And the best job in America is … News added by Benefits Pro on January 24, 2014
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By Dan Cook

If you didn’t go to med or pharmacy school, or receive a technical degree of some sort, then you simply aren’t qualified for the five “best jobs” as defined by U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine’s annual survey determined that the single best job available in America today is that of software developer.

No. 2 on its list was computer systems analyst, while dentist, nurse practitioner and pharmacist followed at Nos. 3, 4 and 5.

The magazine noted that “for the first time ever, the No. 1 Best Job isn’t in the health care sector.”

The implications of this phenomenon remain unaddressed, and we assume “ever” means since U.S. News has been ranking jobs. But the magazine seemed fairly excited that technology jobs had risen to the top.

“Software developer jumped six slots from last year to claim the top spot, thanks to a combination of excellent job prospects, faster than average job growth, low unemployment rate and a good salary,” U.S. News reported, adding that healthcare positions still fared well in the survey. “Seven of the top 10 jobs are from the health care sector, including registered nurse, dentist and dental hygienist.”

Many of the “best jobs” hadn’t even been on the list in prior years. Among them: nurse practitioner, operations research analyst, information security analyst, nail technician and structural iron and steelworker.

(Nail technician is defined by U.S. News as a professional manicurist/pedicurist. Inexplicably, the position is listed as No. 5 on the list of best social service jobs, following school psychologist, maintenance and repair worker, speech-language pathologist and high school teacher. It may also come as news to maintenance workers that they are social service agents.)

How did the folks at U.S. News come up with this list? The magazine says it used U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics to identify jobs “with the greatest hiring demand. Jobs were then scored using seven component measures: 10-year growth volume, 10-year growth percentage, median salary, employment rate, future job prospects, stress level and work-life balance.

“Occupations are ranked based on our calculated overall score, which combines several components into a single weighted average score between 0 and 10. The overall score is calculated from seven component measures: 10-year growth volume, 10-year growth percentage, median salary, employment rate, future job prospects, stress level and work-life balance. For each measure, jobs receive a score between 0 and 10.”

Now, to a selection of the lists of top jobs.

Best overall jobs
  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Dentist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Pharmacist
Best business jobs
  • Market research analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Accountant
  • Financial advisor
  • Business operations manager
Best technology jobs
  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Web developer
  • Information security analyst
  • Database administrator
Best health care jobs
  • Dentist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Pharmacist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Physical therapist
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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