Are you in college and wondering what to major in? Are you soon graduating and wondering if you need to go to graduate school to start a career you’re passionate about? CNN Money recently came out with their 50 best jobs in the United States for 2010. You need to take these lists with a grain of salt, but they are a good reference for figuring out what you might be interested in and what careers have the most job growth potential in the future.
To see the full list of the top 50 careers in America for 2010, you can read the full article here. Let’s take a look at the top 10 and see if we’ve got anything good here:
1. Software Architect – This career obviously has exponential growth potential, because software technology is the future. Software is becoming much more prevalent and easier to access for everyone because high-speed Internet connections allow users to quickly download it instead of buying a physical disc to install the software. As a result, software architects are in high demand. However, this career takes a special person. There’s a certain element of being naturally-inclined that is necessary to build software from scratch. If you feel you have the talent and skill but need to be refined in order to get to the next level, you should definitely consider Computer Science as a major.
2. Physician Assistant – My wife is a PA, and it’s the best decision she ever made. If you love the medical field, but the amount of time it takes to get through medical school and residency doesn’t appeal to you, this is a fantastic option. You make great money right out of school, it’s only a two-year program, and the demand for PA’s is becoming similar to the demand for nurses.
3. Management Consultant – This career is not typically one you can just fall into. A management consultant is hired by large firms and visits clients (typically large corporations) to help them solve managerial issues, and structure the operations and flow of the company to help it run more efficiently and be more profitable. Typically, top graduates of Ivy League and prominent public universities snatch up these positions.
4. Physical Therapist – This would be my second choice behind a physician assistant for someone looking to get into the medical field. PT’s are in high demand, have great starting salaries, and the work is typically a 9-to-5 job without sitting in front a computer all day long.
5. Environmental Engineer – I’ve known a lot of people that got into engineering because it sounded like a prestigious and safe career and they ended up hating it. Engineering takes a special kind of person; you must be highly analytical and love to crunch numbers and solve problems. Environmental engineering is huge because of all of the recent concerns about our depleting environment.
6. Civil Engineer - Again, engineering is a safe bet for a career as they will always be in high demand and it pays very well. Keep in mind that most engineering degrees require a Master’s Degree if you want to climb the ladder quickly as an engineer.
7. Database Administrator – A lot of database admins are IT guys that either learn databases on their own, on the job, or go back to school to get certified as one. Again, this isn’t the most fun job in the world, but if you’ve got the mind for it and the technical background to wrap your head around it, the gatekeeper to a company’s essential data is one of the most important employees of the company, and their compensation shows it.
8. Sales Director – If you have the skills to sell to others or lead and train other salespeople, you don’t even need a college degree. Sales will always be a top career, and it will always be one of the highest paying careers because you’re paid based on performance. The only downside is that sales directors have to meet tons of quarterly and monthly sales goals which puts a lot of pressure on them and lowers their quality of life. But, if you’re a natural, this is a great career path.
9. Certified Public Accountant – No one says when they’re a kid, “I want to be a CPA when I grow up,” but if you have a mind with a high attention for detail and you like playing with numbers and dealing with people, then there’s no safer and better job than being a CPA. It is one of the most stable careers out there because, unfortunately or not, we’ll always need to file our taxes.
10. Biomedical Engineer – This is another engineering careers except this one is very cool, because you get to design and think up new procedures, treatments, and devices to help save lives. It combines biology with engineering, so it’s not just writing reports and crunching data. It has a more “human” component to it.
Internet marketing account manager didn’t make the cut for the top 50, but I’m not too worried about it. The problem with the field that I’m in is that we are a dime a dozen, and it’s tough for consumers to know who’s legit and who’s just a “wanna-be.” Unfortunately for my career field, anyone can start a website and call themselves an Internet marketing expert. On the other end of the spectrum, it’s hard to be a “wanna-be” biomedical engineer!
What do you think of this list? What other careers do you think should be up there?
(photo credit: engineer resume)