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How To Get The Best Job

CareerCast.com recently pored through 200 professions to rank the best jobs for the year. Looking at five key criteria salary, outlook, workplace conditions, stress, and physical demands the resulting “The 10 Best Jobs For 2011” was published by Forbes in January.


According to Forbes, the best jobs for 2011 require “proficiency in science, math or technology and a college degree.”

We’ve spotlighted seven careers that CareerCast.com included among its list of the best. Find out which degree you need to land one of these jobs now.

Best Job #1 – Actuary

High pay and low stress helped distinguish actuaries, who happen to know a thing or two about analysis, from the 200 careers that CareerCast.com analyzed.
Training: In addition to passing an actuarial exam, actuaries need a bachelor’s degree in an area like mathematics, statistics, accounting, or finance.
Pay: $87,204

Related Career – Accountant
Training: Bachelor’s in Accounting
Pay: $67,430
[Search for Accounting schools]

Best Job #2 – Software Engineer

Forbes mentions that the advent of cloud computing and the newfound popularity of cellphone apps have created a wealth of employment opportunities for software engineers, who rose to the top of CareerCast.com’s best jobs ranking. High pay is another perk enjoyed by software engineers.
Training: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most software engineers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or mathematics.
Pay: $87,140

Related Career – Computer Programmer
Training: Bachelor’s in Programming & Software
Pay: $74,690
[Search for IT schools]

Best Job #3 – Computer Systems Analyst

Knowing how to operate a company’s computer systems is one of the most valuable skills you can have in today’s economy, not to mention tomorrow’s. In addition to a bright job outlook, many computer systems analysts enjoy perks like telecommuting.
Training: Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems, according to the Department of Labor.
Pay: $77,153

Related Career – Network Systems Analyst
Training: Bachelor’s in IT & Information Systems
Pay: $76,560
[Search for IT schools]

Best Job #4 – Statistician

Crunching numbers, determining numerical patterns, and predicting future results are all part of a statistician’s responsibilities, which often pays off in the form of high compensation and a comfortable workplace.
Training:At a minimum, you need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics, according to the Department of Labor, but many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.
Pay: $73,208

Related Career – Financial Analyst
Training: Bachelor’s in Finance
Pay: $85,240
[Search for Finance degree programs]

Best Job #5 – Dental Hygienist

A huge surge in job opportunities is a big reason why dental hygienists are among CareerCast.com’s Best Jobs for 2011. It’s a career you can begin with just an associate’s degree and nearly half of hygienists work flexible or part-time schedules, according to the Department of Labor.
Training: To become a dental hygienist, enroll in a dental hygiene program, which will help prepare you for the career and teach you what you need to know to pass your state licensing exam.
Pay: $67,107

Related Career – Dental Assistant
Training: Associate’s in Dental Assisting
Pay: $34,000
[Search for Dental Assisting programs]

Best Job #6 – Biologist

It’s no surprise that CareerCast.com named biologist as one of its “Best Jobs” for the year. The booming biotech industry has created a huge demand for biologists. They study the circle of life and get rewarded handsomely for it. Employment is expected to grow 21 percent through 2018, according to the Department of Labor.
Training: While some research positions require only a bachelor’s degree in biology or chemistry, many higher-level positions go to candidates with a Ph.D.
Pay: $74,278

Related Career – Forensics Scientist
Training: Associate’s in Forensics/Crime Scene
Pay: $55,070
[Search for Criminal Justice programs]

Best Job #7 – Mathematician

It’s difficult to find an older occupation than mathematics, and it’s only getting better with age. With an average salary of $94,000, mathematicians crunch numbers and devise helpful formulas in every industry imaginable. The opportunity to transition into teaching at just about any level is another perk.
Training: To reach the peak of your profession, you’ll likely need a Ph.D. in mathematics, although a bachelor’s degree is enough to gain an entry-level mathematics position in the federal government, according to the Department of Labor. Getting certified to teach math is another possibility, but first you’ll need your bachelor’s degree. Teaching certificate programs can be completed in as little as one year.
Pay: $94,178

Related Career – Financial Manager
Training: Master’s of Business Administration
Pay: $113,730
[Search for Business and Finance programs]
Best Jobs average pay comes from Forbes, while related career pay info comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, using 2009 median salary data.

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By Chris Kyle

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