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Top 10 Best Jobs Overall for the 21st Century

By on December 8, 2011

Best Jobs in the 21st CenturyST. PAUL, Minn. — Today’s job seekers face numerous obstacles: a recession that has eliminated countless positions and crowded the job-seeking field; ever-changing technology; and pressures to do more with less. It can be difficult for anyone to decide which career to pursue.

Best Jobs for the 21st Century helps job seekers quickly and easily focus their career options and learn more about jobs of interest. Author Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., includes 69 lists divided by demographic, experience, salary and more. The “Best Jobs Overall” list contains 400 jobs ranked by the best combination of pay, growth and openings. Here are the top 10 best jobs overall for the 21st Century:

1. Software Developers, Applications

  • Annual earnings: $87,790
  • Percent growth: 34
  • Annual openings: 21,840

2. Physicians and Surgeons

  • Annual earnings: $165,279
  • Percent growth: 21.8
  • Annual openings: 26,050

3. Software Developers, Systems Software

  • Annual earnings: $94,180
  • Percent growth: 30.4
  • Annual openings: 15,340

4. Management Analysts

  • Annual earnings: $78,160
  • Percent growth: 23.9
  • Annual openings: 30,650

5. Computer Systems Analysts

  • Annual earnings: $77,740
  • Percent growth: 20.3
  • Annual openings: 22,280

6. Registered Nurses

  • Annual earnings: $64,690
  • Percent growth: 22.2
  • Annual openings: 103,900

7. Civil Engineers

  • Annual earnings: $77,560
  • Percent growth: 24.3
  • Annual openings: 11,460

8. Medical Scientists (except Epidemiologists)

  • Annual earnings: $76,700
  • Percent growth: 40.4
  • Annual openings: 6,620

9. Physical Therapists

  • Annual earnings: $76,310
  • Percent growth: 30.3
  • Annual openings: 7,860

10. Dental Hygienists

  • Annual earnings: $68,250
  • Percent growth: 36.1
  • Annual openings: 9,840

Additional information can be found in Best Jobs for the 21st Century. The book was published in December of 2011 and is available at major bookstores, and

About Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D.

Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., has worked for 30 years in the career information field; presents and blogs on jobs; and has written many career books, including 50 Best Jobs for Your Personality. He is past president of the Association of Computer-based Systems for Career Information. As a leading occupational expert, Shatkin shares his knowledge and insights on national news programs and in major print and online publications.

About JIST Publishing

JIST, America’s Career Publisher, is a division of EMC/Paradigm Publishing. As the leading publisher of job search, career and occupational information, JIST empowers today’s workforce and students to achieve long-lasting rewards in their careers. 

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