This is shaping up to be a year of opportunities. There are over 100 occupations that have more openings than have been filled by qualified candidates, creating a job-seeker’s market. No wonder we’re able to create our own positions, apply via social media, and work from anywhere in greater numbers than ever before.
With that kind of flexibility available, those thinking about making a leap to another position or career should keep Glassdoor’s latest report in mind. The job posting and review platform just released its ranking of the 25 Best Jobs in America.
The occupations were ranked according to which had the highest overall Glassdoor Job Score. That’s determined by weighting three factors equally: earning potential (median annual base salary), career opportunities rating, and number of job openings, and rating them on a 5-point scale (5.0=best job, 1.0=bad job).
For a job title to be considered, it must receive at least 75 salary reports and at least 75 career opportunities ratings shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (January 8, 2015 to January 7, 2016). The number of job openings per job title represents active job listings on Glassdoor as of January 8, 2016.
It’s no surprise that eight of the top 25 jobs are in technology, or that they command high salaries. Topping the chart is data scientist, which commands a six-figure salary, as well as the highest career opportunities rating. Analytics manager and UX designer both make their first appearance on Glassdoor’s annual ranking, with high scores for increasing career opportunities, while number 12 ranked software development manager has the highest median annual base salary of $135,000.
Another survey, from Dice, the career site for tech professionals and engineers, found that salary and position are critical incentives to hire when demand is high. “But aspects of job satisfaction like housing, transit, and work-life balance are also important,” says Bob Melk, president of Dice.
Data scientists are among the most wanted hires. To become a data scientist, the individual needs to have skills in database management, statistics, and machine learning, and distributed and parallel systems. Although the American Statistical Association classifies data scientists as those who have amassed all those skills, both demand and salaries have been rising for people who can work with and analyze data.
Mean annual wages for statisticians grew 12% between 2000 and 2014 in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to data from the BLS. For a majority of other workers during this period, which includes the recession, wages remained flat or dropped.
“We often hear that wages are declining or remaining flat for many workers in the U.S., but that’s not the case for statisticians. People with degrees in statistics are highly sought after for their ability to analyze and interpret data and to understand risk and uncertainty,” American Statistical Association president Jessica Utts said in a statement.
It may not be listed as a job requirement, but those seeking tech positions need to have patience. Average interview processes can take between 23 and 35 days, according to Glassdoor‘s data.
Not all the top jobs are rooted in tech. Tax manager ranks in second place, notes Glassdoor’s career trends expert Scott Dobroski, who tells Fast Company, “It may not be the flashiest title on the list, but the high salary ($108,000) speaks volumes to a tax manager’s niche skill set and the high demand (1,574 open jobs) of the position.”
Will the job fall off the list after the April 15th tax deadline has passed? “Though there is a seasonal need for tax managers at this time, more so we find that with the Great Recession behind us, companies are paying more attention to their finances to ensure responsibility, accuracy, and that they are meeting their tax expectations on time and accurately,” says Dobroski, adding, “if they don’t, the risk/penalty could be much more for the company than what someone in this role typically gets paid.”
The No. 3 job is also a money position, Dobroski explains. “An engagement manager is the main point of contact for clients or vendors, managing this relationship for the business,” he says. As such, engagement managers handle finances and resource planning while monitoring progress and reporting on the services delivered throughout projects.
“This role is in demand for 2016 because employers across America are in need of someone who can manage their growing businesses and projects,” says Dobroski, because the U.S. economy is strong and businesses are expanding. “Engagement managers are filling a need that’s only increasing,” he notes.
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