Highest-paying jobs for recent college grads
8. Pharmaceutical representative
Average first-year salary: $59,000
Preferred background: Bachelor's degree in chemistry, pharmaceutical science, or marketing; on-the-job training
BLS projected outlook, 2008-2018: Unavailable
Altman said seeing this career on the top-paid list caught her off guard: Nearly all other career choices on the list require strong math or computer skills, but pharmaceutical representatives are more people-oriented. Representatives meet with doctors and pharmacist to ensure their company's drug is the first that comes to mind when they prescribe a cure for applicable ailments.