Best Jobs for Young Professionals

A list of the best jobs for young professionals is a must review for all those who want to be prepared and put their skills to use. In looking over the list of jobs, the first thing to remember is that everyone has different skills and desires when figuring out a career path. As yourself, is it realistic to work from noon until 2 p.m. each day to earn a paycheck. Maybe if you are self-employed and don’t have any outstanding student loans it would be possible to get by working two hours a day. However, most young professionals will face a competitive job market where working at least eight hours a day is the norm.

The best jobs for young professionals range in scope from information technology, software developer to positions in the medical field or engineering. The average salaries that go along with most of these careers are not anything to frown upon. It will depend on where young professionals reside and outstanding debt to determine how well they can make ends meet. Many of the jobs on the list are not spontaneous careers you just try out to see if you like it. The careers making the list of best jobs for young professionals require certain skill sets and education so preparation goes into obtaining a position. In addition, some career paths may utilize transferable skills which is always beneficial.

So are you a young professional ready to enter the workforce and want to know if your career makes the list? If you are considered a millennial, between the ages of 20 to about 36, then you are a young professional. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials make up the largest working group at 35% just ahead of the Gen X’ers at 33% who were born between 1961 and 1981.

List of Top Jobs for Young Professionals

The top jobs for millennials, for the most part, incorporate some aspect of STEM education, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Several of the careers are found within a variety of industries, with a few being specifically in health care.

When it comes to recruiting individuals for these top careers, of course, companies are looking to fill positions with the best candidate for the job. Young professionals with hopes of one of these careers should make sure to be marketable and ready to convince the company why they are the best candidate. As the national unemployment level dips to under 4%, it means the job market is competitive so millennials have to bring their A-game.

These top jobs include:

  •         Web developer
  •         Software developer
  •         Computer system analyst
  •         IT
  •         Mechanical engineer
  •         Electrical engineer
  •         Project manager
  •         Actuary
  •         Dental Hygienist
  •         Radiation therapist
  •         Nurse practitioner
  •         Physical therapist
  •         Logistics
  •         Transportation
  •         Financial manager
  •         Marketing manager
  •         Graphic designer

Additionally, doctors and nurses also rank high among careers in the medical field. So young professionals have many options when it comes to selecting a career path. If you are between the ages of 20 to 34 and are considered a millennial, it’s time to take a closer look at the jobs on this list to discover the one to best match your skill set.

Ideally, an engineer is someone who understands the details about how something works and can visualize creating a new device or system. However, if you enjoy helping people recover from a broken bone or joint replacement then physical therapy may be your calling. So just because the career may sound exciting and come with a big paycheck, does not mean it’s for everyone. This is where young professionals are advised to do some soul searching to figure out a career and how to accomplish their goal.

Software DeveloperSoftware Developer

One of the best jobs for young professionals is as a software developer. This group is ready to come in day one and begin contributing to their new company to develop a software program to shake up the traditional. Just entering the field on a full-time basis, software developers can earn $60,000 to $75,000 a year. If you are in this group, your goal is to solve a problem for a company and create software to get the job done more efficiently.

Software developers with a bachelor’s degree are often heavily recruited on college campuses by a variety of companies. It’s time to do your research and seek out companies that match what you are looking for in a career. And a word of caution, it’s not always about the big salary right out the gate. Often, companies are looking for a candidate that is a good fit with the company culture, has a sharp mind and is able to do the job. You may start out at an entry level wage for the position. Congratulations, you got the job! However, six months to a year down the road as managers and directors have seen your work and taken stock in all you bring to the table, a nice pay increase goes a long way to say job well done.

A bit of advice here for young professionals is that while you may be a hotshot developer and have some projects under your belt, it’s not always advised to act like a hotshot when it comes moving up and seeking more money. Companies today are looking to see if you are invested in them and bought into the company goal. If they don’t think you are serious, they will act accordingly and you will not be at the table.

Web Developer

Becoming a web developer ranks high on the list of best jobs for young professionals. Technology to this generation is second nature and many have gravitated to this field and are poised to create the future. Websites have come a long way in the lifespan of young professionals who are constantly coming up with ways to make them even better. This group likely began designing websites in middle or high school so their knowledge base is more advanced than an entry-level position. Entering the job market, this group has a lot of skills to offer.  

Companies looking to hire young professionals will have a good chance of recruiting top talent by focusing on the path to career advancement. There are many opportunities in the field and young professionals want to be involved in the company’s cutting edge projects and see their knowledge put to use. As a web developer, you bring a lot to the table both in a traditional sense and may offer up additional out of the box ideas.

Web developers are highly sought after today as companies look to increase their presence online with engaging, well-designed sites to attract clients. Starting salaries for web developers can average between $40,000 to 50,000, not too bad for your first or second job. The key will be learning the company and their objectives to internal or external sites they are working on. And a good point of advice here for young professionals, remember the websites you create belong to the company or external company. So while you may think some of the ideas are outdated based on your knowledge, this is not the time to blurt that out. As a new employee, you are still in learning mode of everything about the company, so offer up suggestions as welcomed.

Computer Systems Analyst

The position of computer systems analyst, with an average salary of $70,000 to $90,000 annually, is perhaps one of the highest paying careers on the list of best jobs for young professionals. Young professionals with skills as a computer system analyst are heavily recruited as everything today depends more on technology. Everything today interfaces with a computer.

The skills needed by a computer systems analyst includes being a good listener, able to process new information quickly and is well-rounded in the knowledge of computer software, equipment, programming and business processes.

In short, a computer systems analyst should be:

  •         Analytical thinker- must be able to see the big picture and solve problems with the goal of efficiency.
  •         Good communicator – must be able to take in information and then help bridge the gap for the end user.
  •         Be creative – create new programs to enhance the business process.

In most companies, the computer systems analyst be called upon to help the current network operate more efficiently. It will not be uncommon for the computer systems analyst to design new applications to solve a problem for the company. Computer systems analysts work closely with just about every department within the company so good interpersonal skills are also a must.

Information TechnologyInformation Technology

Young professionals in the IT department must like figuring out problems, have the ability to listen and react quickly while able to stay calm in a fast pace environment. Those in IT should be well versed with the company’s computer system and able to troubleshoot issues that come up from various users. In addition, they will need to be knowledgeable about all software programs in use and how each interacts throughout the company.

Each day is different for IT professionals. And with the continuous threat of cybersecurity breaches, those in the information technology department must stay abreast of trends and how to combat issues. Advice for young professionals in this field is to keep certifications current for the array of hardware and software the company utilizes and other universal systems. In doing so, notifications about updates will be timely to allow monitoring of the company’s network.

In this field, it’s not a matter of if something occurs, but rather it’s when will it happen and how soon can it be resolved. Typically, within a company, everyone working on a computer will interact with the IT department. Often members of this department are well-known throughout the company and are often on first name bases with everyone including executives who need their assistance. Salaries in IT can range from $40,000 for entry-level positions to over $80,000 for someone with more experience and responsibility. In addition, the IT department is where you’ll learn a lot on a daily basis. A good rule of thumb for millennials on this career path is to remain flexible when it comes to learning new information. Technology is in constant change so a mindset of continuous learning is required. And that can be said for most careers today, especially those in technology and the medical fields.

Engineering for Young Professionals

Careers in engineering are following suit with other STEM-related occupations in attracting the bright minds of young professionals to the field. First, let’s clear up a myth that all engineering is the same. There are various aspects of engineering that makes each discipline unique.

More young professionals are pursuing careers in mechanical engineering along with electrical engineering which is why it ranks on the list of top jobs for this sector. The image of an engineer, outfitted with a pocket protector and passionate about a slide rule is of days gone by. The engineers of this new generation are hip, smart and able to do much more with technology than their predecessors. Mechanical and electrical engineers need to have a keen knowledge of math, physics and be able to solve problems. Both are considered analytical thinkers and may work for the same firm but have distinct roles.

The average salary for both electrical and mechanical engineers start at about $80,000. So if this is your field, it’s time to show off all those math skills along with that analytical brain. It’s showtime, to help engineer the next generation of devices and equipment.  Companies are looking for the best and the brightest so make sure to stand out on your resume and in person.

Electrical engineers can be employed in a variety of industries including transportation, aviation, and technology. In contrast, mechanical engineers work to design machines for diverse applications. In reviewing both disciplines, young professionals who just want an engineering degree will need to decide which sector they want to focus on. However, as a point of advice your skills may be transferable should you change your mind from electrical to mechanical engineering or vice versa. It may require sharpening up on a few things but nothing insurmountable.

Break Down of the NumbersBreak Down of the Numbers

The group of young professionals taking on careers as financial managers or actuaries are extremely focused on bottom line costs. The newly printed degree they proudly display in their new office, however small to start out, was likely earned with little or no student loan debt. This is the group you want keeping an eye on business spending and predicting risks for the company to cover the liability and have a profitable return on investment.

This group is focused on the details of the big picture. Yes, while the plan may sound great and everyone buys into the concept, the financial manager and actuary will take a closer look at the numbers. Although each position will have a different perspective, the input from both positions will play an integral part in the overall decision made by executives.

A financial manager is charged with developing strategies to accomplish goals along with crunching the numbers to make sure the company remains in good standing. In addition, the role of an actuary is to review the numbers in-depth and determine the risk involved with a plan. Once both present their findings, it gives the company sort of a three-dimensional view of what it will mean financially and how best go forward with the least amount of risk.

The average starting salaries for both positions can exceed $100,000 depending on the company and location. In both these of these careers, a lot will rest on the information provided in an advisory nature to the decision makers of the company. Accuracy is key.

A list of individual qualities companies highlight when hiring an actuary or financial manager include:

  •         Analytical thinker
  •         Excellent in math
  •         Good communicator
  •         Well-versed in business

Both career paths often require additional certifications to reach the top levels and income brackets.

Health Careers for Young ProfessionalsHealth Careers of Young Professionals

As the career landscape changes in many aspects, several occupational tracks remain steadfast such as various jobs in the healthcare industry. The demand for physicians and nurses continues to rise as hospitals and other facilities try to keep pace with growing populations across the country. In addition to doctors and nurses, a number of health care jobs only need a two-year degree.

Top list of top jobs for young professionals in healthcare include:

  •         Nurse practitioner
  •         Dental Hygienist
  •         Radiation therapist
  •         Physical therapist

Nurse practitioners are gaining in popularity in recent years as training becomes more accessible. This may help ease the load for doctors to focus on more critical cases. You can find nurse practitioners in a hospital, private practice, primary care facility or other healthcare settings. A nurse practitioner can earn $100,000 or more depending on location. If nursing is a calling for you, begin to seek out those who have gone on to become a nurse practitioner to learn what all is involved. Sometimes it may mean working in the field for a few years then going back to school to obtain a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.

Dental hygienists are also in demand as more people focus on keeping their smiles pretty for the camera and overall health. And as the workforce shifts and people retire, the need for more people to fill jobs like this continues. Dental hygienists are a key component of any dental office. Many programs can be completed with a two-year or Associate of Science degree with an average entry-level salary starting between $40,000 to $80,000.

Radiation therapist and physical therapists have similar tracks with entry level positions available with a two-year degree. However, additional educational training means career advancement along with a higher salary. Young professionals have options to explore in the healthcare field.

Projects Graphics and Marketing Oh MyProjects, Graphics and Marketing Oh My!

As more companies look to remain competitive in their respective industries, many are turning to young professionals to shake things up with new ideas on the table. It’s not uncommon to find project managers, graphic designers and marketing managers in the millennial ranks.

The position of a project manager is attracting many young professionals who have gained a few years of experience. Making the list of best jobs for young professionals, project managers must be good organizers and able to get the job done on time. Period.

Now let’s talk to creative members of the millennial group. The job market for good graphic designers is wide open. And like technology careers on the list of best jobs for young professionals, graphic designers are in demand. Good advice is to perfect your skills and explore opportunities to shine.

The world of marketing is a broad landscape like many other careers on the list of best jobs for young professionals. A position such as a marketing manager may offer opportunities for upward mobility to young professionals to maybe become a marketing director.

A word of advice for those looking to excel as a project manager, graphics designer or marketing manager, know your strengths and weaknesses. If organization is not your strong suit or you don’t enjoy following up on tasks, then these careers may not be a good fit for you. The titles may sound impressive to millennials looking for a boost on a resume and a bump up in pay. But realize, the job of a project manager, graphic designer or marketing manager can be tough, especially when things don’t go according to plan. The company is looking for you to fix things and deliver the project on deadline. Young professionals up for the challenge will certainly get one here.

Transportation and LogisticsTransportation and Logistics

Add careers in transportation and logistics to the list of best jobs for young professionals. This emerging field offers a variety of opportunities for millennials. A number of colleges and universities now offer degrees in logistics. The career path in this field could range from being an account executive, logistics coordinator to a warehouse manager. It’s a diverse industry so there is a lot to explore in terms of jobs. Companies are looking to fill logistics positions to keep up with the demand for shipping freight, along with warehouse and fulfillment facilities.

Yes, young professionals, like any other worker wants to know a few key facts with salary usually topping the list. An entry level logistics specialist on average earns about $35,000 to $49,000 per year.

Think about the number of goods that are ordered on a daily basis. Ever wonder how it all gets on store shelves? The quick answer is it was delivered by a commercial truck or some other mode of transportation. However, the behind the scene effort of all that is happening is in the expert hands of the logistics team. Transportation is a fast pace industry with freight moving around the clock daily.

The young professional to enter this career path must be able to adapt to changing situations, stay cool under pressure and have a passion for customer service. It will take those skills and more to excel in this field. A word of advice for those entering the logistics field is to remain teachable. In fact, this rings true for young professionals in general. While you bring a lot to the table and have your hard earned degree or credentials, there remains a lot to learn in the industry. So this is where you begin to soak it all in and expand your knowledge.

What Millennials Want in a CareerWhat Millennials Want in a Career

The world of work is different for millennials than it is for maybe older siblings, parents, or even grandparents. In a lot of ways, they are shaking things up in order to make a living. Indeed, salary is important to this group but young professionals are also looking for a few additional things as well.

Things young professionals want from a job:

  •         Flexible schedules
  •         Career growth
  •         Feedback

Millennials may not be a morning person but prefer to be a night owl. And yes there are several career paths for them to explore such as nursing to start. A hospital runs 24-hours a day and must be staffed around the clock. Young professionals may be perfect to work second or third shift which sometimes pays a little more as an incentive. This allows for flexible schedules to plan social outings with friends, travel or even going back to school if needed.

Young professionals don’t want to feel like they are in a rut, doing the same thing year after year. They are looking for positions with high career growth opportunities for advancement. Career growth is important to young professionals and they may not stick around long if they don’t see a path to move up.

Young professionals, for the most part, seek job performance feedback, especially for large projects and other assignments. Some may consider it as their manager and others not valuing what they bring to the team effort. In some situations, a millennial may seek the advice of someone they trust and look up to. But as a whole, they want to know what their superiors think about their work. It may seem like an insignificant issue to some, but to a young professional, feedback is a check and balance system to ensure they made a good career choice.

Career Advice for Young ProfessionalsCareer Advice for Young Professionals  

As young professionals embark on their first career and job interview or work to transition into a new position to gain experience, several things come to mind as points of advice to share.

  1.    Find a mentor who has been where you are trying to go and who can give you constructive feedback to aid in your success.
  2.    Network just because you are in a particular field, network with others to learn how your positions interact so you understand the big picture.
  3.    Consider obtaining additional certifications or education to increase your skills.
  4.    Don’t just focus on how much money you can earn, but make sure the career is one you enjoy and can find room for advancement.
  5.    Find ways to contribute beyond your scope of work.
  6.    Remain flexible and teachable to stay competitive; seek additional training
  7.    Volunteer to help with a challenging new project; it’s a chance to learn and flex the skills you already have. Bonus points come when managers notice your work.

Just because you get the position in the career you desire does not mean that’s the end of the road. There is always something new to learn to get to the next point in the journey. It’s a good idea to have a few goals in mind to help keep you focused. Don’t go overboard with too many goals which may be unrealistic. Look to list goals that you can accomplish and will move you forward. And while everyone may not adopt this practice, it will set you apart with your peers.

One final piece of advice that goes across the board; keep your resume up to date. New positions become available every day. Keep your resume current every six months with new skills and positions so you won’t miss applying for an opening.

Review The Best Jobs for Young Professionals

The time has come to put all the preparation to work in your desired career. You are ready! The careers you decide to pursue from the list of best jobs for young professionals are all growing fields which means there is room to explore and advance. Who said you won’t decide to transfer your skills from the IT department to become a computer systems analyst? It’s possible with the right focus and skill set even if it means obtaining additional certifications or even going back to school. It’s an investment into your future and in making sure you maintain solid ground in the evolving job market. The landscape is changing, so keep looking for ways to engage and keep up with what is going on and prepare for the impact on your career.



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