Software Developer Best USA Job For 2019
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 09 January 2019

For the second year in a row, software developer tops the list of  the U.S. News and World Report's annual best jobs rankings.


Relatively speaking, the job of software developer doesn't command a high salary, on average it is just over $100,000 per annum. However, salary is only one of seven component measures taken into account in awarding an overall score.

According to the account of the Best Jobs methodology the process of determining the 2019 rankings starts by identifying  professions from data on jobs with the largest projected number of openings from 2016 to 2026, as determined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobs that topped that list were then selected for the 2019 Best Jobs analysis and rankings.

Apart from salary, the factors taken into account in determining an overall score out of 10 and the places in the rankings include employment rate - since low unemployment rates indicate it's easier to get a job in that field and job prospects - the higher the figure for projected jobs the easier to get one. Work-life balance and the level of day-to-day on-the-job stress are both qualitative measures determined by research and interviews. For software developer the overall score of 8.3 is made up as follows:


The job description reads:

Software developers pay attention to both aesthetics and function as they create and fix applications and programs for computers and smartphones. Employment opportunities in the field are soaring; they’re expected to increase by more than 30 percent by 2026. That means the creation of 255,400 jobs.



In second place comes Statistician - or to use the trendier term,  Data Scientist:

statisticain2While this job, which is  #1 in the Business category, has a lower median salary it also has a lower unemployment rate and scores 10 for its job market. It also has less day-to-day stress. Its description reads:

Statisticians practice the science of using data to make decisions. They decide what data they need and how to collect it, design experiments, collect data, analyze and interpret data, and report conclusions. And unlike most professions, statistics can be applied to a vast number of fields or issues, like the environment, public safety, health care and sports. As the famous mathematician and statistician John Tukey once told a colleague, "The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone's backyard." 

And this final point, about being able to experiment with lots of disparate topics applies equally well to software developers.

One caveat, if reading this you find it a comforting feeling to know you are in not only the best job in STEM and the best job in technology but THE BEST JOB overall. However this is only if you call yourself a "Software Developer", adopt "Computer Programmer" as your title and you fall well down the ranking, appearing only at #10 in Best Technology Jobs.


We've commented before on the distinction between developer and programmer and it does seem that in US Bureau of Labour terms there is a large divide and programmer is subordinate to developer:

 In many cases, a programmer's work will start after a software developer or engineer passes off design specifications for a particular program. The programmer's job entails refining the ideas and solving the problems that arise while converting the program into code. Programmers can also rewrite, debug, maintain and test (and retest and retest) software and programs that instruct the computer to accomplish certain tasks, such as storing or retrieving data, so the computer can perform better and more efficiently.

The Computer Programmer's median salary is about a fifth lower and the number of projected jobs is set to decline. In addition stress and work life balance are worse.


So even if you are happy with the title of Programmer, think twice about its implications. 





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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 January 2019 )