Sales associate positions are the most common jobs for recent U.S. college graduates, a new study from the career website Glassdoor Inc. found. The jobs, which range from real estate sales to retail, have a median base salary of $38,000 a year, the study found.
A variety of assistant positions in research, teaching and administration, all relatively low-paying, were also cited as common. The highest-paying job on Glassdoor's list was software engineer, at a median base salary of $90,000, followed by engineer, at $70,500, and financial analyst, at $64,453. The lowest-paying job was teaching assistant, at $20,000. Substitute teachers earned a bit more, at $25,000, with tutors bringing in $36,000.
Recent graduates hired as sales associates were most likely to have majored in business, English or political science. But major didn't necessarily dictate pay. While recent grads who took well-paying engineering jobs typically studied mechanical, electrical or civil engineering, teaching assistants were also likely to have majored in various engineering specialties in college. That's because many alumni with those majors go on to become master's and Ph.D. candidates.
The data for the study came from "tens of thousands of resumes shared by employees on Glassdoor," according to a spokesman for the site, which covers 700,000 companies and has over 41 million monthly unique visitors. Glassdoor sifted through the resumes for the job titles that appeared most frequently in the five years following graduation. Median pay was determined based on salary information self-reported to the site from May 2015 to this month.
The top 10 jobs were sales associate, research assistant, teaching assistant, intern, administrative assistant, account manager, social media manager, software engineer, case manager and data analyst.