Top 10 Best Jobs Overall for the 21st Century

Posted December 13, 2011 by

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


For more information on this book, go to

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.

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