#1 Software Developer
#3-#16 Health Care Related Positions
Since Smith Hanley Associates recruits Data Scientists and has for the last 30 years, we are always excited to see our specialty at the top of the “best jobs” lists. For statisticians/data scientists this has been the case for, at least, the last four years. Here is what the latest list has to say…
U.S News and World Report used seven measures to arrive at their best jobs list. The first five came directly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-2026 projections. They include Median Salary, Employment Rate (low employment rate indicates it’s easier to get a job in that field), 10-year growth volume, 10-year growth percentage and future job prospects or the ease of landing a job in the future based on the number of openings versus the number of job seekers. The last two measures came from qualitative analysis done by the magazine on stress level and work-life balance.
The projected jobs for #1 Software Developers at 255,400 dwarf every other top 20 best jobs in the list by a factor of at least five with the exception of Registered Nurse where BLS expects over 438,100 jobs to open up in the ten years between 2016 and 2026. #2 Statistician at 12,600 projected jobs and #17 Mathematician at 900 projected jobs are at the lower end of openings but their unemployment rate at .9% for both of them makes for a very desirable, candidate driven career. Their median salary is also competitive with software developers.
Where they do rank a bit better than the #1 job though is in upward mobility, flexibility and stress level. While software developers have average mobility and stress, statisticians and mathematicians have above average mobility and flexibility and below average stress. Excellent qualitative measures to go along with great pay and great job prospects.
U.S. News defines mathematicians and statisticians a bit differently than we believe is more common in the marketplace. They view mathematicians as the real data scientists with their more common advanced degrees. We see statisticians in the marketplace as having more applied skills that make them more marketable. Both specialties have added more software skills than in past years as data continues to proliferate and just managing that exponential growth has become a big part of their job. Many firms have a hard time differentiating the software developer skill set from the level of software skills their data scientists need to have, making the data scientists the more well-rounded candidates.