When you imagine your ideal job, what do you see? Maybe you envision conquering challenging software problems at a trendy tech firm full of fun perks. Or perhaps you dream of watching your architectural sketches become sweeping structures of steel, concrete and glass.
The ideal job might differ from person to person, but most can agree on a few key characteristics: it should offer good pay, have potential for growth in its field and be in demand by employers. Meanwhile, employers also need to keep an eye on job trends to better inform their hiring practices.
With that in mind, we compiled our lists of the best jobs of 2020, defining “best” as job titles with the highest number of postings per one million jobs and offering the highest pay (using a baseline salary of $75,000), combined with consistent growth in share of postings from 2016-2019.
Tech jobs are abundant, but other industries make appearances
The best jobs of 2020 span a range of industries: from tech to business to health care and architecture. Interestingly, the list opens and closes with two very different “architect” roles: “Software Architect” ranks first on our list, while the traditional “Architect” position comes in at No. 25.
A Software Architect acts as a designer and developer, communicating and working with clients, businesses and software engineers to design, execute and revise software solutions. Following this, at No. 2 on our list, is Full Stack Developer: a position coveted for the broad coding skill set and knowledge of all stages of software development its hires bring.
Seven of the top 10 jobs on the list are also tech roles, including Development Operations Engineer (No. 5), Electrical Engineer (No. 6), Java Developer (No. 7), Data Scientist (No. 8) and IT Security Specialist (No. 9).
Job trends often mirror larger economic trends, and the strong showing from information technology (IT) jobs reflects market growth: As our world becomes increasingly digital-dependent, these roles are increasingly in-demand across industries. What’s more, while demand is growing, tech jobs are also getting harder to fill, due to the strong labor market and a shortage of foreign workers on limited visa programs. In response, tech companies are beginning to hire non-traditional candidates, such as those with liberal arts degrees or no degree at all.
Beyond tech jobs, we see Real Estate Agent ranking third on the list, along with quite a few health care roles, such as Dentist (No. 4); Veterinarian (No. 14); Internal Medicine Physician (No. 22); and Primary Care Physician (No. 24). Professional and business services roles also have a good showing, evidenced by the appearance of Sales Director (No. 10); Finance Manager (No. 13); and Human Resources (HR) Business Partner (No. 21) on the list.
Health care and professional services are other booming sectors. In fact, while the health care industry is the largest employer in the U.S., it’s growing faster than demand can keep up, with many fields facing a shortage of qualified workers. Meanwhile, the professional and…