As student loan debt continues to rise, it’s more important than ever before for graduates to land a good paying job right out of college. In 2017, average student loan debt hovered just under $40,000, which represents a 6% increase over just the previous year. According to a recent study conducted by WalletHub, it looks like the best bet for graduates wanting to immediately start paying off their student loan debt is to pursue a career in engineering.
In the WalletHub study, they surveyed more than 100 entry-level jobs. Out of the 109 positions studied, seven of the top 10 best entry-level jobs were in some field of engineering, with systems engineer coming in at #1. In the study, WalletHub evaluated the 109 entry-level jobs based on three main criteria: hazard levels, potential for growth and immediate opportunities. Those criteria were then further evaluated based on 13 key metrics to come up with their overall rankings.
Based on the results of the survey and the consequent statistical analyses, the best entry-level job was found to be a systems engineer; with engineer, electrical engineer and hardware engineer coming in close behind. In fact, 4 of the top 5 best jobs are all in engineering, with web applications developer coming in 5th.
In terms of starting salaries, however, drilling engineers came in second, with geologists and geophysicists tying for third place in jobs offering the highest potential for income growth. Not only are engineering jobs some of the best entry-level jobs available, but they are also the most prevalent. Both software industry and systems engineers are tied for the most available job openings.
After years of record low prices in the oil and gas industry, employers began relying more and more heavily on technology to cut costs in the industry. As a result, thousands of engineer staff lost their jobs and the positions dissolved. This may have led to a decrease in students pursuing engineering degrees, which in turn led to a need for more skilled engineers.
In addition to engineers, systems engineers, electrical engineers and hardware engineers, which rank 1-4 on the list, the other types of engineers that made the top 10 are: environmental health and safety engineers, electronics engineers and industrial engineers. If you are a new student entering college or starting to think about careers after college, getting an engineering degree can open up a lot of avenues and possibilities for you. Not only are engineering jobs ranked as one of the safest jobs in terms of job hazards, but they are readily available in a wide range of fields.
Another perk of pursuing a degree in engineering is the number of doors it opens to travel or work in other countries. The US is not the only country where engineering jobs are in high demand. In addition, while the duties and responsibilities of a certain type of engineer may change from industry to industry, they don’t change from country to country. An engineering degree can stand you in good stead throughout life and throughout the world.