At the top of your field: The Top 5 career options for new graduates

Much has been said in Europe and the US in recent times about the continued emergence of Asia’s major economies, with China leading the way.

As time goes on, China looks set to surpass the US as the world’s largest economy. With this increased economic clout also comes a massive increase in the numbers of young Chinese looking to study abroad.

Today more and more Chinese and Hong Kong students are choosing to pursue their studies abroad, in their ongoing quest to stand out from the crowd and take their place among the world’s finest young talents of the business world.

However, what happens when the great university and college adventure is over?

What kinds of careers can these students look forward to upon graduation?

I guess it really depends on what you are looking for.

For many, it is all about the bottom line. Which jobs allow you to make the most money in the shortest space of time, for the least amount of work in a week?

For others, the opportunities for travel and experience may take precedent. Are you the kind of person who is willing to accept a slightly lower salary if it afforded you the opportunity to see new places, and perhaps acquire another language?

Then there are those for whom quality of life is most important. Sure, it’s great if you can get the big salary, the company car and the gold American Express card with your firm picking up the tab, but not if it means working 16 hours a day!

Taking all these factors into account, recent data has pointed to some specific areas which show the best potential for an overall balance of all these factors for up and coming graduates.

There are some overall trends that also make for interesting reading.

As one would expect, given that we are currently in the midst of another technological revolution across the world, those who can operate and maintain computer systems and the associated framework are in high demand, with the types of positions tech firms around the world regularly recruit for accounting for the bulk of the top 5.

There are a few surprises in there too however.

So, let’s take a look at the current top 5 job types for graduates and see which ones suit you best.


5) Computer Systems Analyst:

As I’ve already mentioned, there is massive demand across the world for experts in the operation and maintenance of computer mainframe systems. As such, Computer Systems Analysts are highly sought after given that they are the ones to whom companies often look to ensure not only that their systems are running effectively, but also to head off and troubleshoot problems before they happen. A 2015 survey predicted that by 2020 the demand for CSAs will have increased on current levels by an additional 22%. The average starting salary of 83,000 US Dollars per year sure isn’t to be sniffed at either!


4) Computer Systems/Network Administrator

Again, another entry from the high technology sphere, and not really a surprising one given a number of underlying factors. As time progresses, and system architecture becomes more and more sophisticated, demand for highly trained administrators will continue to surge. The increased threats of hacking and cyber terrorism also mean that companies are now prepared to go the extra mile in terms of both remuneration and overall employment packages to get the very best net administrators they can. This sector is expected to expand candidate demand by 28% over the next 5 years, which will no doubt lead to a further increase in the already very generous 76,000 US Dollar base salary.


3) Accountants and Auditors

Every big company needs staff to keep an eye on the books. For as long as trade has existed, so too has the balance sheet. Someone with the ability to write and maintain those sheets has the potential to go far in the world of accounting. This shows no signs of abating with the industry predicted to grow a further 16% over the next few years.

Of all the jobs on this list, accountancy and auditing is perhaps one of the less glamorous options. But, if you are one of those who values security and financial well being above the other mitigating factors then this job could be the one for you.

A salary in excess of 70,000 US dollars per year and the security of knowing you are an indispensible part of the team are your rewards for entering the world of the accountant.


2) PR Consultant

Whilst the creative media such as newspapers and magazines, and to a lesser extent TV and radio have been hit hard by the emergence of the internet and social media in the past decade, public relations, a field with many transferable skills, has not only escaped unscathed, it has actually continued to grow, with consistent double digit growth decade by decade set to continue beyond 2020. Although the average base salary is a more modest 61,000 US dollars, if you have the expertise and are willing to strike out on your own, establishing your own PR firm could bring in a salary several magnitudes higher.


1) Software Developers

Without getting too technical this is actually kind of 2 different jobs in 1. Software developers can work either as developers for systems (PC and Mac) or app developers (Android, iPad, etc). Whilst there is undoubtedly more jobs to be had in app development at the moment, given the sheer number of smart phones and tablets on the market, it is something of an unstable industry, where one or two bad choices can effectively kill a company.

Software developers on the other hand can look towards a certain level of reassurance. Whilst tablets and phones continue to advance, there are early signs of fatigue amongst customers, particularly amongst users of Apple’s products, which more and more are beginning to look like token, annual, customer-bilking updates rather than genuine innovations. The corporations of the world will always need computer software, and as such they will always need software developers.

The projected 32% growth rate in this sector by 2020 along with the circa.100,000 US dollar salary makes software development the very clear winner on this list.

So there you have it, just some of the brilliant careers you can look forward to upon completion of your studies. However, this is but a tiny slice of the many options a degree from one of the world’s top universities could send your way.

For more information and to get help in taking the next step in your academic path, call AF Education today.

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