Top 5 entry-level jobs

Top 5 entry-level jobs

Get your career off to a flying start with our roundup of the best junior roles around – whatever you’re looking for.

Deciding on a career is probably the single most important decision of your life. Think about it: you’re going to spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week in your job. Your earning potential, your daily activities, the people you surround yourself with, your happiness is all going to be affected by your career. So it’s important to get it right. No pressure then.

Traditionally, the middle and upper classes sent their sprogs to university while everyone else went straight into the workplace. Today, things have changed. With the introduction of higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 in 2012, degrees are falling out of favour – there were 17% fewer first-year undergraduates in 2012/2013. Other routes into a career including A-Levels, apprenticeships and work experience are gaining in popularity, and rightly so. Read on to find out the best entry level job for you, whatever you’re aiming for…

To apply for apprenticeships and school leaver jobs, click here.

To apply for graduate jobs, click here.

You want to be highly paid: Business Analyst

James Callander, MD of FreshMinds Talent predicts, “Being a business analyst with a ‘consulting skill set’ is going to be an increasingly attractive way to start in the working world.” Once the preserve of investment banks, today most major retailers, technology companies and utility firms are keen to hire the brightest and best business analysts, according to Callander.

They’re happy to pay for them too, with retail analysts starting on £25-30,000 rising to £40-45,000 with an investment bank. “Typically you need a minimum of AAB at A-Level with one of your subjects being Maths or Physics,” says Callander, “Beyond that, you also need to have the commercial acumen and judgement to ensure that the data you analyse can drive improvements within the business.”

To apply for Business Analyst jobs, click here.

You want to work in a creative industry: Website or Magazine Editorial Assistant

If your dream job involves seeing your work in print or online, this one might be for you. The role is varied: while there is often admin involved such as invoicing and handling customer enquiries, at the more fun end of the spectrum you could be sourcing props for a photoshoot, doing picture research, interviewing or writing. One thing’s for certain: you’ll never be bored.

Magazine and website editorial assistants tend to have degrees, although it’s not a necessity. What’s most important is the ability to multi-task, hit deadlines and come up with endless fresh ideas. The best route in is always contact-based, so get as much work experience as possible and make sure you wow them. Expect to earn up to £18,000.

To apply for editorial assistant jobs, click here.

You want to learn on the job: Apprentice Plumber

Employers have woken up to the value of qualifications other than degrees, according to Clare Vertigen, Director of the South West Apprenticeship Company (SWAC). She reveals, “We find managers are keen to employ people with experience and hands-on skills, rather than those who’ve followed a graduate or classroom based route.”

Apprenticeships can give you a head start in many professions, for example if you’re looking to work as an electrician, a plumber (particularly in demand right now), in childcare, administration or even towards joining your local Fire and Rescue Service. You’ll gain industry recognised qualifications alongside valuable on-the-job experience. Not to mention the additional skills such as teamwork and communication skills. At the end of it all, there’s a strong chance you’ll land a serious offer: 98% of SWAC apprentices secured jobs with their host employer upon completion of their course.

To apply for Apprentice Plumber jobs, click here.

You want to fast-track your career: Mobile Developer

Demand outstrips supply in this industry – meaning you can get ahead, fast. James Lesner, Digital and Technology Recruitment Consultant at Handle Recruitment says, “Mobile developers – involved in building the front end design and back end functionality of mobile apps – are vitally important to digital businesses in the UK due to the number of jobs outnumbering the number of candidates.” Lesner recommends academic studies in Web Design and Development followed up with coding courses and workshops as the best route in. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, the sky’s the limit, “Many developers freelance as they earn a lot of money and gain experience working on different projects,” says Lesner, “Staying at one company often opens up opportunities internally for example moving to other disciplines like UX, Analytics or Product Management or becoming a team leader.”

To apply for Mobile Developer jobs, click here.

You want to try something unusual: Photographer’s Assistant

If your aim is to be a photographer, the starting point is gaining experience by being a photographer’s assistant. You don’t necessarily need a formal photography qualification (i.e A-Level or degree), but it does help show you have a commitment to it as a career. Photographer Laura Ashman has 14 years’ experience and has shot celebrities including One Direction. She says, “You need an excellent working knowledge of the main cameras, lighting and capture systems – this is a must. You also need a willingness to learn how your photographer likes to work, punctuality and organisation. Above all, be a really lovely and helpful person to be around. The days are long and often stressful. You’re the photographer’s right hand man and are there to make their life easier!” Laura advises ringing photographers whose work you admire to ask about assisting opportunities.

There are lots of careers out there you’ve probably never heard of – but there’s bound to be something for you. Once you do decide to take the plunge and start applying, make sure your online presence won’t stand in your way. Check all your social media accounts are showing you in your best light – that means deleting the photos of you completing a NekNom and doing your best Daffy Duck impression. Consider getting a website or blog where you can post your qualifications and experience too – it’s something you can direct prospective employers to on your CV and will show commitment to your career choice.

To apply for Photography jobs, click here.

 

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