February 10, 2010

Best Careers for Growth, Work-Life Balance & Social Impact

Kiplinger columnist Marty Nemko recently profiled 13 professions that she believes are the best bet for the next decade, based on three factors:

  • Ability to have at least a middle class income
  • Socially redeeming value — i.e. no tobacco execs on this list
  • Work-life balance — reasonable hours, positive work environment, etc.
  • Status — these are “white collar jobs” here, with a good deal of social ‘status’ associated with them (not that blue — and green, for the matter — collar jobs can’t pay well and give employees a lot of job satisfaction, but this particular list wasn’t about that kind of work)

So, what did Ms. Nemko come up with?

1. Federal-Government Manager

In the post economic recession era, the federal government is slated to be this nation’s largest employer, creating 300,000 new jobs over the next two years! Federal jobs don’t have to be based in Washington; there are opportunities around the country — and the world.

2. Higher-Education Administrator

3. Program Evaluator

4. Global Business Development Executive

If you speak Mandarin, Hindi, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic or Farsi, there is likely a job for you (especially if you are willing to work abroad.)

5. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist

6. Immigration Expert

7. Researcher

Key specialties include energy/green energy research; and science research jobs such as genomics, neurophysics, diagnostic imaging, and pollution control.

8. Health-Informatics Specialist

No medical degree required; informatics specialists will help docs and hospitals set up electronic medical records systems.

9. Optometrist

10. Genetic Counselor

11. Patient Advocate

12. Physical Therapist

Among medical-related jobs, this one scores highest on the job satisfaction indicators, according to Nemko. She says it’s the one-on-one relationship and reasonable work hours that do the trick.

13. Veterinarian Careers

And let me add… If you want to work with animals, but years of schooling aren’t your thing, consider a job as a veterinarian technician: Same good hours, same great work environment, but less education (and, unfortunately, less salary).

You can get the full run-down on each of these careers from Nemko’s article at Kiplinger.com.

So, what do you think? Is your future high-earning, socially relevant, high satisfaction (and status) next job on this list? Which job speaks to you the most? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

P.S. Check back tomorrow for a Hot Jobs post that may just help you get started on this list!

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