Work With Us | 901-878-9758

Congratulations to all the newly minted graduates out there! Whether you have completed your undergraduate degree, or another degree, you should be proud! School takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money.

Now that you’re starting a new chapter, the next question is — What are the best (and worst) jobs?

I had the opportunity to speak with Marybeth Conley and Alex Coleman this week on Live @ 9 about just this topic! recently released a report of the best and worst jobs. Essentially, they assessed over 100 different types of entry-level jobs. The jobs were rated on key metrics including: average starting salary, number of job openings, unemployment rate, projected job growth, income growth potential, fatal injuries, and long work hours.

Overall, jobs that are rated highly include different types of engineering, law, and analyst positions. Many of the jobs were focused around the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math.

Computer related jobs were also rated very highly. Unfortunately, the study found that approximately 17% of those jobs will be cut by 2022. This is likely due to efficiencies being created, along with the outsourcing of tech jobs to other countries.

The jobs rated lower on Wallet Hub’s report were more labor intensive, with longer hours, and a higher risk for physical injury. Included on the list were sheet metal mechanic, welder, and floor assembler.

Although money isn’t everything — it’s surprising just how much jobs can vary in salary. For example, a tax attorney makes 6 TIMES that of a teaching assistant. And, a drilling engineer makes 5 TIMES more than a bank teller.

In fact, most universities publish what’s called a “post graduation report.” They list by major how much their average graduates are making in their first year after graduation.

The University of Memphis reports that some of their top paying majors are engineering, computer science, and nursing. Christian Brothers University reports a few of their top majors are finance and engineering.

But, you may wonder — what does “top paying major” really mean? Well, many of the engineering students at the University of Memphis are reporting starting salaries above $50,000. On the other hand, philosophy majors have starting salaries just over $17,000.

This is a huge gap! And, for a degree that costs roughly the same amount of money in student loans to earn.

Check other schools too. You’d be surprised at how much starting salaries between schools can vary for the very same majors. For example, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY reports that their average computer science major’s first job out of college pays over $85,000. Chemical engineers from RPI are starting out above $75,000, and business majors are starting above $59,000.

The purpose of checking multiple schools is to understand the projected return on investment for each program. In the end, you want to find the school with the highest value. Ideally, you want to find the program with the lowest tuition offering the highest starting salary.

If you’ve already graduated with a particular degree (and most of us have!), it may be too late to switch careers to one of these highly specialized jobs like engineering or law. But, if you’re still deciding, if you’re considering going back to school, or if you have children who are deciding, this can be useful information. It makes your decision more about facts and results, and less about a random choice.

To watch my interview on WREG Live @ 9 about the best and worst jobs for graduates, click here.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


Score Your Dream Job

Enter your email to download my free Job Interview Prep Checklist!
* = required field