Beyond the Barista: Good Jobs for Recent College Graduates

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You’ve graduated from college. Now what? There are many reasons recent college graduates avoid jumping directly into the career for which they’ve studied. In fact, while unemployment numbers for college graduates are currently quite low, only 27% of college graduates are working in a career field closely related to the major they studied.

Perhaps your dream job requires more schooling, but you need a break? Or, you’ve got the degree, but hardly any work experience to make you attractive to employers. Some recent college graduatess are looking for some good old-fashioned life experience, and others need something lucrative in order to get out from under debt.

Whatever your reasons for finding a bridge job, there are many fascinating and fun things you can do to suit your needs. Since the average person changes jobs between 10-15 times over the course of a lifetime, you’re not alone in exploring something just right for this season.

For the Globetrotter

Hot Job: Flight Attendant

If you’re itching to travel, pay off debt, or do something completely different for a while, consider becoming a flight attendant. Since you’re probably free from the life obligations that hold many people back from this type of transient, irregular work, you’re an ideal candidate.

Most of the training necessary to become a flight attendant happens after you’re hired by an airline, so applying is the first step. Training programs are typically 3-6 weeks long and include everything you need to know to succeed.

This is also a fantastic job to consider if you plan to continue schooling but are longing for something of a “gap” year. See the world, make new friends, and pick up some valuable experiences that will impress future employers.

Other jobs to consider: AmericaCorps

For the Resume-Builder

Hot Job: Substitute Teacher

Even if teaching isn’t your end goal, a substitute teaching job can help you gain work experience and transferable skills that many employers value. You’ll learn multitasking, management skills, and more, all while doing something rewarding and fun.

Many districts require little more than a college degree to get started. Additionally, the flexible schedule and solid pay for what can be a part- or full-time job are attractive to new graduates like you who are looking for ways to pay off student loan debt and avoid moving back in with your parents, while at the same time maintaining a work schedule that isn’t restrictive.

This job can also help you make ends meet if you’re juggling an unpaid internship or another career-advancing endeavor that may not necessarily pay the bills. The flexibility makes it an ideal bridge job as you search for something longer-term.

If you’re wondering how to get started, signing on with an education-based company like Swing Education takes out a lot of the guesswork; they’ll tell you exactly what you need to do, and connect you with schools in your area that are constantly in need of reliable, smart substitute teachers.

Other jobs to consider: Research Assistant, Lab Assistant

For the Money-Minded

Hot Job: Software Developer

Listed as the best job of 2018 by U.S. News and World Report, software development is an especially good fit for those whose majors are in (or related to) computer science. Software developers enjoy major flexibility and a high paycheck almost immediately — as long as you’ve got the background that would make you attractive to employers.

While this job requires a more specific skill set than others on the list, there are many entry points that make it accessible. One way to get your foot in the door is through an internship with a credible company. Additionally, the need for software developers is always growing, so opportunities abound if you take the time to seek them out.

Other jobs to consider: Web Developer, Financial Analyst

For Something in the Meantime

Hot Job: Sales and Marketing Professional

If you’re in need of a job right away, look no further than ZipRecruiter; job advertisements for sales, marketing, and customer service professionals have dominated there for the past 12 months. Not only are these jobs abundant, but most recent college grads also have the qualifications to step right into a position. What makes them even more attractive is how skills and experience transfer easily into other fields — you’re working with the public, problem-solving, and analyzing demand.

Other jobs to consider: Account Management, Social Media Marketer

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