As this year's college graduates embark upon the labor force in competition for a limited number of entry-level jobs, starting from the bottom won't necessarily mean starting with the lowest income. Straight out of undergrad, you can become a market research analyst, advising companies on how to sell products, and take home about $60,000 a year. Petroleum engineers will only need a Bachelor's degree and can be paid $130,000 for their role in designing systems for oil and gas mining. And while you'll have to go for your Juris Doctor professional doctorate to become an attorney or associate lawyer, earning power in terms of median pay is upwards of $113,000 a year.

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