salary) you’ve always been dreaming of!