For high school and college students, deciding on a career can quickly become a nerve-wracking process. You might feel passionate about a particular profession, but will that profession love you back, especially when it comes to pay and job opportunities?
Ultimately, that decision is up to you. However, some sources attempt to analyze the best first jobs in America, including WalletHub, which just released its latest breakdown. Software engineers are at the top of WalletHub’s list, followed by electronics engineers, engineers, systems engineers, and industrial engineers.
To create its list, WalletHub analyzed 12 factors, including average starting salary, number of job openings, and employment rate. They also looked at the projected job growth to 2030, the potential for income growth, the typicality of working more than 40 hours per week, and even the fatal work injury rate per 100,000 employees.
While software engineer isn’t at the top of the list in terms of immediate opportunity (that honor belonged to electronics engineer) or growth potential (the lawyer nailed it to that one), it had the highest aggregate score of all the above factors. Other technologist jobs, including hardware engineer and web application developer, were also in the top ten.
Those considering a career in software engineering can take heart from one fact: the pay is pretty good. According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings across the country, the median salary for a software engineer is $98,783 per year. It’s also a job in high demand: in the last 12 months, there have been more than 1 million job openings for software engineers, and the average time to fill a position is 43 days. . (According to Dice Tech’s latest salary report, the average salary for a technologist currently stands at $104,566.)
Regardless of your current career stage, learning in-demand skills can translate into better opportunities. Just be sure to highlight them on your resume and other application materials.