Best careers for 2008

I love lists. Check out U.S. News and World Report’s special feature on the Best Careers for 2008.

The list includes 33 careers–including editor, engineer, fundraiser, investment banker, librarian, pharmacist and urban planner. Click here for the full list.

Don’t miss the separate list of the 13 “Most Overrated Careers,” selected for the fact that the day-to-day experience of these jobs isn’t as exciting as it might seem or the jobs have downsides that many jobseekers don’t know about.

The “overrateds” include chef, physician (you mean all hospitals aren’t like Seattle Grace?), real estate agent and teacher. Personally, I think teachers should be one of the most respected careers in the world. Although my friend Natasha, a former teacher, told me it’s really hard to find time to go to the bathroom during the day. Major downside!

It’s also interesting to review the criteria U.S. News used for selection of the best careers. Note the mix of qualitative (does it make you happy?) and quantitative analysis (how’s the pay?) — not a bad way to analyze your own career choice:

Job satisfaction: defined as spending a high percentage of time on activities that many people would consider rewarding or pleasant.

Training difficulty: defined by the length of training typically required, adjusted by the amount of science and/or math involved.

Prestige: based on an informal survey of college-educated adults.

Job market outlook: based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor and professional organizations, with the career’s resistance to being offshored considered.

Pay: with data provided by, which has an extensive database of individual employee compensation profiles.

What do you think of the U.S. News list? Are there careers that should or shouldn’t be on this list? Share your thoughts…

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2 Responses

  1. Great post.

    …and here I thought being an attorney was cool. I guess things aren’t as they portrayed.

    Advertising Executive overrated? That’s surprising.

  2. When I was in college (a short two years ago) Accounting was always on this list, that isn’t the reason I went into it, I just find it interesting that it dropped off, the industry hasn’t had any major changes. I guess I should be happy i’m not on the overrated list like my teaching fiance! Thanks for the good post!

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