More than 4.5 million people left their jobs in November 2021, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released last month. If you’re among this legion of gig seekers, know that Glassdoor recently released its 50 Best Jobs in America report, and the top five careers listed there should be your holy grail.
Glassdoor bases its results on the jobs with the highest overall job scores. It is calculated into three key factors: the number of current openings, the overall job satisfaction rating according to people who already have the gig, and earning potential. Glassdoor presents its figures on a five-point scale with five being the “best” and the career equivalent of a urinal cake.
As you might expect, given all the depressing employer complaints about a lack of technology skills, IT jobs dropped out of the top five positions. The only non-tech job is at the bottom of the top 5 list, but it actually has the second highest salary. However, it’s got a disturbingly ambiguous title Strategy Manager.
That means even if you earn an average salary of more than $140,000 per year, you’ll likely face softer performance metrics—a great way for employers to easily get rid of you if they need to tighten their belts. It will have very different details from industry to industry and even across different companies in those verticals. Bottom line: read that job description carefully.
Fourth on the list is a greenfield technology work, DevOps Engineer. DevOps is essentially the evolution of common IT work, which means managing and monitoring all those server racks in your company’s data center, doing the same thing at the software level. What is driving this track is the big change in software-defined networking (SDN) that has been happening over the years. It refers to all the virtual machines (VMs) and virtual networks that you need to set up and manage when using a cloud infrastructure provider.
In this job, you’ll manage everything from simple servers to entire data centers and, more recently, desktop PCs from multiple firms. That’s what DevOps engineers will primarily manage, although many will also specialize in things like code improvement and security. The median salary is just over $120,000, and hiring managers are desperate to fill more than 8,500 open positions. But be forewarned: This is not a light gig. IT skills are only the starting point. Project management, all aspects of virtual infrastructure design (which can vary from cloud to cloud), and programming skills are also required. And if you want to become an expert, you may also need to delve into data management, disaster recovery and security skills.
Glassdoor is third on the list Statistics scientist. When your company’s data was stuffed into a data warehouse, the people managing that data were usually called database administrators (DBAs). But the capabilities of front-end business intelligence (BI) tools as well as back-end databases have grown exponentially over the years. This allows executives to view more complex and targeted queries from their data. Answering those questions is the job of a data scientist, which means expert-level database skills as well as a thorough understanding of advanced technologies such as machine learning, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence. Again, if you have the chops, they’re worth an average of $120,000 a year, and there are about 10,000 open positions to fill.
second best job in america Full Stack Engineer. This is another software job, but it is geared towards building web applications and websites. The “full stack” part of the job means that you should be able to work on any core component that includes an app or site. This means understanding them individually and how to tie them together for the best performance, functionality and user experience. This is another not-so-easy task that would require programming smarts in multiple development languages. However, if that’s you, you’ll be filling an average of $100,000 into your bank account each year, and hiring managers look forward to filling more than 11,000 slots in this category.
But overall the best work, according to Glassdoor, is issue one. Enterprise Architect. If this sounds like a grand, near-c-suite-level title, that’s because it often is. The job of an enterprise architect is to discover, map, and build all the technical solutions and systems that a particular business needs to remain competitive. Enterprises have or at least want scores of these people to throw them on different technology stacks. However, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will often have one of these uber-geeks, so if you join that board, your list of responsibilities will be long, and you’ll need some level of competency at most. The technology skills listed above will be required. On the upside, the job pays an average of over $144,000 and there are currently about 14,000 open positions across the US.
The Glassdoor Top 50 list is a hit with much more than tech jobs. You’ll find career tracks from HR recruiters to psychiatrists and everything in between. But geeks are still the most in demand, with tech jobs occupying the top most positions of any career track. Glassdoor believes this is mainly due to the existing skill shortage, resulting in increased pay along with lots of flexibility around benefits and hybrid work.