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Software Developer Repeats as 'Best Job' for 2019

Software developer again topped the list of the 100 best jobs to have in the new year as compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

The news comes just after "full stack software developer" was named the fastest-growing job of 2018 in a data analysis conducted by another site -- and LinkedIn's annual Emerging Jobs report said blockchain developer is the top sought-after position among all occupations -- in what is becoming an increasingly familiar pattern.

In the new 2019 U.S. News report, software developer topped a bunch of health-care-related positions, though statistician came in at No. 2.

The media site uses criteria such as salary, challenges, the match of talent and skills, room to advance and a satisfying work-life balance to compile its ranking.

Software Developer
[Click on image for larger view.] Software Developer (source: U.S. News & World Report

In describing the positon of software developer, the site said:

The best software developers are creative and have the technical expertise to carry out innovative ideas. You might expect software developers to sit at their desks designing programs all day –- and they do, but their job involves many more responsibilities. They could spend their days working on a client project from scratch and writing new code. But they could also be tasked with maintaining or improving the code for programs that are already up and running. Software developers also check for bugs in software. And although the job does involve extreme concentration and chunks of uninterrupted time, software developers have to collaborate with others, including fellow developers, managers or clients. Developers are often natural problem solvers who possess strong analytical skills and the ability to think outside the box.

Furthermore, the position:

  • Comes with a $101,790 median salary (2017 data)
  • Enjoys a 1.9 percent unemployment rate
  • Will see some 255,400 jobs available between 2016 and 2026

On the salary front, the top 25 percent of developers made $128,960 in 2017, while the bottom 25 percent made $77,710. The position graded average in upward mobility and stress level, while flexibility was rated above average.

For any non-developers reading this article who want to ascend to the best job in the new year, here's the site's advice from real-life developer Sam Schillace:

Write code. Early and often. Good engineers are curious and want to learn how to build new things and are also constantly trying to find new and interesting things they haven't built yet. If you don't feel passionate about trying out some new technology or language you've heard, or you aren't obsessed with solving that problem or building that app you've thought of, you probably shouldn't be a programmer.

Employers want to see a proficiency in computer science, but they also want to see practical experience and a passion for the field. Even if you don't have an internship on your resume, there are other ways you can showcase your work. These days, it's really easy to find places to write code and solve technical problems -- things like Codecademy make it very easy to get started, and any computer (or even a tablet or phone) can have some kind of technical environment installed, even if it's something as basic at Python. Start with a small problem that you want to solve, or a simple course like intro to JavaScript, and go from there.

The site also ranked the top 10 technology jobs:

  1. Software Developer
  2. Computer Systems Analyst
  3. IT Manager
  4. Information Security Analyst
  5. Database Administrator
  6. Web Developer
  7. Computer Network Architect
  8. Computer Systems Administrator
  9. Computer Support Specialist
  10. Computer Programmer

In distinguishing No. 10 "computer programmer" with No. 1 "software developer," the site said "In many cases, a programmer's work will start after a software developer or engineer passes off design specifications for a particular program."

The list of the top 100 jobs and much more data is available here.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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