Highest-paying jobs for recent college grads
2. Software Developer
Average first-year salary: $84,000
Preferred background: Bachelor's degree in computer science, math, or engineering
BLS projected outlook, 2008-2018: 30 percent growth
This is one math and science-based field that requires abundant creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills. Developers can create anything from medical diagnostic software to video games and office tools. Very strong computer, coding, and math abilities are required, as is a knack for quickly learning new technology as it becomes the industry norm.