The Hottest Jobs for New Graduates

Posted November 12, 2013 by
Group of happy students in graduation gowns with diplomas

Group of happy students in graduation gowns with diplomas. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Let’s face it, the past several years have not been the most reassuring times for new graduates heading into the job market. Ever since the 2008 recession, new grads have had a harder time landing their ideal jobs. Many have even settled for lower paying jobs outside their career field.

In hopes of helping both current students and new graduates focus on emerging career fields, the University of California San Diego has created a list of 2013 “hot careers” for students to consider. Here is what they came up with, starting with the hottest.

1.    Application Developers – That’s right. There’s a reason all those graduates fresh out of MBA programs are foregoing the finance world for technology. If you haven’t been reading the business headlines lately, technology is hot. The demand for app developers is so high right now that it actually tied with software developers for both first and second place on this list.

2.    Systems Developers – Like app developers, software developers are just as in demand, and with the annual salary in the mid-$90,000s it’s not a hard sell for new graduates either.

3.    Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists- Individuals who hold these positions often spend their days analyzing data and looking at trends. The nice thing about the research analyst job is graduates with a range of educational experience can qualify, from those with a liberal arts degree, to an economics degree.

4.    Accountants and Auditors – The need for the numerically inclined is growing by leaps and bounds, which is one of the reasons accountants take the fourth spot on the hottest careers list. By 2020, the number of people employed in these roles is expected to grow by 16 percent.

5.    Network and Systems Administrators – Here we go with the tech again. This time, instead of developing apps and software, these positions more IT focuses. The number of network and systems administrators is projected to grow 28 percent by 2020.

6.    Elementary School Teachers – Here’s an interesting statistic: elementary teachers outnumber any other single occupation nationally. And in the coming years, that number will grow. The profession is projected to grow by 18 percent by 2020.

7.    Computer System Analysts – Also akin to the systems administrators listed above, system analysts can work as independent contractors or in a larger IT company.

8.    Management Analysts – One of the big draws of this role is that it is increasingly becoming more of an independent contractor role allowing for the individual to choose their own clients and areas of expertise.

9.    Public Relations Specialists – The importance of communicating everything from fundraising goals, to political issues to policy making in the next decade is reinforced by the fact that public relations positions are forecasted to grow by 23 percent by 2020.

10.    Insurance Sales Agents – The last, but not coldest (hot) career is insurance agents. One draw is that only a high school degree is required for this job, while the annual salary is $63,400. The number of insurance agents is expected to grow by 22 percent by 2020.

Kristy Hessman is a freelance writer who guest blogs at, a leading provider of graduation sashes and stoles.

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