The top-rated job in America? You might not have heard of it

LinkedIn career expert on "Great Resignation," changing workforce

Information technology skills will serve job seekers well this year, a new ranking of the most desirable jobs in America found.

The top job? Enterprise architect, according to Glassdoor. Not surprisingly, part of the appeal is the pay — median starting salary for those in the field is nearly $145,000. And opportunity abounds, with the workplace research provider listing more than 14,000 open enterprise architect jobs on its site.

Positions in tech and health care, as well as human resources roles, made up most of the best jobs in the ranking, which Glassdoor bases on an evaluation of salary, number of openings and worker satisfaction. Almost half of the top 50 jobs were in tech (See the full list of top jobs.)

"The most obvious theme in this year's rankings is that tech jobs dominate the list," Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao told CBS MoneyWatch.

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"Nowadays every company is a tech company. Every business needs to invest in technology and data to operate in the 21st century, and that keeps demand for these roles very high," Zhao said.

Many tech jobs also offer considerable flexibility, including a chance to work remotely  — a key perk in the age of COVID-19.

What does an enterprise architect do? 

Enterprise architects design and manage companies' information technology infrastructures.

"They help with technology and strategic decisions around managing a company's IT infrastructure," Zhao said. "That's increasingly important in today's environment because workforces are distributed all over the place because of pandemic. That increased demand for enterprise architects from employers."

The best-paid profession on Glassdoor's list: psychiatrists, with a median base salary of $252,385.

"Psychiatry, and health care professions more broadly, tend to pay well, given that they require a significant amount of education and training," Zhao said. 

The pandemic has also boosted demand for mental health professionals. Companies are increasingly incorporating such services into benefits packages, recognizing the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on many workers and needing to enhance their compensation to attract employees amid a widespread shortage of labor in the U.S.

Why HR is hot

Indeed, the top jobs list reflects another workplace trend playing out across the country. Attracting and retaining talent is a top priority for employers, given the sheer number of workers quitting their jobs in pursuit of higher pay, better work-life balance or more fulfilling work. 

That's creating demand for HR pros, who along with their usual role of finding qualified employees are needed these days to help manage remote workforces, navigate health and safety protocols, and facilitate companies' return-to-office plans.

"One of the top roles is human resources manager, and that really speaks to how important it is for employers to have top talent in order to find top talent," Zhao said. 

As far as top jobs with few barriers to entry, realtor stands out. The housing market has boomed over the past year, with Americans reconsidering where they want to live when untethered from their desks. Home prices are up, and realtors make money through commissions, usually taking home about 5% of a home's sale price. 

"It is a role that doesn't necessarily require college degree, it tends to be fairly flexible and it's more accessible — it has some of the characteristics of a job that can be done by many people," Zhao said.


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