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Recent Glassdoor Research Highlights Where New Grads Want to Work During COVID-19

With tens of millions of people newly unemployed, the class of 2020 has stepped into one of the worst job markets in history. As of May 2020, the number of open jobs on Glassdoor that contain “entry-level” or “new grad” in the job title has dropped 68 percent from this time last year. Now, confronting this significant drop in the number of open jobs, new grads are commencing their job searches in a profoundly different economic environment than could have been imagined a few months ago. 

So where are the new graduates applying to work?  Using U.S.-based Glassdoor jobs and salary data, we show where new college grads in the United States are applying in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and economic crisis. 

The table below shows the top jobs that new grads are applying to during the COVID-19 crisis and the estimated salary for each. Software engineer applications accounted for 8 percent of all job applications from new grads in May, making it the most popular role to apply to for new grads. This is not surprising given its high salary of over $94,000 for workers fresh out of college. Additionally, there are several other high paying roles attracting new grads in May, including data scientists and software developers. However, money is not the only factor in driving applications. New college grads are also applying to some lower-paying jobs that have shown resilience during the COVID-19 crisis and often allow remote work options. Administrative assistant and sales representative were two of the jobs in the top ten roles new grads were applying to in May. 

Top 10 Jobs Attracting New Grad Job Seekers

Rank Top Jobs New Grads are Applying To Percent of New Grad Applications Median Annual Base Salary
1 Software Engineer 8% $94,111
2 Data Analyst 6% $60,508
3 Business Analyst 4% $65,267
4 Data Scientist 3% $100,793
5 Administrative Assistant 3% $34,375
6 Sales Representative 2% $28,188
7 Financial Analyst 2% $64,807
8 Project Manager 2% $55,583
9 Graphic Designer 2% $41,347
10 Software Developer 2% $70,000

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research)

The table below shows the top 10 companies that new grads applied to in May 2020. High-profile employers including Amazon, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs stood out to new grads during these uncertain times. 

With seven of the top 10 companies on this list in the tech industry, it’s clear that tech employers haven’t lost their appeal among new graduates amid a shaky job market. Interestingly, a relatively new social media company, TikTok, is already gathering strong interest from new grads. New grad job seekers also aspire to work at non-tech companies like Goldman Sachs, EY, and Randstad. 

Even within industries that have seen job declines in recent months, there are some bright spots of employers still hiring. For example, Amazon has been hiring intensively for warehouse and delivery roles in response to booming e-commerce during the pandemic and is hiring for many corporate roles as well. Several of these employers are having hiring surges right now, as  highlighted on Glassdoor, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google.  

Top 10 Employers Attracting New Grads During COVID-19

Rank Top Employers Attracting New Grads Industry
1 Amazon Technology
2 Microsoft Information Technology
3 The Goldman Sachs Group Finance
4 Apple Technology
5 TikTok Technology
6 Google Technology
7 Ernst & Young Accounting & Legal
8 Facebook Technology
9 Randstad US Human Resources
10 Salesforce Technology

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research)

New grads are being forced to search for jobs in the midst of a pandemic. However, like previous grads, they are still applying to tech giants like Amazon (that are boosting hiring in response to COVID-19), and others,  like Microsoft and Apple, known for their strong company cultures. New grads are also applying to jobs at trendy companies like TikTok. Even though the backdrop of their job hunt has changed dramatically over the past few months,  leveraging Glassdoor data and insights provides a deeper understanding of the career interests of this newly graduated class of job seekers during a particularly challenging time.

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