These Are The 10 Best Jobs In Illinois For Recent College Grads

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
College Grad Jobs, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Fastest Growing Jobs In Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

If you’ve just graduated from college, now’s about the time you’re probably wondering–what next?

For most of you, the answer will be simple: find a job. And for many of you, the answer will be: find any job. Because we’ve all heard the horror stories of graduating and the pickings being slim, we’ve decided to go ahead and save you some trouble.

After some research and number crunching, we’ve determined the 10 best jobs for recent college grads in Illinois. Here they are:

  1. Computer Systems Analysts
  2. Management Analysts
  3. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
  4. Computer Network Support Specialists
  5. Sales Engineers
  6. Database Administrators
  7. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  8. Web Developers
  9. Industrial Engineers
  10. Community Health Workers

We know what you’re thinking–computer systems analysts? Really?

You’ll want to keep reading to find out just how we came up with this list and why each job made the cut. Yes, even epic consultant.

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How we determined the best entry level jobs in Illinois

We’ve been talking to a lot of recent college graduates recently, so we have a pretty good sense of what they want in their first job. Their list normally goes in something like this order:

  1. ANY JOB!! (Availability of jobs)
  2. Location
  3. Pay
  4. Potential for growth
  5. Work life balance

Lucky for everyone, there’s data available from various sources for ech of the items on this list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on pay by location, each state’s Department of Labor compiles job growth statistics, and ONet Online, another government source, has data on job requirements.

We combined data from each of these sources to produce a master database that contains information for every profession. Specifically, we looked at the following criteria:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Only for jobs in Illinois that require a college degree.
  • Average annual entry level salary .
  • Projected growth as an industry over the next 10 years.

By limiting the dataset to only those jobs that require a bachelors degree, we were left with 40 jobs to rank.

We then ranked each job on each criteria from 1 to 40 with 1 being the best.

Next, we took the average of each job’s rankings to create a “Job Score”.

Finally, we ranked every job’s “Job Score” from 1 to 40 with 1, again, being the best.

One Job Please

Just graduating from college can be a scary time–but don’t forget, it’s also exciting. You have so many options, so many jobs to pick (or not pick! Go travel!), and so many choices! The world is your oyster, and with this list, so is the job market.

Below is a more detailed look at the best jobs for recent college graduates in the Prairie State.

Detailed List Of The Best Entry Level Jobs In Illinois For Recent College Grads

Rank Job Growth % Entry Wage Jobs in 2024
1 Computer Systems Analysts 24.49% $54,150 28,010
2 Management Analysts 19.31% $44,450 37,500
3 Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers 6.23% $57,070 6,990
4 Computer Network Support Specialists 14.65% $40,690 7,200
5 Sales Engineers 7.14% $48,780 4,050
6 Database Administrators 13.19% $50,100 5,150
7 Network and Computer Systems Administrators 9.62% $51,170 16,870
8 Web Developers 32.42% $35,470 6,740
9 Industrial Engineers 1.58% $48,850 10,270
10 Community Health Workers 10.44% $20,260 3,280
11 Advertising Sales Agents 7.94% $19,540 12,100
12 Commercial and Industrial Designers 1.96% $41,790 1,560
13 Insurance Sales Agents 12.23% $21,920 42,400
14 Paralegals and Legal Assistants 8.55% $29,160 13,200
15 Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 6.56% $27,940 73,060
16 Technical Writers 8.62% $37,320 1,890
17 Computer Programmers -8.31% $40,510 18,860
18 Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners 8.77% $27,200 3,720
19 Psychiatric Technicians -0.5% $24,790 3,990
20 Multimedia Artists and Animators 5.15% $35,310 2,040
21 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 19.39% $24,860 3,140
22 Recreation Workers 6.47% $18,100 22,560
23 Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 8.27% $26,970 7,330
24 Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 5.39% $41,680 6,060
25 Human Resources Specialists 5.11% $32,320 18,720
26 Clergy 6.0% $20,860 16,970
27 Cost Estimators 7.57% $36,860 7,670
28 Residential Advisors 11.49% $19,100 2,910
29 Interior Designers 4.13% $20,280 2,520
30 Self-Enrichment Education Teachers 15.0% $18,770 12,730
31 Directors, Religious Activities and Education 5.36% $18,840 8,650
32 Credit Analysts 0.34% $30,120 2,930
33 Electronics Engineers, Except Computer 1.07% $65,320 3,790
34 Social and Human Service Assistants 11.66% $19,230 13,220
35 Rehabilitation Counselors 9.87% $19,800 4,230
36 Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health 7.58% $20,690 1,420
37 Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents -2.89% $47,230 1,680
38 Surveyors -4.27% $36,170 1,120
39 Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education -0.57% $30,400 5,210
40 Coaches and Scouts 1.69% $18,220 7,810