Work is plentiful, with the number of job openings recently hitting a record, yet one-third of Americans say their jobs are just a way to get by. Still, there are careers that hit the sweet spot of high pay, career satisfaction and plenty of job openings -- with the caveat that many of them require a college degree or specialized training.
The top jobs for 2019 tend to be clustered in two industries: technology and healthcare, according to a new analysis from employment site Glassdoor. For a fourth year in a row, the top career in the nation is data scientist, a relatively new job that's sprung out of the massive amounts of data now collected by companies.
Tech jobs are booming because of the demand for workers who have the skills to analyze data, code or design software and hardware, while healthcare jobs are growing because of the country's demographic shift to an older population. As the baby boomers age, that's driving demand for everything from nursing managers to physical therapists.
"People spend a large amount of their days in their jobs, so it's important to find jobs where people want to be, long term," said Glassdoor Economic Research Analyst Amanda Stansell.
Job listings for data scientists actually grew from last year, signalling demand for this type of worker is growing, Stansell said. It's likely to continue, given the demand from almost every industry for experts who can analyze their data.
Even though data scientists require training in computer languages like Python and the skills to manipulate data, it's not necessary to have earned a degree in the subject. While more universities are adding data science as a major, would-be data jockeys can also attend bootcamps to teach them those skills or even learn themselves, Stansell added.
Most of the careers on the list require some type of higher education, although there are a few that are open to workers with high school diplomas, like executive assistant, a job that pays about $60,000 per year.
Below are the 9 top jobs for 2019, as forecast by Glassdoor.
- Data scientist: $108,000. This career has a job satisfaction of 4.3 points out of 5, and there are currently more than 6,500 openings at workplaces in the U.S.
- Nursing manager: $83,000. This job describes healthcare professionals who manage other nurses, and it typically requires strong nursing and business skills. It has a job satisfaction rating of 4 points, while employers have almost 14,000 openings.
- Marketing manager: $82,000. These professionals handle communications between a company and its customers. It has a job satisfaction rating of 4.2, while there are almost 7,400 current openings.
- Occupational therapist: $74,000. These healthcare professionals help others regain skills they need to do their jobs or lead independent lives. It's a profession that's expected to grow as the population ages. Currently, there are about 17,700 job openings, and the career has a satisfaction rating of 4.
- Product manager: $115,000. These workers help companies create a product vision and strategy, a skill that's used across a number of industries. The job satisfaction is 3.8, while there are almost 12,000 openings.
- Devops engineer: $106,000. These professionals work with coders, engineers and other tech workers to oversee code releases. They have a job satisfaction of 4.1, while there are more than 4,600 openings.
- Program manager: $87,000. This job is about overseeing a series of projects within a business. The job satisfaction stands at 4.5, while there are more than 14,700 openings.
- Data engineer: $100,000. Data engineers work with data scientists, but they are responsible for collecting and maintaining data rather than analyzing it. The job has a satisfaction rating of 4.4, and there are about 4,700 openings.
- HR manager: $85,000. The growth of this job speaks to the demand at companies for hiring and personnel management, Glassdoor says. The job satisfaction is 4.2, while there are almost 4,000 openings.
Best of the rest -- below are the remaining jobs on Glassdoor's analysis of the 50 best jobs for 2019.
- Software engineer: $104,000
- Mechanical engineer: $75,000
- Physician assistant: $105,000
- Sales manager: $65,000
- Sales engineer: $90,000
- Operations manager: $68,000
- Strategy manager: $140,000
- Security engineer: $102,000
- Construction manager: $75,000
- Speech language pathologist: $72,000
- Project manager: $75,000
- Product designer: $100,000
- Java developer: $85,000
- Executive assistant: $60,000
- Electrical engineer: $77,000
- Finance manager: $118,000
- Business analyst: $72,000
- Solutions architect: $127,000
- Recruiter: $48,000
- Business development manager: $80,000
- Dental hygienist: $67,250
- Data analyst:: $60,000
- Nurse practitioner: $102,000
- Applications engineer: $77,000
- QA manager: $91,250
- Risk manager: $100,500
- Communications manager: $80,000
- Physical therapist: $70,000
- Facilities manager: $65,000
- Systems engineer: $90,000
- Customer success manager: $65,000
- Radiologic technologist: $48,000
- Restaurant manager: $49,000
- Software engineering manager: $153,000
- Software developer: $80,000
- Safety manager: $71,000
- UX designer: $89,000
- Office manager:: $42,000
- Brand manager: $85,000
- Software development manager: $140,000
- Systems administrator: $68,000