Top 10 Jobs of 2014

Top 10 Jobs of 2014

By Yolanda L Salazar

This article is based on an article by U.S. News of their 100 best jobs selected for 2014. Here I will be providing you with the top 10 Jobs of 2014. If you click on each of the job titles in this article, the link will take you to a full review of the job, to include salary, training and reviews and advice.

badge_the-100-best-jobsAll jobs are definitely not created equal. In fact, some are simply better than the rest. U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2014 offers a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance and job security. Some careers offer just the right mix of these components.

For example, nearly 40 percent of our picks are health care jobs; however, the list does include strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. And for the first time, strangely enough, the No. 1 pick is a technology job.

Software Developer #1

software developerWhere would we be without our software developers? Lost, that’s where we would be. They develop software that helps us wake up in the morning, track our routine exercise, allow us to play our games on our devices or computers, find us a restaurant or keep our calendar updated. They do it all.

One type of developer is the individual who develops applications and designs computer software, databases and games. On the other hand, we have the developers who focus on building computer operating systems.

Growth for both types of IT professionals should balloon: The  Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be nearly 140,000 brand new positions created before 2022. That is a projection of 22.8% employment growth for software developers between 2012 and 2022, much faster than average for all occupations.

The profession’s superb job prospects, low unemployment rate and excellent median salary helped this job to grab the coveted No. 1 spot in the ranking of the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Computer Systems Analyst #2

Comp Systems AnalystA Computer Systems Analyst has a very difficult job. The requirements are numerous, but the most important thing that an analyst of this type needs is the knowledge and understanding of computer hardware, software and networks that make everything work together. These individuals are the ones who make the recommendations to companies and organizations for them to purchase the best operating systems available to meet their particular needs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 24.5 percent employment growth for this job by 2022. The demand for computer systems analysts should grow pretty steadily over the next ten years because businesses are relying more and more on information technology. This profession’s strong growth prospects helped boost computer systems analyst to the No. 2 spot in the ranking of the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Dentist #3

general_dentistryWho likes to go to the dentist? No one, I suppose, but it is very necessary to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular, routine checkups. If there is anything bad stirring in there, you definitely want to know before it gets any worse. I guess that is the way it is with everything, but the dentist is crucial.

The many jobs of the dentist can cover teeth cleaning, extracting teeth, fitting dentures and filling cavities, to name a few. There is also teeth straightening as well as teeth whitening for those of us who want to have a beautiful smile with brilliant white teeth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of nearly 16% between 2012 and 2022, with more than 23,000 new openings. A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to the No. 3 position on the list of the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Nurse Practitioner #4

medical nurse and colleaguesA nurse practitioner is a highly sought-after employee. If you are in training or are thinking about going into training as a nurse practitioner, you may as well have won the lottery. Well, it seems that way anyway. Truthfully, the health care field has bumped up the demand for medical professionals across the county.

Nursing is an excellent field because job opportunities are rampant at the moment. The unemployment rate for this profession is extremely low. Nurse practitioners can take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatments and even counsel patients and their families with regard to continued care. Candidates for nurse practitioners could also select a specific area of training such as cardiology, dermatology, oncology, orthopedics and much, much more. Along with a specific area of training, nurse practitioners could also specialize in a specific population such as families, adults, pediatrics or geriatrics.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 37,100 new positions for these professionals between 2012 and 2022. It’s a nurse practitioner’s array of capabilities, coupled with the fact they can work independently of physicians when treating patients, that makes the Number 4 position on the list of the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Pharmacist #5

pharmacistThe job of Pharmacist requires a mix of medical knowledge and people skills which puts this job in high demand. The earnings potential remains relatively high in the health care field and wages have climbed slightly from a year ago.

Pharmacists mix technical, organizational and people skills in a customer service environment. This profession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to grow 14.5 percent by 2022, with the field adding 41,400 new jobs.

Each day, more than 281,560 pharmacists dispense medicine and advice to patients, hospitals, retail chains, as well as clinical and corporate settings. This is why the profession of Pharmacist has come in as Number 5 in the list of the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Registered Nurse #6

Registered NurseNursing is an indispensable profession in health care; one where workers are almost always needed. Normally, there are four main areas of specialization for Registered Nurses:

  1. Offering care for a specific health condition, such as diabetes or cancer
  2. A specific part of the body as in dermatology or cardiovascular
  3. A group of people such as premature babies or the elderly; and
  4. A particular type of environment such as emergency room or school.

Also as part of this field, registered nurses could work in anything from medical offices or administering medicine to performing procedures and monitoring a patient’s progress.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 19.4 percent employment growth and 526,800 brand new jobs in this field between 2012 and 2022. This amazing growth coupled with a 2.6 percent unemployment rate plus good job prospects have helped this industry become the Number 6 spot on the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

 Physical Therapist #7

Physical-Therapist-with-patient3There is a high demand for professionals who plan and execute rehabilitative programs designed to improve patient mobility and lessen pain. Physical therapists could work in hospital settings, clinics or in private environments. The thing that is driving this demand for physical therapists is the fact that older people who have had heart attacks, strokes and other injuries require rehabilitation.

A physical therapist’s job description might also include helping a paralytic regain mobility or a cancer survivor renew his or her strength. Physical therapists are also being called upon to help manage chronic conditions, to include diabetes and obesity.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this profession can be expected to grow 36 percent by 2022, with the field adding 72,500 more jobs. This is why this profession has secured the Number 7 slot in our list of the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Physician #8

Doctor with StethoscopePhysicians are truly amazing; some miraculous! This is a title that can add much respect and acknowledgment to any name. This requires many years of education and training. There are two types of doctors: Medical Doctor (M.D) and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (O.D.). Both diagnose and treat patients for a range of medical issues, although a D.O. might also specialize in preventative medicine and holistic patient care.

Of course, physicians, just like nurses, can practice in many and various specialties and they all carry various titles such as pediatricians, gynecologists, oncologists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, psychiatrists and the list can go on and on. This can cover any visible or non-visible parts of your body, to include dealing with your feelings and emotions.

Due to the ever increasing need for medical attention and the fact that we are living longer these days, physicians will always be in very high demand. This means stellar employment prospects in this field.

Physicians are at the top of the health care food chain – it’s their responsibility to diagnose and treat patients, and instruct on proper diet, hygiene and disease prevention. Like other jobs in this industry, physicians will see abundant job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 123,300 new job openings for physicians from 2012 to 2022, with a jump of 18 percent. That makes physicians Number 8 on our list of Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

Web Developer #9

web developerWeb developers are awesome people, at least in my book! I have the utmost respect for someone who is able to create, design and implement a web page. It may seem easy for some people, but I give my full support to those individuals with the smarts and the know-how in working with web pages.

Web developers are responsible for everything that is perfect when you click a name on your browser and everything neatly falls into place. You can see a color scheme, main image, sleek fonts and clean layouts. The responsibility of designing, coding and modifying websites, from layout to function, falls on the web developer.

They strive to create the best looking websites for their clients, taking into account what products and services they offer, all in an easy to read and user-friendly manner.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers this one of the fastest-growing jobs this decade and predicts employment should swell at a rate of about 20 percent by 2022. 28,500 new jobs are expected to be filled in an industry that already has approximately 141,400 positions already. Because this is a fast growing and highly needed position, the job of web developer makes its mark as #9 on the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

 Dental Hygienist #10

dental-hygiene-new-jerseyA dental hygienist primarily works on preventing dental problems. Their job is to educate patients on the proper ways to brush your teeth, ensure that you floss and offer guidance and advice on the products needed to do this. Everything involved with oral hygiene is the responsibility of a dental hygienist. Something else of note: They make yearly salaries of about $70,700, although most work part time.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 33.3 percent employment growth for this field from 2012 to 2022. That’s why this job has made the list as #10 on the Top 10 Jobs of 2014.

For a complete list of U.S. News Best Jobs of 2014, check out this link.


* All salary information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2012.


Excerpts from Money Careers of U.S. News

The Graduate Program –  Why Should I and How?

The Graduate Program – Why Should I and How?

By Yolanda L Salazar

That is the question on many grad students’ minds! The reasons to go to graduate school are many and varied. Some students want to ensure that they will have higher earning power and others want to enhance their education — two very good reasons.

graduationWhile having a graduate degree does not always instill a higher earning power, it is something that gives you a higher potential for advanced positions, thus helping the bottom line of making more money. For individuals with a Bachelor’s Degree who have worked and are thinking about going back to school, graduate school is definitely good for advancing your career or perhaps allowing you to make a career change.

It takes a very responsible, mature and committed person to tackle graduate school. It can be very expensive as well as stressful which could cause emotional, physical and financial strains on your family and/or relationships. As I said before, there is no guarantee that you will receive a higher salary; however, it could very well be a worthwhile investment in your future.

The opportunities that can open for you are endless, from working on specialized programs or projects to getting recognition. It can also give you a deep feeling of self-satisfaction and accomplishment.

Whether you decide to go to graduate school or not, I would like to offer you some of the top 10 colleges around the country that are great for 5 very popular fields in today’s workplace. Check these out!

Healthcare Administration

healthcare-administrationA career in Healthcare Administration would certainly merit earning a Master’s Degree. A quote from Tim Dugger, a longtime career coach at Career Café, a provider of one-on-one career coaching programs, says, “If you have a clinical background, this is definitely a degree that is going to enhance your career.

The general business education topics contained in these programs, coupled with the increased knowledge of hospital and practice operations make this one a clear winner, both personally and financially.”

Potential Career Path: Medical or Health Services Manager

Median Annual Salary*: $88,580

Top 10 Percent of Earners: $150,560

Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $53,940

The Department of Labor also says that if you already work in the medical field, a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration or a related field could be necessary to move into more advanced positions. For example, if you’re a registered nurse, this degree could help prepare you to pursue a position as a Nursing Service Administrator, according to the Department.

Top 10 Online Master’s Degree Program in Healthcare Administration

  1. Colorado State University
  2.  Penn State University
  3.  Ohio University
  4.  University of Cincinnati
  5.  Louisiana State University-Shreveport
  6.  University of Memphis
  7. Saint Joseph’s University
  8.  University of Maryland
  9.  Bellevue University
  10.  George Washington University

Psychology and Counseling

PsychologyIf you already have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, it would probably be wise to consider going after a Master’s Degree. It should definitely be a great investment.

Mr. Dugger says, “In areas such as mental health, marriage and family counseling, industrial and organizational psychology, therapy, and counseling, a Master’s Degree is the entry-level ticket to admission in this high-growth field.”

Potential Career Path: Marriage and Family Therapist

Median Annual Salary*: $46,670

Top 10 Percent of Earners: $75,120

Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $25,540

To have a career in marriage and family counseling, a Master’s Degree is a requirement. Marriage and family therapy programs typically teach students how different types of relationships function, and how they affect mental and emotional disorders. In addition to this degree, you will need a license which requires an  additional two years of supervised clinical practice.

Top 10 Master’s Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling

  1. Columbia University
  2.  University of Wisconsin
  3.  Pepperdine University
  4.  Princeton University
  5.  University of Pennsylvania
  6.  Harvard University
  7.  Stanford University
  8.  Carnegie Mellon University
  9.  John’s Hopkins University
  10.  University of California

Business Administration

business-administrationIf you have a business background and would like to move up the career ladder, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration is your ticket. An MBA can be different and Tim Dugger explains why: “It all depends on your area of expertise. In general, undergraduate technical degrees (in areas like science, tech, engineering, or math) married with some kind of graduate business education can create a well-rounded and more promotable individual. For these people, an MBA is a powerful career enhancer.”

He goes on to say that if you’re not in a technical field, not to worry. He says you could still do well with an MBA if you look specifically at a concentration in finance.

“I’ve seen this degree make the difference in numerous hiring situations. Finance done right is a ‘big picture’ field and so it only makes sense that a finance MBA with its broad focus is viewed as an asset by hiring managers,” he says.

Potential Career Path: Financial Analyst

Median Annual Salary*: $88,580

Top 10 Percent of Earners: $150,560

Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $53,940

While you may be qualified to pursue this gig with a bachelor’s degree in a field like accounting, economics, or business administration, many employers now require an MBA, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Additionally, The Department of Labor says an MBA or a Master’s Degree in Finance can improve your chances of advancing to positions like portfolio manager, in which you might oversee a team of analysts. Another career you could advance to with a Master’s is Fund Manager, in which you would be in charge of big portfolios for single investors.

Top 10 Master’s Degree Programs in Business Administration

  1. Pepperdine University
  2.  Quinnipiac University Online
  3.  Northeastern University
  4.  Arizona State University
  5.  University of Massachusetts
  6.  Drexel University
  7.  University of Louisiana Monroe
  8.  Ball State University
  9.  University of Nebraska Lincoln
  10.  Texas A&M Commerce

Public Administration

public-administrationIs the government a field you would like to explore? If your goals are to one day pursue a career in the political system, then, you definitely should check out a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. This is what Mr. Tim Dugger feels as well.

“Most people pursuing this degree are seeking a career in some area of government. This is yet another degree that can be a significant contributing factor in a person’s advancement potential within government roles.”

There is one caveat, however: If you ever want to switch career tracks and transition out of government, this degree could hold you back – in terms of both general preparedness and marketability, says Dugger. That’s because it may be more difficult for employers to relate to the skill set this degree may have given you.

Potential Career Path: Political Scientist

Median Annual Salary*: $102,000

Top 10 Percent of Earners: $155,490

Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $49,290

For this career, a Master’s Degree is imperative, since the U.S. Department of Labor lists a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in Public Administration, Political Science, or a related field as a requirement for this career track. Most students in an MPA, Master of Public Policy (MPP), or Master of Public Affairs program can choose a specific area of interest, says the Department of Labor. And political scientists with a Master’s Degree could also qualify for teaching positions at community colleges, the Department notes.

Top 10 Master’s Degree Programs in Public Administration

  1. Syracuse University Maxwell
  2. University of Georgia
  3.  Indiana University
  4.  Harvard University
  5.  University of Kansas
  6.  University of Southern California
  7.  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  8.  American University
  9.  New York University
  10.  George Washington University


nursingPursuing a career in Nursing may get you to thinking that there is no need for a Master’s Degree. However, in many states, nurse practitioners with a Master of Science in Nursing can perform many of the same functions as a physician, to include physical exams and writing prescriptions.

Joe Weinlick, Vice-President of Marketing at, a career network website that helps people grow and succeed professionally states, “Nurses don’t necessarily need a Master’s Degree to find good jobs, but getting a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can open up additional doors and opportunities.”

For example, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) says that a job as a nurse practitioner can be highly rewarding and also pays as much as 50 percent higher than a registered nurse. And Weinlick agrees, but says you’ll need to hurry to cash in. “Today an RN can become a nurse practitioner in most states by obtaining an MSN. Starting in 2015, a Doctor of Nursing Practice will be required, according to the AACN,” he adds.

Potential Career Path: Nurse Practitioner

Median Annual Salary*: $89,960

Top 10 Percent of Earners: $120,500

Bottom 10 Percent of Earners: $64,100

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you’ll need a Master’s Degree to move forward in your career to a position as an advanced practice registered nurse which includes nurse practitioners. And here’s an important point: In addition to earning your MSN, you must also be licensed as an RN, the Department says.

Top 10 Master’s Degree Programs in Nursing

  1. Georgetown University
  2.  John Hopkins University
  3.  Western Governor’s University
  4.  Duke University
  5.  Capella University
  6.  Drexel University
  7.  Kaplan University
  8.  Loyola University New Orleans
  9.  University of Florida
  10.  University of Texas Tyler

* All salary information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2012.

Excerpts from article entitled “Is Grad School Worth It? Five Degrees That Are” by Andrea Duchon

College Loans Giving You the Blues?

College Loans Giving You the Blues?

By Melvin Collins, Jr.

College loans certainly can be a pain in the side and in the pocketbook, if not handled properly!

It’s the college loan that makes students (and parents) worry about their education plan. They have to be aware of how much money it is going to take in order for them to complete their requirements and not totally burden themselves with this financial animal. It is terrifying and intimidating to think of all the money they will owe for a college education.

In 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that the average outstanding student loan balance was $24,301, with 10% of borrowers owing more than $58,000.

Today we are going to talk about how you may be able to get out from under that debt in a more expeditious manner. According to investment managers and financial planners, the following are the top 5 fastest ways to re-pay your college loan and get out from under that financial burden.

1Treat the Loan Like a Mortgage

payment-plansIf you can afford it, treat the loan like a mortgage and simply make larger payments to reduce the principal more quickly, says financial planner Allan Katz, CFP, president of Comprehensive Wealth Management Group in New York’s Staten Island.

For example, a $25,000 student loan with 6.8% interest with a 10-year payback period would cost $288 a month. Paying $700 a month instead of $288 enables the borrower to re-pay the loan in just over three years, Katz says.
By doing this, borrowers are “paying the principal down more quickly, which results in lower interest charges,” he says. By paying extra, the entire loan would cost $28,000 rather than $34,560.

Another strategy is adding payments and sending in checks every two weeks rather than monthly.

Once that college loan is repaid, the benefits proliferate. “It’s one less debt you owe. The money you make is now free to be invested and applied to owning a house, saving for retirement or putting a child through college,” Katz says.

2Create a 3- to 5-Year Plan

budgetClayton Shearer, a Certified Financial Planner at Wellness Financial Services in Thornton, Colo., urges clients to create a three- to five-year plan to pare down college debt. Knowing exactly when the loan ends is comforting for many clients. Clients “have a goal in place, they’re committed to it and they know exactly what to pay monthly,” Shearer says. Paying it becomes part of their monthly routine comparable to submitting checks for mortgages, cable TV and telephone.

For example, two clients had $50,000 combined in college debt and were making around $100,000 a year jointly. To pay it off, they established a budget and curtailed spending. Their budget was helped by two sizable bonuses from work, resulting in their sending $800 per month for two years to cancel their college debt. Had they not prepaid, it would have taken about 15 years to pay off the loan. The result, Shearer says, is clients “get debt-free and have a load lifted off their shoulder.”


3Establish Your Own College Re-Payment Fund

savingsIf a graduate can save an additional $100, $200 or more a month and deposit it into an account via automatic savings, it can expedite re-payment. Having money moved automatically is effective because it’s forced savings, Katz says. It enables people to set aside money to grow what otherwise would be spent on TVs or iPhones. Just make sure to set up an account that will be used only for paying back your college debt. Don’t use checking or savings accounts you already have because you might use that money for something other than your loan.

When you create the account, you can tie it to mutual funds, saving accounts, annuities and stocks that offer dividend re-investment plans. The most effective way to ensure that the money saved multiplies is to let the money grow until it accumulates into a lump sum and then transfer it a chunk at a time to pay off the loan balance. “How long somebody must save depends on the returns they get, as well as the amount they are investing and how much they owe,” he says.

Of course, there’s risk associated with savings in investments like mutual funds because the stock market is volatile and can falter. Typically over the span of a five-year or longer loan, stock market investments recover and grow, he says.

4Start Early With a Part-Time Job in College

Work_in_progressEarning money while attending college is one way to be proactive about keeping college debt in check, says Charles Sachs, a principal at Private Wealth Counsel in Miami. He says it’s a win-win because “getting a paid position while still in school generates some money that offsets loans and builds invaluable industry specific knowledge.”

If a student can manage to put away $1,000 a month, “that’s $12,000 (a year) less in student loans and not having to take that money out in loans — a big savings,” Shearer says.

Working part time while attending college can also strengthen a student’s ability, Shearer says. It develops discipline, provides real-world experience and earns income to lower future debt obligations, he adds.

5Avoid the Usual Traps

The most compelling obstacle preventing people from re-paying loans faster is the need for “instant gratification,” Shearer says. People can lose sight of their future financial goals, live for today, and “fall off the budgetary wagon,” he says. The most effective way to reduce debt is to plan ahead, make some sacrifices, focus on future financial goals and delay instant gratification.

Katz agrees. Maintaining financial discipline is a difficult hurdle for many people, he says. “Most people don’t have the discipline to save. Most people spend like goldfish eat, which is non-stop,” Katz says.

The people who succeed at reducing college debts are those who “live within their own means and are conscientious about saving,” Katz says.

These are all some very helpful tips given to you by professionals in the field of finance and investment. They all require commitment, planning and definite budget constraints, but won’t it be worth it to get rid of that heavy burden of a college loan? I hope these tips help you get your college debt under control.

• Excerpts from article entitled “The 5 Fastest Ways to Re-Pay Your College Loans” on the Bankrate website.