Glassdoor has released its annual list of the best jobs in America for 2018, ranked based on earning potential, job satisfaction, and availability. For the third year running, data scientist took the top spot, while other data and technology roles dominated the list, such as DevOps engineer (#2), electrical engineer (#6), mobile developer (#8), and manufacturing engineer (#10). All in all, technical roles make up 20 out of the 50 best jobs. The rest of the list comprises a variety of management roles, as well as several jobs in the health care sector.
“But there are at least four new titles on the list that help crunch that data and make decisions based on what they suggest,” Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor points out:
These include strategy managers (No. 7), business development managers (No. 14), business intelligence developers (No. 42) and business analysts (No. 43), each of which make the list for the first time, said Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst at Glassdoor.
“There’s always a lot of tech jobs and health-care jobs — that’s not new and not going away anytime soon,” Dobroski said. “But the biggest trend this year was this emerging theme of business operations,” he said, or people “who make sense of all that data and recommend business decisions.” Many of the people hired for these jobs, he said, are former consultants who companies are bringing in-house to help with strategic and market decision-making.
“Maybe the occupational therapist and the HR manager jobs are in there because those folks are needed to deal with anyone who is not already a data scientist?” GeekWire’s Kurt Schlosser quips.
Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain tells Schlosser that the enduring dominance of data scientists reflects the need for data expertise not only among tech companies, but in most other industries as well, as well as the shortage of talent with advanced data skills. The growing emphasis on data may ring true to HR professionals working to implement talent analytics programs at their organizations, wherein collecting high-quality data is proving a common challenge. Incidentally, several HR roles made Glassdoor’s list, including HR manager, corporate recruiter, and HR generalist.
Another broad trend Glassdoor’s list illustrates is the rising value of talent with a full complement of soft and hard skills—something LinkedIn also observed in their latest list of the fastest-growing jobs, which was dominated by emerging tech and data roles. This has something to do with the role AI and other new technologies are starting to play in the workforce, Chamberlain tells Schlosser:
“Workers with certain technical and soft skills, such as creativity, flexibility and good judgement, are at an advantage across industries, from health care to finance to HR, to leverage advances in artificial intelligence and automation,” Chamberlain added. “That’s because AI is increasingly complementing these jobs, while not replacing the people needed to do them.”
Glassdoor also produced a top-50 list for the UK, which looks significantly different from its American counterpart. In the UK, managerial roles dominate the top ten, while tech roles are less prominent—data scientist, for example, came in at #16. This reflects the dominance of the service sector, particularly financial services, in the UK economy, but these service jobs are likely to see changes brought on by automation this year, Chamberlain predicts in comments to Jess Commons at Refinery29:
“[J]obs in finance and other more highly skilled traditional roles remain prominent in the UK. … However, this year will see AI and job automation impact every facet of the UK workforce in some way, and two industries that are ripe for considerable changes in 2018 are human resources and finance.”
He continued: “Revolutionary new AI tools are complementing people’s skills in both these industries, which could upend many established and easy-to-automate roles that we see in this list.”