Upgrade: The two entry-level jobs in America where grads can rake in $90,000 or more

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No full-time job experience? No problem.

This crop of college grads is facing one of the best job markets in decades, with an unemployment rate of just 3.6% as of April, the lowest in roughly 50 years. And thanks to this incredibly competitive job market, more employers are willing to hire college grads with relevant degrees and train them right out of school, even when they don’t have relevant full-time job experience, says Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute.

Some of these workers can make bank: On Wednesday, job site Glassdoor unveiled its list of the 25 highest-paying entry-level jobs, and there are two where you can rake in $90,000 or more: data scientist ($95,000) and software engineer ($90,000). (That’s compared to a median salary of $35,400 among entry-level roles considered in this report, Glassdoor notes.) To determine this list, the company identified the jobs with the highest median annual base salaries as reported by U.S.-based employees aged 25 or younger on Glassdoor during 2018.

Plus, not only do these two jobs pay well, they also have high levels of job satisfaction among people already in the job, and lots of job openings, says Amanda Stansell, Glassdoor’s senior economic research analyst.

25 highest-paying, entry level jobs in the U.S. in 2019

Rank Job Title Median Base Salary
1 Data Scientist $95,000
2 Software Engineer $90,000
3

Product Manager

$89,000
4

Investment Banking Analyst

$85,000
5

Product Designer

$85,000
6

UX Designer

$73,000
7

Implementation Consultant

$72,000
8

Java Developer

$72,000
9

Systems Engineer

$70,000
10

Software Developer

$68,600
11

Process Engineer

$68,300

12

Front End Developer

$67,500
13

Product Engineer

$66,750
14

Actuarial Analyst

$66,250
15

Electrical Engineer

$66,000
16

Mechanical Engineer

$65,000
17

Design Engineer

$65,000
18

Applications Developer

$65,000
19

Test Engineer

$65,000
20

Programmer Analyst

$65,000
21

Quality Engineer

$64,750

22

Physical Therapist

$63,920

23

Field Engineer

$63,750

24

Project Engineer

$63,000

25

Business Analyst

$63,000

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research). Numbers rounded.

Stansell says that often those with relevant degrees can score these jobs even if they don’t have relevant full-time work experience, as employers in the STEM space — which dominates this list — are competing heavily for workers. “Tech companies are not only competing with one another [for tech workers], they’re also competing with other industries like retail and health care,” she explains.

No matter what job you land upon graduation, it’s essential that you negotiate your salary. “Many employers will base what they offer you on what you are currently making. So if you start off with a lower than average salary, it is unlikely that your next employer will be very generous and offer you substantially more,” says Call to Career founder Cheryl Palmer. (Note that in a handful of places it is now illegal for a potential employer to ask your current salary.)

Plus, negotiating “forces them to fight for what they want and as frightening as that may seem, once they’ve done it, many other seemingly insurmountable obstacles will start falling into line,” says NYC-based career strategist Carlota Zimmerman.

To do it right, research the company and industry, talk to mentors and professors, and check out salary information websites to see what a fair pay rate is for your job, says Zimmerman. You can also check out these tips from an FBI negotiator to learn how to get more money.

“Feeling scared? Good, that means you’re waking up to all your potential and the reality that you have to fight for yourself. As Lauren Bacall said, ‘You don’t always win, but it’s good to know you fought,’” she adds.

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