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  • Writer's pictureC.G. Perry

Top Ten Industries for Undergrads in 2021

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

Original photos by Maxim Tolchinskiy on Unsplash

Whether you are a recent high school graduate, junior in college, or a seasoned professional considering a career change, this listicle is for you! Here are the Top Ten Industries (with links) for Undergraduates in 2021.

#10 Investment Management

Photo of a man with a phone in one hand and is pointing at the line graph on a screen with the other hand.

It should come with no surprise the profession of managing investments is on the list. If you have not been paying attention, 2020 was the year of the broker. Since the U.S. stock market crashed in March of 2020, the S&P 500 increased 63% As the world economy begins to recover from the pandemic, more and more investors are seizing the current decline as the opportune time to “buy low”. With an increase in investors comes the demand for more entry-level positions in the industry. Are you still not interested? Consider watching a movie or two about Wall Street to see what all the hype is about. At worst, you would have watched a movie. At best, you will thank yourself ten years from now.

#9 Engineering

Photo of man using software to design a structure.

Do you want to leave a lasting mark on the world? Do you enjoy solving problems? Then consider a career in the industry of making dreams a reality. Engineering is everywhere and in everything from medical technology, entertainment to bridges. Industrial engineers, sound engineers, and chemical engineers are just some of the positions and skill sets within the industry. If you have an affinity for mathematics and natural science, then consider a job in the engineering field where there is always something being made.

#8 Information Technology (IT)

Photo of a laptop presenting an error message.

As more users frequent the internet, the world’s dependency on IT Managers will only increase. IT personnel are the custodians, gatekeepers, problem solvers and heavy lifters of all matters data related. From content management, sniffing out hackers, to maintaining data warehouses – the fountain from which new IT jobs originate is not drying up anytime soon. Big data companies need fresh minds to train up and scholarships for IT should be a hot commodity for any broke college student. Are you still not convinced? Then, you should also know the federal government is funding the expansion of apprenticeship programs in many developing sectors such as IT. I am no career guru, but if you complete your time as an apprentice it may increase your odds of landing an above-entry-level position afterwards.

#7 Media and Entertainment

Photo depicting an artist in a sound booth and another person monitoring them from outside the booth.

When it comes to media and entertainment, content is king – and the U.S. is king of content! With a contribution of more than $717 billion (with a “B”) to the global economy, the U.S. represents one-third of the global media and entertainment industry. From printed to augmented reality and everything in between, there exists a profession you are passionate about. YouTube, a Google company, is one of the biggest names in media. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is among the most notable and favored media distributors in the U.S. Also, never count out “Uncle Sam” to provide federal jobs with tons of benefits.

#6 Social Media

Photo of two women standing faced away from each other pointing smartphones around the room.

No listicle is complete without mentioning the very industry that brought you the modern blog, right? Social media, by definition, is user-created content that is published and shared online. Six forms of social media, as defined by professors Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein, are:

· Collaborative projects (such as Wikipedia and GitHub)

· Blogs and microblogs (like The Grey Point of View and Twitter)

· Content Communities (such as YouTube and Flickr)

· Social-Networking sites (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram)

· Virtual Game Worlds (such as World of Warcraft and Runescape)

· Virtual Social Worlds (like Second Life)

Each of the six branches of social media has the potential to be monetized into a revenue stream. There are even blogs covering how to do so. Content creates jobs because it takes a village to create and distribute high-quality content.

#5 Advertising

Photo of storefront advertising on glass pane saying "CHANEL".

You can love them or hate them, but if you are wise to admit, “I need ads.” Advertising companies perform the magical wonder of making commerce interesting. You would probably never consider buying a bath bomb unless you an advertisement (or a blog) informed you that such a thing exists. The same can be said about the latest released Aston Martin or Patek Phillipe. Advertisers have the daunting tasks of connecting producers to consumers and their significance is only increasing with time. If you have a natural gift to promote ideas, products, and services that may or may not be your own, consider a career in advertising. Who knows? Your idea(s) might be aired during the next Super Bowl.

#4 Consulting

Photo of woman using a stylus pen on a touchscreen computer.

The industry of giving valuable advice because mistakes are costly. Consulting services can take many forms and there exists a consultant for nearly every industry, but there are four major types of consulting:

· Management/Strategic consultants and their firms work with company leaders to reach new or known performance indicators.

· Financial consultants and their firms specialize on advising in the fiscal matters of the business.

· IT consultants could advise on anything from device security to advanced robotics.

· Human resources/staffing consultants are experts in every business’s number one capital: People.

Do you have valuable knowledge that someone is willing to hear? Consider a career as a consultant and your advice might fall on ears in very high places.

#3 Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

Photo depicting a woman wearing protective garments and a face shield.

From selling cough syrup to developing the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, the industry of “well-being in bottle” has been doing well since the tragedy of the first man-cold. You can make a difference in the world by developing products that improve lives around the world - to include plants and animals. Pharma companies are always in search of researchers, administrative personnel, strategists, compliance officers, testers, and more. Positions can come with an array of perks such as a choice in work location, bonuses, rewarding career advancements and more. Pharma jobs are not just for “egg-heads”, qualifications range from a scientist with several graduate degrees to a high school graduate. Also, this industry hires personnel from the other industries ranked in this listicle to perform a myriad of administrative and support functions.

#2 Accounting

Photo depicting two persons wearing aprons calculating numbers together.

Where the beans get counted and so much more. Accountants are one of the most, if not the most, vital persons to have on speed dial for anyone in business. Accountants have four core functions, and you would do well to remember them:

· Accounting: Tracking, documenting the flow of a company’s money and keeping everyone in compliance with the web of laws and regulations governing commerce.

· Auditing: Checking the books twice and usually with a different set of eyes.

· Assurance: When businesses need a layman -term translation of finance law, they call accountants first – lawyers second.

· Tax: While the rest of us worry about taxes once a year, accountants rake in revenue keeping corporate taxes in compliance. Many accountants can live well on retainer as opposed to reporting to work every day.

Contrary to popular belief, accounting has grown to be much more comprehensive than simply “crunching numbers”. Modern-day accountants are considered trusted advisors and welcome the era of automation. As computers continue to innovate the work of recording and forecasting finance, more and more accountants are partnering up with IT professionals to provide more services to the masses. Entry-level job experience in this field can open doors in every industry because accounting is the language of business.

This article was based upon the rankings by Vault. Vault provides comprehensive information on jobs, companies, and industries to help job seekers learn about and launch their target career. Each year, Vault compiles an influential list of rankings, ratings, and reviews on thousands of companies, jobs, and internships.

#1 Energy

Photo of industrial area with smoke plumes overhead.

Energy is known by many names but called “power” for a reason. Without electricity the modern world as we know would come to a screeching halt. The industry of power (generation, power delivery, maintenance, repair, and monitoring) is a massive and innovative global employer that rides the Ockham’s Razor because each decision affects thousands, if not millions of consumers. As mankind ventures continue to develop sustainable energy sources, the energy industry expects to expand. You can expect the demand and dependence on energy will only increase as internet usage rises. It should be no secret that energy professionals earn a higher salary than the average, however, it pales in comparison to the value of their work.

About the Author

Born in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Chris Perry travels the world as he writes for and manages the Grey Point of View. His hobbies include mastering the art of web design, navigating global news, and studying weapons of mass destruction. is an independent blog on ethics, politics, Euro-life and more. Written by expats, global citizens and other interesting sapiens. If you are interested in writing with us, send us your post for review. We look forward to hearing from you.

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