With the apps they create and the code they write, software developers impact our lives as we wake up to cell phone alarms, count calories online, and relax to streaming video. It shouldn’t be any surprise that two surveys ranked software developer as the top job for 2014.
Both U.S. News and World Report and a study by Careerbuilder and the Economic Modeling Specialists International said software developer is a career with high wages and a strong future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22-percent job growth for software developers through 2022 and a median salary of $93,350 a year. While software developer topped each list, jobs in two industries dominated both.
Technology: Web developer and database administrator
The only career that may rival software developer for the impact it has on our daily lives is web developer. From online banking to our obsessively checking gossip sites, a lot of our lives are now online, and someone has to develop those sites. The BLS estimates that 28,500 web developer jobs will be added by 2022.
The other technology job that appeared on both lists: database administrator. Admittedly, it sounds less than exciting. But as we move further into the data age there may not be a more important position. The data they collect and store is the backbone of many businesses. That’s why the BLS is estimating database administrators to be in high demand – adding almost 18,000 jobs by 2022.
Health care: Physician, dental assistant, physical therapist
For years, jobs in the healthcare field have dominated lists like this, and 2014 is no exception. And it’s with good reason; everyone gets sick. It should be no surprise to see physician, dental assistant, and physical therapist here. A lot of these jobs require advanced degrees or special licensing, but job security may make the extra effort worth it. For example, dentists have an unemployment rate of roughly 1 percent.
Finding a job you love
Here’s the question, though. Would any of these jobs make you happy? These lists use salary and growth in determining the top jobs each year. But there is more to a job than that. You are going to be spending a good part of your life at work. Do you want to be a web developer or a physical therapist? How do you find a job you can love?
What are your interests?If you’re doing something you’re already interested in, work will feel a lot less like work. There are several online tools that can help you determine what kind of things are important to you in a career. This knowledge can help you focus your search. Find specific careers that match those interests. Research them. Talk to people already working in those fields. They can tell you what their days look like.
What are your skills?Those skills that we all have that can apply to most any job are called transferable skills. Those are things like computer literacy, time management, and public speaking. Think about what transferable skills come easily to you. There are plenty of online tests that can help you discover your skills, but also make it a point to ask friends and colleagues what they think your strengths are. They likely see something that you don’t.