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Best/Worst Jobs List Reflects Employment Trends

According to CareerCast.com and the 2011 Jobs Rated Report, the title of America’s Best Job goes to Software Engineer. This continues to be on trend with previous years where the majority of professions ranked among the best required expertise in the fields of math, science or technology.

However, this year’s top pick is the result of two emerging technological industries, web applications and cloud computing (location-independent computing). Since software engineers are involved in the design and creation of software, their realm spans from computer operating systems to cell phone applications, making their job market vastly diverse. And a diverse job market means less stress in the areas of job competitiveness and hiring outlook.

Each year, Job Rated researchers use data from government sources, trade groups and private organizations to survey a wide variety of occupations. Using this data, they compile a list of the top ten best and worst careers. Researchers use five core criteria to score jobs: physical demands, work environment, income, hiring outlook and stress. While some factors stay comparatively steady from year to year, others (such as hiring outlook) change based upon advances in technology and current events. This year’s top-rated jobs are prime examples of the impact technology can have on the job market, as positions involving computers have risen to the top of the rankings.

“The demand for ‘technology graduates’ remains high because the market and sector they serve is always changing,” said John Hyde, dean of career services at the New York Institute of Technology. “Companies continue to try and outdo each other in the race to be the first or quickest to the market with new and improved technology. Just look at Google, Apple and Microsoft in the war over operating systems.”

Hyde also says that while professionals in technology and computer-based fields may work long hours, often companies cater to the individual’s lifestyle.

Logan Knecht, a computer analyst and remote support technician for My Computer Works, agrees that his job is “the most flexible I’ve ever had,” but also points out that because he works from home, he does not receive as much outside input as he would like.

“We don’t have a lot of face-to-face interaction with our customers and as an effect of that, we tend to just see when people are upset or require help, and that just makes it hard,” said Knecht.

While top-rated jobs such as computer system analysts saw their markets rapidly expand, jobs ranked lowest on the list were tied to industries hit hard by the recession. These trades include construction workers, roofers and ironworkers.

According to the Jobs Rated researchers, these professions involve intense physical labor, hazardous work environments, relatively low pay and an uncertain hiring forecast.

“Those that pursue jobs as construction workers may find manual labor can take its toll on an individual and with the instability in the building industry, these jobs have been difficult to come by,” said Hyde.

While the physical demands placed on trade workers may be high, Wil Odell of Eagle Mountain Construction in Flagstaff says it can still be a very rewarding career.

“I do this job because I love it and I have been interested in construction since I could walk,” said Odell. “The nature of the work is challenging and it is dynamic. It is always changing depending on the job conditions and the locations that the company is doing work in. I love how different job conditions provide us with new challenges to take on.” FBN

For the full list of The 10 Best and Worst Jobs of 2011, visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.careercast.com” http://www.careercast.com.

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