10 Highest-Paying Jobs Right Out of College

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What do you mean, no more student discounts?! Graduation (along with flowers, cards and photos) brings with it a few unsettling novelties, including an end to Thirsty Thursdays and a sudden assumption that we have the money to pay full price. And though we’ll surely miss the Friday morning hangovers, having to fork over the same stacks of cash as adults in the Real World is what hits us where it hurts. How can we avoid starvation after graduation while still managing to live on our own and work off our student debts?

Let’s take a deep breath. There will be no end to mani/pedis and end-of-summer shopping sprees. According to CareerBliss and Payscale.com, there is a way to live comfortably right out of college. We report to you 10 of the highest-paying entry-level jobs for college graduates that are sure to afford you both some debt-induced stress relief and a few trips to Bloomingdale’s.

10. Information Sciences & Systems $54,038 annually

Is the Job for Me?
Ever wondered how to become an expert on the world’s cutting-edge technology? With jobs in the information sciences and systems fields, you can apply your passion for technology to an eclectic variety of positions, including network engineer, systems analyst, database administrator, interface specialist and computer programmer. Be prepared to put your coursework in computer programming, statistics, mathematics, economics, management and accounting to good use.

Who Would I Work For?
Amazon, OkCupid, Merck, Vivisimo

How Can I Get There?
BS in Information Sciences or Information Systems or a BA in Business Technology Administration. Related internships may involve working as a help desk technician, web and application developer or database analyzer.

9. Industrial Engineer $57,734 annually

Is the Job for Me?
If you find yourself to be a great observer and you have a knack for streamlining workflows, you may have the skillset required for industrial engineering. Industrial engineers help organizations increase efficiency by observing how a company functions between its people, information, money, equipment and more, and using the data to design operations within the organization. They work with manufacturing firms, service industries and even government organizations. What makes this job so great? Many industrial engineers are self-employed—who doesn’t love the freedom of being her own boss.

Who Would I Work For?
Sony Disc Manufacturing, Toys R Us, Mayo Clinic

How Can I Get There?
BS in industrial engineering. Related internships may involve data collection and processing.

8. Financial Analyst $60,000 annually

Is the Job for Me?

Financial analysts help corporations make huge investment decisions—a job that brings you huge returns. If crunching numbers is your thing, you might want to consider working toward this profession. The pay isn’t so bad, after all.

Who Would I Work For?
Accountants International, Bond St. Group, Vaco Resources

How Can I Get There?
BS in business administration, finance, statistics or accounting. Financial analysts will be expected to have knowledge of Excel, Access, SQL, Powerpoint and Oracle Financials.

7. Registered Nurse $61,000 annually

Is the Job for Me?

If you’ve got a knack for medicine and a strong stomach, and would love working with patients one-on-one, becoming a registered nurse could be a great fit for you. This profession provides not only a steady paycheck but also the opportunity to get to know your patients on a personal level.

Who Would I Work For?
Hospitals and clinics across the country

How Can I Get There?
BS in nursing. Depending on the program, a certain number of hours of clinical work, which involves working with patients as well as learning how to use equipment, will be required.

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About The Author

Lauren Mobertz studies Professional Writing and Hispanic Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, and will graduate in May 2012. To fuel her interest in urban studies, Lauren interned at Oakland Planning and Development Corporation in fall 2010. Since she received her passport, Lauren has not spent more than 7 consecutive months in the US. She spent spring 2011 in Santiago, Chile, translating documents for Educación 2020 and practicing her salsa; summer 2010 in Durban, South Africa, studying the social and economic impacts of the FIFA World Cup and volunteering for WhizzKids United; and spring break 2010 hosting art workshops in Siuna, Nicaragua. Somehow, she always manages to keep up with How I Met Your Mother and a little bit of running, no matter what city she's based in. Lauren hopes to settle down in the East Coast and enter education administration.

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