The Most Popular Jobs and Companies for New Grads in 2018

May 10, 2018

College graduates by the thousands will be stowing away their mortarboards in the coming weeks to start chasing their dreams. “Thankfully,” Stephen Colbert told Northwestern’s graduates a few years back, “dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.”

Which would be a major problem because those are not the jobs you’re trying to fill—or grads are hoping to land. To find out which jobs they’re actually applying to and other information that will help you recruit these new grads, we analyzed thousands of LinkedIn members' profiles who indicated that they graduated in the past two years in order to understand what they studied, what roles they are applying for, where they want to work, their salary expectations, and more. Take a look:

The most in-demand jobs (and what they’re paying)

The job titles that have had the most applicants from the last two graduating classes are listed below. We’ve also shared data for what these new grads are making, on average, in these roles.

  1. Software Engineer ($92,300)
  2. Investment Banking Analyst ($85,000)
  3. Marketing Coordinator ($45,000)
  4. Graphic Designer ($45,000)
  5. Assistant Media Planner ($58,000)
  6. Account Executive ($60,000)
  7. Business Analyst ($70,000)
  8. Recruiter (woo hoo!) ($48,000)
  9. Account Coordinator ($40,000)
  10. Administrative Assistant ($38,000)

This salary information is based on data collected within the LinkedIn Salary tool. With free access to this tool, students can identify the different factors that influence their salary. So, make sure you’re prepared to have an educated conversation around compensation, as recent grads will be coming to the table having done their research.

The types of jobs college majors are likely to be a great fit for

It can be challenging to determine which college majors are most suitable for specific roles you are recruiting for. Below are the most common jobs these 10 popular majors end up with:

The cities and companies that graduates are flocking to

Of course, students also care, deeply, about where companies are located and which industry they’re a part of. They’re flocking to the Big Apple for jobs in finance and Silicon Valley for tech. No surprise. But they’re also heading to D.C. to work in public service and Boston to enter health care. Here are the 10 metro areas that are hiring the most entry-level professionals, with a look at which companies and industries are recruiting the lion’s share.

While the GMs and Amazons will hire swarms of new graduates, you don’t have to be a corporate behemoth to tap into the talent in the Class of 2018. On average, small businesses (between 1 and 200 employees) post more entry-level roles than any other companies.

And regardless of size, companies can benefit from the creativity, intelligence, and sheer energy that new college graduates bring to the market. There are undoubtedly some future CEOs and industry disruptors out there and, maybe, even a few cowboys and princesses.


To create this report, we analyzed thousands of profiles of members who indicated on their profile that they had graduated between 2016 and 2018. The salary information is based on data collected within the LinkedIn Salary tool.

*Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

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