New graduate getting an easy job after college.

The easiest jobs to get after college

Post-graduation life can be difficult. Many graduates—especially those from the liberal arts and humanities—can’t find a job after college, and it’s preventing them from building the lives they deserve. That’s why it makes sense to start with the easiest jobs to get after college.

Start small and work your way up. Here’s how.

 

Why you should start with the easiest jobs

It should go without saying, but many of the best jobs after college aren’t entry-level ones. You probably won’t land a leadership role or a high-paying role as an individual contributor without the experience to back it up.

You’ll come out ahead by taking opportunities to gain work experience instead of trying to win the lottery on high-paying jobs. Plenty of people try that and end up staying underemployed for five years.

Look at this list of underemployed college majors. If you graduated with a degree in the humanities or liberal arts (like me), then you have a very real risk of remaining underemployed for years on end after graduating.

 

Bar graph showing underemployment by degree in 2016-2017.

 

Second, job postings for entry-level roles have fallen by 40-45% since the pandemic started. The already competitive entry-level job market has been more or less cut in half since March 2020.

 

Bar graph showing job post decline since March 2020 by experience required.

 

Pursuing the easiest jobs to get after college can give you a foothold and a paycheck—and both have always been in short supply for recent graduates trying to pay debt after college.

 

Today’s easiest jobs to get after college

Starting with the easiest jobs on the market is an excellent place to start in finding jobs after college. The list for those roles is right here, but first keep in mind that there are a few factors at play:

  • Most of these jobs don’t require certification, lowering the barrier to entry.
  • These jobs do not require a technical degree.
  • Soft skills are highly relevant to these roles, even if they don’t appear on the job posting.
  • Software automation puts many jobs on a trajectory for decline in the next decade, but remember: these are your first or second jobs out of college, not your “forever” roles.

 

 

Customer success specialist

Facts about this job:

  • Median salary: $35,830 per year
  • Credentials needed: none
  • Job outlook through 2029: -2%

 

Profile on customer success specialists and customer service representatives, including median salary, credentials needed, and job outlook by 2029.

 

Traditionally called a customer support representative (CSR), people in this role spend their days helping customers solve problems. These roles get a bad rap because they have been notoriously useless to customers of the world’s largest corporations, but the tech boom has made this role pretty solid in the last 10 years.

First off, you don’t need to be a support rep for a bank or an insurance company where everyone who calls in is just angry. Instead, you can become a customer success specialist for fun companies like Canva, Google, or anything in between.

This kind of role is excellent because you can succeed with soft skills. Skills that normally get laughed at in technical roles are actually quite important here. They include:

  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Proficient oral communication
  • Interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships
  • Problem-solving
  • Mediation

The great thing about the tech craze is that every piece of software needs a support team behind it for customer retention—every single one. That’s where your soft skills can come in extremely handy for organizations looking to scale up and to keep their paying customers.

Even better? You can move into other roles within the company with the knowledge you gain in the support role.

  • Your knowledge of the product’s issues can lead to product development roles.
  • Speaking with frustrated customers can lead to marketing roles.
  • You could work for a competitor looking for a fresh perspective on the industry and its products.

Customer success specialists are one of the best ways to land your first job after college. Don’t write it off!

 

Digital marketing specialist or junior manager

Facts about this job:

  • Average salary: $57,253 (this average includes mid-level salaries too)
  • Credentials needed: none, but a bachelor’s degree helps
  • Job outlook through 2029: +6% (for marketing managers)

 

Profile on digital marketing specialists, including median salary, credentials needed, and job outlook by 2029.

 

Digital marketing is a growing field with a ton of specialized roles—and almost all of them benefit from soft skills that aren’t certified by colleges or universities. 

Your best bet is to enter the industry through an agency, because they tend to have relatively high turnover—which you can turn to your advantage as someone trying to get a foot in the door.

They hire a lot of entry-level people to save on costs, but here’s the rub: most agencies aren’t that organized, often forcing employees to take on new tasks and responsibilities to put out organizational fires on a semi-regular basis. Within 2 years of working at an agency you will have the equivalent experience of someone who has spent 3-5 years in a highly structured corporate environment.

You’ll probably start out as a coordinator who pushes a lot of buttons and carries out the mundane stuff. That’s actually a great place to start because digital marketing involves a lot of software proficiency that can only really be learned on the job.

 

 

Once you know how the technology works, you can branch out into any of the mid-level roles, which include:

  • Content writing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media management
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Web analytics
  • Campaign strategist
  • Digital public relations
  • Graphic design
  • Website development

Those are roles that any organization’s digital marketing team would need covered, but it doesn’t include agency-specific ones like account managers or salespeople.

 

Account coordinator or manager

Facts about this job:

  • Median salary: $55,934 (this includes mid-level roles)
  • Credentials needed: none

 

Profile on account managers and coordinators, including median salary, credentials needed, and job outlook by 2029.

 

Account managers are a fixture in the services industry. They are particularly prominent in agencies for marketing, human resources management, and B2B software companies.

The best way to scale time and energy is to sell to multiple customers, after all—but customers always demand more time than businesses can afford to give to any one of them, so they hire account managers and coordinators as the point of contact for all of a client’s needs, requests, and deliverables.

At higher levels they manage the client relationships, too, becoming a key part of those business’ retention efforts. That’s good for the company but it’s also a built-in way to network throughout your career, letting you take that network with you wherever you go.

Why does networking matter here? Any client could stay with you in multiple ways, including:

  1. Becoming your next employer.
  2. Becoming your first client at a new job.
  3. Referring business to you.
  4. Sending promising hires your way.
  5. Becoming your first freelance client.

It’s a profession built on organization and relationships, and most organizations need both of those things.

 

Bank teller

Facts about this job:

  • Median salary: $32,620
  • Credentials needed: none
  • Job outlook through 2029: -15%

 

Profile on bank tellers and associates, including median salary, credentials needed, and job outlook by 2029.

 

Bank tellers don’t have the most glamorous jobs out there, but they tend to get paid fairly and they receive stable, safe work.

Fun fact: you don’t actually need to be a math expert to get into the financial industry. My own financial advisor has been trying to recruit me for years, telling me that software does the calculations. That leaves financial representatives to focus on communicating and planning with their clients.

It should be noted that low-level teller positions tend to revolve around customer service and sales, all rolled into one. The pressure to sell customers on financial products can definitely your style if you’re an introvert.

You don’t have to stay in public-facing roles if you want to get into the finance industry, though. There are all kinds of roles that aren’t about interpersonal relationships, sales, or customer service. Those roles include:

  • Corporate accountant
  • Commercial banking specialist
  • Investment banking
  • Investment portfolio management.
  • Private equity and venture capital

Some focus on administration, while others focus on business solutions, company operations and forecasting—the list goes on after you get your foot in the door.

 

Business development representative

Facts about this job:

  • Median salary: $56,720 (includes mid-level roles)
  • Credentials needed: none

 

Profile on bank tellers and associates, including median salary, credentials needed, and job outlook by 2029.

 

Sales positions are tough, and that’s why they are among the easiest jobs to get after college. Becoming a good salesperson is tough, too.

High-performing salespeople are invaluable to every kind of company, though—and mastering that skillset will go a long way toward providing your employability in the long term, if you’re into this kind of role. Organizations will pay big bucks for top salespeople when the economy is good, and prevailing wisdom since the pandemic started has been to double-down on salespeople in times of crisis. It’s a nice kind of job security if your performance 

 

 

It’s not glamorous, but it can be a great living if you enjoy the work. Soft skills are absolutely essential in sales roles. You’ll need a lot of the same soft skills as customer service reps, but used more proactively. They include:

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence
  • Relationship-building
  • Active listening
  • Problem-solving (often for custom arrangements).
  • Strong verbal communication skills

Being a successful salesperson also calls for optimism, flexibility, and integrity. It’s about focusing on client success even if they don’t buy from you, because sales is based on relationships and trust.

The caveat about sales: It should also be said that sales positions are often looked down on as the dregs of white collar jobs. That’s because a lot of companies force junior salespeople into soul-sucking jobs in call centers and door-to-door schemes.

In fact, one such company with a cult-like workplace mentality even tried to trick me into taking a door-to-door sales job by calling it a “marketing” role.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with those kinds of jobs but, typically, they aren’t managed well, focusing on weekly quotas instead of nurturing long-term sales. It’s worth trying if you’re hurting for cash but remember that extraverts tend to thrive in sales roles.

 

Administrative assistant

Facts about this job:

  • Median salary: $40,990
  • Credentials needed: none
  • Job outlook through 2029: -9%

 

Profile on administrative assistants and secretaries, including median salary, credentials needed, and job outlook by 2029.

 

Administrative assistants have some of the lowest barriers to entry, but that also makes them some of the most competitive “low-hanging fruit” on the job market.

A day in the life of this job would look like this:

  • Taking calls.
  • Booking appointments.
  • Receiving visitors.
  • Writing and distributing memos.
  • Maintaining physical and digital filing systems.

It’s a job about processes and procedures, maintaining order at the ground level. It’s a natural first step for many students fresh out of college since it doesn’t involve skilled labor.

The competition is what can make this role a little difficult to land. Because the job only involves unskilled labor in general, having a college degree doesn’t present a clear advantage over high school graduates—not on paper, anyway.

Even worse, there are actually some career colleges out there that offer courses to become an administrative assistant. It’s appealing to people who didn’t attend college but it doesn’t help people who did. This has contributed to an inflated reliance on credentials for this kind of role where none should exist—like being able to type a certain number of words per minute.

It’s entirely possible to land this kind of job without a formal “program” to become an administrator, but just be aware that you may be expected to perform some kind of test involving typing or grammatical accuracy.

If you are a college graduate then your advantages for this role come soft skills and academic experience:

  • You know how to speak well in public settings due to tutorial discussions.
  • Formatting documents comes fairly easily due to following style manuals for years.
  • You know how to write effectively from years of producing essays.
  • Proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation are not challenging to you.
  • You can organize calendars, having managed your own schedule in school.
  • If you can organize research sources then you can organize cloud storage folders.

You can also win over hiring managers with strong oral communication skills, which can be demonstrated immediately in an interview. It’s always better to show than to tell.

 

How to land the easiest jobs after college

So how do you land the easiest jobs after college when so many of them don’t even require a degree in the first place?

At a high level, you want to bring all of your advantages from school to the forefront. Here’s what recent graduates can bring to the role on a general level:

  • A clean, crisp presentation for public-facing roles.
  • Developed oral communication skills for external and internal conversations.
  • Refined written communication skills 
  • Familiarity in dealing with established professionals (like eccentric professors).
  • Familiarity with office software.

Aside from that, you can follow a 7-step process to get a job to turn yourself into a competitive candidate in a short amount of time.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Quantify everything on your resume to show employers that you know what a resume should look like after college.
  2. Give yourself a LinkedIn makeover—and let recruiters know that you want to be contacted.
  3. Set up specific job alerts on key job boards, then go hunting for recruiters to find jobs for you.
  4. Build your own work experience by pitching projects to sole proprietors, local businesses, and non-profit organizations.
  5. Create a portfolio website to put your presentation a head above the competition.
  6. Start networking by doing valuable things for your contacts. They’ll remember.
  7. Network your way into interviews and then turn those into consultations and working sessions.

You can get the entire strategy here if you want a more in-depth guide.

 

Happy hunting out there, folks!

Andrew Webb

Andrew Webb

Founder of the Employed Historian, Andrew entered the working world with two history degrees and zero technical knowledge. Then he worked on those technical skills and discovered something profound about the liberal arts. By day he's a professional search engine optimization specialist and content marketer at Webb Content.

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