Entry-Level Jobs 101

What is an Entry-Level Job?

Whether you’ve just graduated with your degree or you’ve just wrapped up your first internship, you may be starting to think about what your career path will look like after college. Either way, you’re likely to have some questions as you begin your job search. For example, what is an entry-level job and what can you expect to get out of it?

Here some tips to help you figure out the ins and outs of entry-level jobs.

What are entry-level jobs?

Entry-level jobs are jobs that require minimal professional work experience and open the door to larger, work-related opportunities. These positions generally mean that the employer is looking for a young professional who has some prior experience such as an internship under their belt, but not necessarily someone who has any full-time experience.

Pro Tip: Although having significant internship experience is great, it’s not a substitute for full-time experience so you won’t be able to bypass entry-level roles even if you’ve interned throughout your time in college.

How to identify entry-level jobs

Most entry-level jobs are marked that way in job descriptions and have titles that begin with anything from assistant to associate. When searching through listings, you’ll likely come across the following types of entry-level jobs:

“Degree not required” entry-level jobs

These are jobs that don’t require a college degree or much (if any) previous experience. Typical jobs in this category include roles in hospitality, retail and certain administrative positions. Since these jobs don’t require a college education, candidates with a bachelor’s degree may often be overlooked because employers are likely to consider them overqualified.

True entry-level jobs

Many employers still consider entry-level jobs to be just that. You’ll need an undergraduate degree and perhaps an internship or two under your belt in order to be considered for these positions. These types of jobs are the most common entry-level jobs and you’re likely to come across them in fields like finance, consulting, marketing and healthcare.

“Professional experience required” entry-level jobs

These types of entry-level jobs are less common but you’re still likely to come across them during your job search. Although they may be labeled “entry-level,” they would be better defined as entry- to mid-level jobs, since they expect you to have 1-3 years of full-time, professional experience. You’re likely to encounter these roles at smaller companies that are operating under tighter budgets but still trying to attract talented candidates.

Reading between the lines can help you save valuable time during your job search by giving you a clear sense of the jobs you’re qualified for and those where you’re likely to earn the highest salary with your qualifications.

What can you expect from an entry-level job?

One of the hallmarks of entry-level jobs is that they offer valuable training and experience. This means that you will often be exposed to many aspects of your chosen industry while also being asked to work on tasks that will help you learn more about the position and the field. Although some of these tasks might be mundane, many will be exciting, offering you the chance to expand your skill set and learn as much as possible along the way.

Entry-level jobs are a great starting point for your career. With the proper skills and a little research, you’re sure to land a job in your field in no time.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 6 Ways to Impress Your Boss and find answers to common interview questions such as What Gets You Up in the Morning?