CXO

Job site releases lists of best and worst jobs

In a list released by a career site, two IT jobs made the best list. Take a look at what the others were, as well as the 10 worst.

In a list released by a career site, two IT jobs made the best list. Take a look at what the others were, as well as the 10 worst.

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I got a press release in my mailbox yesterday from Careercast.com that featured its list of the best and worst jobs. The e-mail says that "Each occupation is ranked using data from such sources as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as information provided by a wide range of trade associations and industry groups."

Here are the lists:

The best

1) Mathematician

2) Actuary

3) Statistician

4) Biologist

5) Software engineer

6) Computer systems analyst

7) Historian

8) Sociologist

9) Industrial designer

10) Accountant

The worst

1) Lumberjack

2) Dairy farmer

3) Taxi driver

4) Seaman

5) Emergency medical technician

6) Roofer

7) Garbage collector

8) Welder

9) Roustabout (a laborer typically performing temporary, unskilled work. The term has traditionally been used to refer to traveling-circus workers or oil rig workers.)

10) Ironworker

Careercast's over all conclusion? "The upshot: secure, well-paying office jobs, like mathematician, landed high. Physically demanding, high-risk jobs like lumberjack brought up the rear." Well, no kidding. What I question is whether those factors should be considered more desirable? Did they ask anyone in the professions themselves? I'd bet that you couldn't pay a lumberjack to leave his line of work to become an industrial designer. And wouldn't a dairy farmer consider a career as an accountant the worst?

(I have to confess I had to look up "roustabout." I'd always associated the term with traveling circuses, so I couldn't imagine it being a common enough profession to earn a place on a list.)

Lists like this bother me because they don't clearly outline what the criteria was and what's onsidered a great line of work for one person could be the worst for another.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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