The 10 Most Popular Jobs and Companies for US College Graduates

January 16, 2018

There will be no jaws dropped if we told you that Software Engineer is the most desirable job for new grads...but the average entry-level salary will definitely get a few “wows” -- it’s a whooping $95,000.

This is just one of the insights from LinkedIn’s second annual list of the most popular jobs and companies for new grads, based on the analysis of millions of student profiles in the US.

Half the jobs that made the list are new additions from last year, and three new companies joined the top 10. This year, Amazon has the distinction of being the top student employer, having hired twice as many 2017 graduates as any other company on this list.

If you are getting ready to welcome the class of 2018 to your company and want some data on what companies and roles resonate with students, the list below is for you. We have also added a few tips at the bottom to help you attract the best new grads.

Most Popular Companies for Recent Graduates:

  1. Amazon
  2. EY
  3. Oracle
  4. Lockheed Martin
  5. Insight Global
  6. IBM
  7. Vanguard
  8. Enterprise Holdings
  9. Deloitte
  10. Accenture

Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Median Salaries for Recent Graduates:

  1. Software Engineer - $95,000
  2. Administrative Assistant - $38,600
  3. Account Executive - $75,000
  4. Recruiter - $57,000
  5. Financial Analyst - $65,000
  6. Marketing Coordinator - $45,000
  7. Research Assistant - $34,500
  8. Business Analyst - $72,000
  9. Account Manager - $67,000
  10. Project Engineer - $73,000

Recent college grads can bring all kinds of benefits to a role, from a fresh perspective to tech savviness. Regardless of what role you’re hiring for, here are a few tactics to attract more grads to your company.

Up your campus game at recruitment fairs to get noticed

Many companies are rethinking their approach to campus recruiting. Students today have the world at their fingertips—they don’t need a pamphlet to find out which companies are hiring grads. However, recruitment fairs still have their upsides when your company is facing stiff competition and needs to stand out.

To do just that,  a few creative companies are using novel techniques to get noticed around campus. Some bring branded food trucks. Others are pulling out the virtual reality (VR) headsets to give virtual tours of their offices. Mailchimp even made nifty throwback baseball cards.

Whatever you try, your on-campus efforts should reflect the unique culture at your company. It’s a great place to make a memorable first impression—but only if you offer an experience that’s worth remembering.

Give your employer brand and Careers Page a facelift

As they take their first steps into the working world, grads want to know that they’ll love their career. By strengthening your employer brand, you can send the message that your company is the bee's knees.

This generation is going to Google you (your company—and you personally, probably) before they make the decision to respond to you. You want them to see something great. Take some simple steps like improving your Careers Page and making sure it highlights your company culture, injecting some fun into your company’s social media presence, and sharing the stories of new hires.

Engage students online with personalized outreach

Don’t wait for grads to find your company. Find them. Tools like online college job boards and LinkedIn make it easy to not only post job listings but take the listings directly to students and grads.

To really catch their eye, take the time to personalize your outreach by doing a little research, tailoring your messages around their interests. Tell them which of their skills caught your eye, and give them some insights into what the role entails. You can use a template to save time, but fill in the gaps to make the message speak directly to them—it shouldn’t look like a template.

Whether your company’s already made it to the top 10 or you’re still gunning for a spot next year, these simple tips can help you find, attract, and hire the freshest talent on the market.

Sample includes all members who indicate graduating with a Bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution in 2017. The lists were compiled based on new positions and companies these members added to their profiles since their graduation date.

* Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

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