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10 Highest-Paying Jobs Right Out of College

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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6. Quality Engineer $65,000 annually

Is the Job for Me?
Quality engineers work to ensure those same products you buy in the department store will work once you set them up at home. They collect and analyze data to ensure that quality control standards are being maintained. And look out, girls—many companies manufacture goods in multiple locations, which could mean some national, or even international, traveling for you as you inspect various factories to ensure regulations are being followed.

Who Would I Work For?
Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Deloitte

How Can I Get There?
BS in engineering or other science discipline. Interns may take part in product failure analysis, product audits and product inspection.

5. Network Engineer $68,500 annually


Is the Job for Me?
Do you have well-rounded knowledge of computer systems as a whole? Network engineers manage both the hardware and software found in computer systems, ensuring network computers meet users’ needs. Unlike some other engineering jobs, this position gets you out of the office and interacting with computer networks in different settings. After spending your college years pulling all-nighters in front of the computer screen, this constant change in scenery will be very appreciated.

Who Would I Work For?
Bloomberg, Hulu, Vivisimo

How Can I Get There?
BS in information technology or other computer-related degree. Internships involve data summary and analysis, maintaining application, server and network infrastructure, and documenting procedures and workflow.

4. Business Analyst $69,500 annually

Is the Job for Me?
Business analysts help companies fully harness their resources while maximizing profits and increasing productivity by creating new company business plans. They identify issues that need to be addressed within a company in order to create improvement.

Who Would I Work For?
UnitedHealth Group, Sovereign Bank, American Management Services, Capgemini

How Can I Get There?
BS in Computer Science or a related field. Experience in IT is vital, and internships may involve financial analysis.
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3. Software Engineer $72,000 annually


Is the Job for Me?
Google Search, Mac OS and Angry Birds—all developed by creative, intelligent software engineers. If you are looking for a challenging job that gives you the freedom to create your dreams, studying to become a software engineer could lead you to one very comfortable lifestyle.

Who Would I Work For?
Sage Software, Yelp, IBM Corporation, Google

How Can I Get There?
BS in computer science software engineering and a background in mathematics. Those in the field will be expected to have a knowledge of programming languages such as Java and C++ and knowledge of operating systems such as Linux and Solaris.

2. Investment Banking Analyst $73,000 annually


Is the Job for Me?
Investment banking analysts advise financial corporations on making insightful investment decisions. When this kind of starting salary is in on the table, writing in spreadsheets all day just may be worth it.

Who Would I Work For?
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays

How Can I Get There?
BS in business, accounting, or finance. Experience, such as an internship in investment banking, management consulting or mergers and acquisitions accounting will be necessary, as is advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office.
 
1. Systems Engineer $77,500 annually


Is the Job for Me?
DiplomaGuide.com says that systems engineers are “trained problem solvers with skills in a variety of disciplines,” and girl, this couldn’t be any truer. This degree can take you almost anywhere, from improving the efficiency of an assembly line in Japan to configuring a network system at your alma mater.

Who Would I Work For?
Barclays Capital, Facebook, Salesforce

How Can I Get There?
BS in hardware engineering, electrical engineering or computer engineering. Internships may involve assembling, testing and troubleshooting computer and technical systems.

Sources:
http://blogs.forbes.com/jennagoudreau/2011/06/01/best-entry-level-jobs/
http://www.cnbc.com/id/29408064/Highest_Paid_Bachelor_s_Degrees_2010
http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/01/25/high-paying-entry-level-jobs/
http://diplomaguide.com/index.html
http://www.is.umbc.edu/about_us/aboutIS.asp?ID=3
http://toc.web.cmu.edu/
http://www.uta.edu/ie/industrial_engineers.html
 

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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