Every year, U.S. News and World Report ranks the “best jobs” in the US. For 2013, the “best jobs” were:
- Registered nurse
- Computer systems analyst
- Database administrator
- Software developer
- Physical therapist
- Web developer
- Dental hygenist
Health care and technology dominate the list. What else do these jobs have in common?
- They are well compensated. Some professions, like physicians and dentist, are famously well-paid, but all of these provide you with a solid middle- to upper-class lifestyle.
- They require specialized skills and talents. Not only do they require years of education, they also certain habits of mind in order to be successful. It’s relatively easy (compared to some other fields) to distinguish who belongs in the discipline and who is just a pretender. Beyond the compensation, the specializiation and high degree of skill confers a high level of respect for people who are good at these jobs. (People outside the profession might not even have a clear idea of what they do!)
- They are in high demand. Both health and technology are growing at rates beyond the rest of the economy, which offers both security and a high degree of autonomy for people in these fields. Right now, at my work, we’re trying to hire a web developer, and it’s common for highly skilled developers to receive several attractive job offers at the same time. As a result, developers can be extremely selective, choosing a job that is just the right fit for their preferences.
In summary, the “best jobs” are well paid, highly respected, and secure. Who wouldn’t want that? Well, that’s a complicated question.
What Makes a Job “Good”?
The jobs identified as “best” were ranked by a specific formula:
- 10-Year Growth Volume (10%)
- 10-Year Growth Percentage (10%)
- Median Salary (30%)
- Job Prospects (20%)
- Employment Rate (20%)
- Stress Level (5%)
- Work-Life Balance (5%)
Security (in terms of job growth, employment rate, and prospects) and compensation (median salary) were weighted more heavily in the formula, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the “best jobs” were those that delivered on those qualities. Continue reading Which Is the Best Job?