What exactly is a top job? According to a recent study published and researched by CareerCast, a “top” career is one that ranks high in the categories of physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook.
Jobs at the top of the list, unsurprisingly, require a college education. Fortunately, the educational tracks one must complete for these careers are often available to students in Oklahoma.
According to CareerCast, the top job is a software engineer – one who designs and maintains software systems.
The University of Tulsa professor Dr. Rose Gamble in the Tandy School of Computer Science says that a student with a computer science degree will be in an excellent position to pursue this career.
“Computer science students are fully prepared,” Gamble says. “Information technology degrees that incorporate computer science with business concepts also prepare a student to be a software engineer.”
Gamble agreed that being a software engineer is a rewarding career path with much potential.
“Because of the wealth of software needed in today’s society, there is always something new and challenging to be developed,” Gamble says. “In addition, it is very satisfying to see an amorphous idea turn into a solid vision and then a tangible product.”
TU also offers students an education fitting for the high-ranking career path of audiology.
Dr. Paula Cadogan, chair of the department of Communication Disorders at TU, describes an audiologist’s job as including testing clients’ hearing, planning ideal auditory environments and suggesting appropriate auditory devices.
“An audiologist is required to communicate a great deal of information regarding hearing loss and education as well as to provide emotional support for families,” Cadogan adds.
Ranked as being a top career for its promising hiring outlook, low stress levels and average income, one pursuing this career must be someone who demonstrates strong communications and clinical skills, Cadogan says, and must be willing to attend years of schooling.
“This student should pursue an undergraduate program in communication disorders,” Cadogan says. “Then, she needs to enter either an audiology doctoral program (AuD) or the research doctoral PhD program.”
The study of top jobs includes other medical paths as well, including both the careers of dentist and dental hygienist. Future dental workers most often obtain a degree in biology.
Oklahoma Baptist University offers a biology degree “best known for its quality in preparing students for medical school, dental school (and) graduate school,” according to OBU’s website.
While the top of the “best jobs” list does include many medical-related jobs or computer-related jobs, the list also includes other interesting paths.
An actuary manages risk by analyzing statistics to determine probabilities, according to the Be an Actuary website. The website says that multinational corporations, financial planners, and insurance companies often seek the advice and guidance of actuaries.
To pursue this lucrative, intellectually challenging, and sought-after career, a student could obtain a degree in statistics, economics or business marketing, many of which are offered at universities across Oklahoma.
The list went so far to include the worst jobs of the times as well. Fortunately, Oklahoma is not the ideal environment for lumberjacks, anyway.