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Best U.S. Jobs: To Ten

According to CareerCast.com and Les Krantz, author of The Jobs Rated Almanac, this is the latest ranking:

  1. Mathematician
  2. Actuary
  3. Statistician
  4. Biologist
  5. Software Engineer
  6. Computer Systems Analyst
  7. Historian
  8. Sociologist
  9. Industrial Designer
  10. Accountant
200 different jobs were studied, using criteria such as environment (physical and emotional), employment outlook (enemployment rates, salary growth, promotion options), stress criteria (e.g. deadlines, stamina, competitiveness), and income. Mathematicians came in first!

Hunter Glanz, mathematician at Cal Poly, suggests "the take-home message is this: A degree in mathematics can take you almost anywhere you want to go. In fact, mathematics can be directly linked to over half of the top ten jobs found in Krantz's study."

In her article about this same study, Sarah Needleman of The Wall Street Journal wrote: "According to the study, mathematicians fared best in part because they typically work in favorable conditions — indoors and in places free of toxic fumes or noise — unlike those toward the bottom of the list like sewage-plant operator, painter and bricklayer. They also aren’t expected to do any heavy lifting, crawling or crouching — attributes associated with occupations such as firefighter, auto mechanic and plumber....The study also considers pay, which was determined by measuring each job’s median income and growth potential. Mathematicians’ annual income was pegged at $94,160...." Hmmm....

Source: H. Glanz, "Tob Job," MathHorizons, April 2009, p. 28.