What are some hot entry-level jobs that recent grads should be seeking out this year and why?
-- Jennifer E., Philadelphia, PA
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business's development and growth.
Social Media Management
Businesses are still slow to responding to the social media movement. Therefore, a lot of the best jobs for young graduates are those that haven't even been formed inside of organizations yet. Take a meeting and tell a local company how you and social media can benefit their bottom line. Better yet, apply for a different position altogether and blow their minds with your social media insights.
The IT field is a hot sector for entry level jobs in 2012. Dice.com reports a shortage of IT workers in 18 states including New York, New Jersey, Texas and California. Additionally, entry-level workers don't need to worry about previous work experience, because most employers provide on-the-job training,
Sales, Sales, Sales
Academia teaches us many things, but the ability to be persuasive, think on your feet, and close deals is invaluable. If you aspire to be an entrepreneur, this is one of the best experiences you can gain. Before you know it, you'll be pitching your own business instead of someone else's product. Never "selling yourself short" will take on a whole new meaning.
Finance is no longer sexy, but no career provides a better framework for understanding how business works!
Computer Programming and App Development
There will be a lot of tech jobs this year, especially in programming and application development. Computerworld's annual forecast survey shows that 61% of IT executives plan to hire for programmers in the next 12 months-up from 44% from 2010. If you're into programming, you can command a much higher salary than your marketing major friends!
You'll have time to specialize later on! if you're generally interested in business and see yourself filling the role of entrepreneur eventually, being a management consultant will teach you diligence and focus, how to work in a team and how to work and communicate with clients.
My friend learned basic HTML and picked up a job editing websites at the entry level. If he doesn't know how to do it, he looks it up in a book and searches forums. In effect, he's getting paid to learn web design/development. If you want to be an entrepreneur one day or join a startup with huge upside, these are the skills that are most sought after.
Are You Sure You Want a "Real" Job?
Building experience can be great, and certainly not everyone is cut out for the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, but make sure that you actually want to get a job. Is that where your heart is? I started my business right out of college; it's the best decision I ever made and I'm further ahead than I would've been climbing the corporate ladder over the last four years.
It's Not the Job, It's the Company
What many college graduates don't realize is that what they may perceive to be a sexy industry is overly competitive for very little pay. When looking at a job, don't just look at the industry, look at the company i.e. the people in it (are they happy?), your future boss (is he a leader?) and whether or not work will be enjoyable.
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