8 In-Demand Jobs for 2021 College Graduates

You’ve successfully acquired a degree and are ready to step into the next stage of your life by entering the workforce. Before you start applying for jobs, you’d first need to figure out the ideal entry-level job for you.

As a new graduate you’d have to apply for jobs that require little to no experience and work your way up toward your ideal position. So it is important to choose a field that will facilitate upskilling and allow you to aim for higher positions. 

You can also benefit from external input from your peers and family, or even a career coach who has all the expertise to guide you toward the most promising fields for your professional development

The job market has undergone a drastic change in the past couple of decades and is now filled with interesting new lucrative jobs that didn’t even exist a few years back. The information and technology industry is especially responsible for a large percent of the top jobs in the United States today and is projected to grow even more in the coming decade. 

While certain industries are showing massive growth and promise for potential jobs of the future, some other areas, on the other hand, are likely to show gradual decline in employment. So it’s important to make the right decision when choosing a career path and future-proofing your decision even though that can be an overwhelming task. 

Luckily, there are studies and reports that have made it possible to easily determine which industries and positions have promising prospects.

We’ve consulted the Occupational Outlook Handbook prepared by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics and listed out some of the most in-demand jobs for 2021 to make the job searching process easier for you. The list includes 8 entry-level jobs in various different fields that new graduates without prior experience can apply for. 

Registered Nurse

If the current global health crisis has taught us anything, it’s the fact that medical professionals are invaluable to our whole human existence. Healthcare workers have some of the most currently in-demand skills and entry-level jobs in the field. The demand for registered nurses, for example, is likely to increase especially with the growing demand for elder care.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for registered nurse positions is projected to grow at a higher-than-average rate of 7%. 

Duties

Registered nurses provide hands-on care and monitoring which is crucial for patients’ treatment and recovery. A nurse will observe, assess and record a patient’s condition and medical history and ensure that the patient receives appropriate and effective treatments. They’ll also administer such treatments and medicine, as well as operate necessary medical equipment. 

Qualifications required

In order to be registered nurse, you’ll need either a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Like most medical professions, registered nurses have to acquire a license from their respective states, which can be issued after they’ve passed the National Council Licensure Examination. 

Annual median pay: $73,300

Software Developers

The remarkable technological advancement of today’s world has created many new jobs for tech experts that were non-existent a decade ago. Jobs in the coding and programming are projected to grow as the world moves more and more toward a tech-friendly lifestyle.

One of the fastest growing professions in the tech industry is software development with 22% projected growth according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field also has one of the highest paid bachelor degree jobs in the market. 

Duties

Software developers analyze users’ needs and design applications to best fit those needs. After outlining the model of the application and highlighting the core requirements to the programmers who create the software, they’re also responsible for testing the applications to see if they meet the goal. They also monitor existing applications for future references and detect necessary updates.

Qualifications required

For most software developer positions, you’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science or other related field.

Annual median pay: $107,510

Financial Analysts

Businesses need to make wise financial decisions more so than usual given the current turbulent economic climate. The input of an expert financial analyst who monitors and analyzes the financial activity has always been crucial for the success of any business.

However, since many businesses will need to find solutions to bounce back from the economic consequence of the recession. 

Duties

A financial analyst provides guidance to businesses and individuals for financial decisions. The duty of a financial analyst is to analyze their clients’ financial history and activity and help them make wise investments. After studying the current financial trend and examining their clients’ financial situations and prospects, they’ll provide expert advice for the best possible budgetary approach. 

Qualifications required

You’ll typically need at least a Bachelor’s degree to apply for financial analyst positions. The best degrees for this position are in fields like accounting, finance, mathematics, economics and statistics. Some positions require a license but since most licenses require sponsorship by an employer, you’ll not be expected to have a license before starting a job.

Annual median pay: $81,590

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Substance abuse and mental health issues are on the rise and more and more people are seeking expert counseling to overcome their issues. The pandemic has significantly contributed to the current increase in mental health and substance abuse issues that were already on the rise for the past decade or two. 

The U.S has been suffering an ongoing opioid epidemic that’s been claiming thousands of lives with more than 70,000 deaths due to drug overdose in 2019, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This was only made worse by the public health crisis that caused excessive mental strain and lifestyle restrictions. 

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors are projected to be one of the most in-demand entry-level jobs according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics with a projected 25% growth in 2019-29. 

Duties

The role of counselors is to evaluate their patient’s mental health, behavior and addiction and work with them to overcome or ease those issues. After properly observing and examining the various internal and external factors that affect the patients’ mental health, addiction and behavioral pattern, a counselor will develop effective treatment plans and work with patients and their families to implement them. 

Patients can seriously benefit from expert guidance on how to deal with their addiction and mental health issues, be it lifestyle changes, adopting healthy coping mechanisms or seeking out other resources like group sessions. 

Qualifications required

The minimum educational requirement for this position is a Bachelor’s degree. For private practice, you’ll need an appropriate license and the licensing requirements vary from state to state.

Annual median pay: $46,240.

Market Research Analyst

Businesses rely heavily on consumer data like spending habits and preferences for making effective production and marketing decisions to accelerate sales. The need for a data analyst to survey the market for consumer demands is on the rise, and is projected to grow by 18% from 2019-2029 according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Duties

The role of a market research analyst is to analyze data gathered through surveys, focus groups, customer reviews etc. and help clients figure out their customers’ demands, demography, spending habits, budget and preferences. With the information they’ve extracted by studying the consumer market and observing the sales trends and forecasts, a market research analyst will work with their clients to come up with effective business strategies that best fits the current market. 

Qualifications required

Most market research analyst positions require at least a Bachelor’s degree along with strong mathematics and analytical skills. 

Annual median pay: $63,790

Public Relations Specialists 

Any business or organization needs to maintain a favorable public image in order to build a strong customer base and patronage. An expert who can effectively communicate the organization’s values and goals can be a valuable asset to a business and the growing demand for such professionals clearly shows that. Employment for public relations specialists has been rising and is expected to grow by 7% from 2019-2029. 

Duties

Public relations specialists help put out a good public image for the organizations they represent. They’re also known as communications specialists as they’re responsible for communicating with the public on behalf of their clients. Their roles include presenting information to the public through press releases and other platforms, preparing speeches and arranging interviews with the company’s executives, as well as observing the public’s opinion of their clients. 

Qualifications required

A public relations specialist usually has to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in appropriate fields like public relations, journalism, communication or business. Employers also look for some experience in communication like involvement in school newspapers or leadership positions in students’ unions and clubs. 

Annual median pay: $61,150

Teachers 

It goes without saying that teachers make up an indispensable part of the workforce as they’re responsible for shaping future members of the workforce. While teaching comes with many challenges, it’s also one of the most rewarding professions. More doors are opening up in the field as many institutions are gearing to implement new technologies and teaching resources, which new graduates could easily adapt to. 

Duties

On top of planning lessons and conveying it to students in an easily comprehensible manner, teachers have to closely monitor their students’ performances so they can best determine and address each student’s strengths and weaknesses. They have to make sure every student benefits from class lectures and activities and acquire the essential skills for life after graduation. 

Qualifications required

In order to apply for most teaching jobs, you‘ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree in the subject area. Public school teachers need a license or certificate for the specific grade level they’re applying to teach.

Annual median pay: Varies depending on the grade level- $59,420 for Elementary level, $59,660 for Middle school and $61,660 for High school. 

Construction Managers

The coming decade is projected to see significant infrastructural developments which will result in increasing constructional activity. So demands for construction managers to oversee these construction projects are bound to grow. 

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts employment for construction managers to grow by 8% in 2019-2029. The field is perfect for graduates who are passionate about construction but don’t have the resources or necessary job skills for more concentrated and hands-on construction jobs. 

Duties

Construction managers, also known as general contractors or project managers, are responsible for planning, budgeting, supervising, and coordinating construction projects. By working closely with engineers, architects and trade workers, they oversee the whole construction from start to finish. 

They communicate plans to other professionals involved in the project and coordinate their activities to make sure the project is executed according to the clients’ demands. They’re also responsible for ensuring that the construction complies with legal requirements and safety regulations. 

Qualification required

Construction managers typically need a Bachelor’s degree in construction-related fields and usually have to undergo short on-the-job training. Individuals with high-school diploma and years of experience are also sometimes hired for this position. 

Annual median pay: $95,260

Bottom Line

Despite the fact that new job opportunities for graduates are opening up every day in new and untapped fields, the job market is still a competitive and brutal space. Even with the necessary employable skills, you can still have a hard time navigating you way into the workforce and that’s one of the realities of graduating in 2021.

You’re about to make a life-changing decision that will determine the future of your professional life, you won’t be alone in feeling overwhelmed at this stage in your life. However, try focusing on the fundamentals like what you can offer, which area interests you the most, which jobs are available and the most accessible etc. (These might come in handy when drafting the perfect resume.) 

You can then narrow down your search accordingly and ease up your research process to determine the best career path for you. 

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