Best Jobs for Recent College Graduates

If you want to hit the ground running after you graduate from college, check out our suggestions for the best jobs for recent college graduates.

Lots of professions have a slow-burning career trajectory. You spend a long time getting your education, a longer time working your way through the ranks, and eventually you reap the rewards of all your hard work — after spending a decade or two living like a college student.

But what are the best careers for those who want to hit the ground running? Let's take a look at some professions with great job prospects straight out of school.

5 Best Jobs for Recent College Graduates

If you’re in college and want to find a career with good job prospects, here are the best professions to look into.

Registered Nurse

As the nursing shortage continues to ravage the country, nurses are in high demand. That trend will likely continue even as the COVID-19 pandemic improves. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a registered nurse was $75,330 in 2020, and the projected growth rate between 2020 and 2030 is 9%. Because nursing requires only an associate or bachelor’s degree, this is an attractive profession for someone looking to enter the workforce as soon as possible.

Software Developer

As many industries suffered during the pandemic, IT professionals continued to do well. In 2020, the median salary for a software developer was $110,140, per the BLS, and the projected growth rate between 2020 and 2030 is 22%, which is much higher than average.

Software developers need only a bachelor’s degree, although some short-term boot camps also can provide the necessary training.

Mechanical Engineer 

Students interested in machines can become mechanical engineers, who need only a bachelor’s degree to enter the workforce. 

In 2020, the median salary was $90,160, per the BLS, while the projected growth rate between 2020 and 2030 is 7%. Mechanical engineers also have a much lower average unemployment rate of 1.9%.

Medial and Health Services Manager

As hospital systems became overwhelmed in 2020 and 2021, the role of medical and health services managers became even more important. These positions are well compensated, with an average median salary of $104,280 in 2020, per the BLS.

The projected growth rate between 2020 and 2030 is 32% — much higher than average. There is also a 1.1% unemployment rate, far below the national average.


Recently, supply chain issues have become a huge problem for many industries. And while this is frustrating for consumers, it does mean that logisticians, or those who work organizing supply chains, are in demand.

The median pay in 2020 was $76,270, per the BLS, and the job requires only a bachelor’s degree. Job growth for logisticians is projected to be 30% between 2020 and 2030, which is greater than average.

What Recent Graduates Should Do After Getting a Job

After landing a gig, one of the first things that recent graduates should do is refinance their student loans. Refinancing student loans with Juno could save you thousands or even tens of thousands in total interest.

For example, let's say you owe $50,000 with an 11% interest rate and a 10-year term. If you refinance to a 5% interest rate and a 10-year term, you'll save $19,010 in total interest. Your monthly payment will also be $159 lower. 

You can use the monthly difference to start saving for a down payment, investing for retirement or paying off your other loans.

Juno partners with three different lenders offering student loan refinancing. All lenders let you check your interest rate without causing a hard inquiry on your credit report. Here’s how the various lenders compare:


As of Nov. 3, 2021, Earnest offers fixed interest rates starting at 2.44% APR and variable interest rates starting at 1.88% APR. Plus, borrowers who refinance with Earnest through Juno will get an interest rate that is 0.25% lower than if they went through Earnest separately.

The only downside is that Earnest does not allow co-signers. If you have a new credit history or a poor credit score, you may need a co-signer to qualify for student loan refinancing.


Splash is a lending marketplace that works with multiple lenders. When you apply to refinance with Splash, you'll likely receive offers from several lenders so you can compare and find the best one. As of Nov. 3, 2021, fixed interest rates start at 2.44% APR and variable interest rates start at 1.88% APR.

Borrowers who refinance between $50,000 and $150,000 will receive a $500 bonus, while those refinancing more than $150,000 will get a $1,000 bonus. This bonus offer is only available for borrowers who refinance with Splash through Juno.

Splash does allow co-signers, so if you need a co-signer or want to use one to qualify for better interest rates, consider refinancing with Splash.

Laurel Road

Laurel Road offers refinancing for medical professionals such as nurses, optometrists, dentists, physicians and physician assistants. Borrowers who refinance medical school loans will have only $100 monthly payments during residency and fellowship. 

Interest rates are 0.25% lower for borrowers than if they went through Laurel Road independently. As of Nov. 3, 2021, fixed interest rates start at 2.50% APR and variable interest rates start at 1.89% APR. 

Laurel Road does allow co-signers.

Zina Kumok
Written By
Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins.

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