Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

Entry-Level Jobs Expected to Net College Grads Over $53,000 in Annual Salaries

According to iCIMS Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Vitale—in a recent RecruitCon 2018 session—81% of college seniors said they would be willing to accept a full‐time job in a field unrelated to their college major. With salary expectations for entry-level positions on the rise, college graduates may have to end up settling for a position outside of his or her
Fortunately, global job search engine Adzuna, recorded 107,270 entry-level openings for undergraduates, offering an average salary of $53,280. By state, California was noted for having the most open entry-level positions, with the top five states spanning across the U.S. giving entry-level hires national coverage.

Rank State Vacancies
1 California 14,518
2 Texas 8,398
3 New York 8,451
4 New Jersey 6,139
5 Colorado 5,171

When searching for keywords related to college job openings, including graduate-level, postgraduate, and entry-level positions from live listings on, it was clear that as education levels go up, the relationship between average salary and the number of job openings becomes inversely related, i.e. salaries are on the rise while the number of job listings are reducing.
In contrast to undergrads, there were only 5,615 graduate-level job openings available, but the average salary is over $20,000 higher at $76,953. Postgraduate job listings are scarcer still at 2,091, but the rewards jump up again, with an average salary of $85,566.
Unsurprisingly, as expertise is refined through higher education, the job landscape becomes significantly more competitive. However, those entry-level candidates looking for careers in logistics and warehouse roles are sure to find the most selection with high demand within this field.

Rank Sector Vacancies
1 Logistics and Warehouse 19,943
2 Sales 10,459
3 Customer Services 8,101
4 PR, Advertising, and Marketing 6,884
5 IT 3,924

“The US employment landscape has shown troubling signs. Job creation remains prolific and unemployment rates remain low at just 3.9%, meaning the market to attract strong candidates is extremely competitive. With job vacancies increasing, and the next generation of college grads entering the job market, it’ll be critical for job seekers to differentiate themselves through their resumes, and emphasize the skills that matter the most to recruiters – especially for the more specialized, coveted positions available today,” says Lily Valentin, US Country Manager at Adzuna.
In addition, leveraging research from, the team worked directly with hiring managers to identify the top 10 requirements employers look for in their new hires, including:

  1. Real world experience: Do candidates have experience working in the industry? Does he or she have any skills they’ve gained that can translate to the job?
  2. Good communication skills: Is the candidate able to work in teams? Can he or she articulate well and effectively communicate cross functionally?
  3. Problem-solving skills: Is the candidate able to think critically? Is the candidate able to demonstrate that his or her actions positively impacted a problem at work?
  4. Work ethic: Is the candidate reliable? Does he or she go above and beyond for tasks? Does the candidate want to improve him- or herself?
  5. Leadership skills: Can the candidate take charge of a project and run a team well?
  6. Creativity: Will he or she bring something new and different to the company?
  7. Strong public speaking: Is the candidate able to articulate well during the interview?
  8. Ethical standards: With so many ethical scandals coming out in many different industries, does this person uphold good ethics and morals?
  9. Organization: Can the candidate stay on top of deadlines, be on time to meetings, and work well with structure?
  10. Proficiency in technology: Almost every job requires a computer, does this person have any experience working with software?