A recent survey by the website CareerCast.com came up with a list of the 10 most desirable careers and rounded out the report with the 10 worst careers. I’ve always been of the opinion that any job was far better than no job, but then again I come from a different era where we were happy to be employed.
In general terms, one looked at their bank account and their lifestyle. If the career path addressed those needs and they were satisfied with the workload, that was far more important than what a poll would tell us about popularity.
Let’s look at what the survey says are the top 10 careers according to CareerCast.com’s “2014 Jobs Rates Report:”
- University Professor (Tenured)
- Dental Hygienist
- Software Engineer
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Occupational Therapist
- Speech Pathologist
Really? A Mathematician outscored all the other career choices and ranked No. 1? At No. 2, just behind mathematician, is the tenured university professor? When I was growing up I just can’t remember anyone naming off any of these top 10 positions. I should know since my classmates and I at St. Luke’s First Grade class in Erie, Penn., were highly sought after for our opinions on career choices in the Erie Daily Times back in 1960. Nurses, fireman, astronauts, police officers, doctors, and president all rated pretty high as I recall, but not a one is on this list for 2014.
So, what are the worst jobs in the 2014 Job Rates Report?:
- Newspaper Reporter
- Enlisted Military Personnel
- Taxi Driver
- Head Cook
- Flight Attendant
- Garbage Collector
- Corrections Officer
These careers are now considered the worst jobs one can have? Times have sure changed. What would Clark Kent think today about being a mild mannered mathematician fighting for truth, justice and the American way? It’s hard to understand what the criteria was for selecting these jobs, but it doesn’t seem possible that a newspaper reporter nor a lumberjack, for that matter, are the worst jobs.
The report goes on to say that a newspaper reporter and lumberjack are at the bottom of the Jobs Rated Report in part due to dwindling hiring prospects. Dim hiring prospects according to the report are a recurring theme among the jobs ranked at the bottom of the report. Income and stress are noted as contributing factors.
I don’t know of too many jobs that don’t entail some income challenges, especially when starting out, and stress can certainly add some excitement to an otherwise boring day. But the work we perform, while to some may seem mundane or of little quality, is a very personal choice and is based on our perception of happiness from our own unique perspective.
There is so much more to one’s life vocation then to stack it up against all the other job titles available and then do some sort of comparison. Reports like this do a great disservice to working America. Every job is worth doing and provides some form of public service to our fellow man and to the overall economics of the nation. Pride in one’s work is so much more than the rate of pay and the ease at which one can perform the job.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.