infoTECH Feature

April 28, 2011

Software Engineer Ranked Best Job for 2011

Those of you who create software stand to be in a good position career-wise this year, according to a new report from job site CareerCast.

Offering its picks for the 10 best jobs of 2011 in its new Jobs Rated report, CareerCast put software engineering in the number one spot. Identifying a software engineer as someone who can design and create software for “everything from operating systems to cell phone apps to interactive games,” the site offered some insight into why this particular profession was ranked as the best job.

In short, the push toward web applications and cloud computing is opening up the market for software engineers. More companies are designing apps for smartphones and tablets, while cloud computing is creating a need for software that can be hosted online, bringing more diversity to this job.

Beyond the increased diversity, software engineering scored high marks for growth potential and competitiveness. Those good grades mean that software engineers are less bound to employers or vulnerable to outsourcing, according to CareerCast. And as a result, the overall stress ranking for the job has also improved this year.

Overall, CareerCast sees software engineering as offering a comfortable work environment, few physical demands, better than average income, relatively low stress levels, and strong hiring. The site estimated the annual salary at $87,140.

One other IT job found its way into the top ten. Computer Systems Analyst came in fifth place. Describing this occupation as “planning and developing computer systems for businesses and scientific institutions,” CareerCast listed its annual salary as $77,153.

Other jobs that scored highly included mathematician, actuary, and statistician. CareerCast found an ongoing trend of many jobs in the top ten requiring skills in math, science, or technology.

To compile its results, CareerCast surveyed 200 different occupations across a variety of industries, skill levels, and salaries. The best and worst jobs were rated according to five different factors: work environment, physical demands, outlook, income, and stress.

Lance Whitney is a journalist, IT consultant, and Web Developer with almost 20 years of experience in the IT world. To read more of Lance's articles, please visit his columnist page

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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