A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs: Mathematicians Land Top Spot in New Ranking of Best and Worst Occupations in the U.S., contains the results of a study to find the best and worst occupations in the country.
They didn’t actually ask anyone if they liked their job, which I immediately assumed that this article would be about. This list is based on data that may have nothing to do with job satisfaction, but then that’s apparently not what this study was measuring.
Of all the best/worst job lists that I have seen, I believe that this one shows the most researcher bias.
What is the purpose for this list? If you want a “safe” job, then this list might be for you. Mathematicians may not crawl under cars, but what about the rewards that come from doing something you love?
According to this list, the “best” jobs are the ones that require you to sit at a desk all day, be indoors rather then outdoors, have no contact with people, white-collar rather then blue-collar, have fewest deadlines, and have the least amount of physical labor.
In the article that describes the study, they interviewed several workers in jobs at the bottom of the list and found that they really liked their job. One was even noted as being “passionate about his profession.” These two interviews seem to contradict the findings of the study.
Whether people liked their job was not included in this research of “best and worst” jobs. Why is that quality so quickly dismissed?
Did a white-collar person design this study? What would have been the outcome if a blue-color person designed the study? We’d probably see jobs that demand physical labor, contact with people, deadlines, etc. at the top of the list rather than at the bottom.
Frankly, it’s hard to come up with a list about anything and not show some kind of bias. That’s why it’s good to look at lots of lists when looking for a career. If you compare across multiple lists, you should get a more realistic view of careers.
Unfortunately, the best careers in the near future have not even been created yet, and are not on anyone’s list.
Well, that’s the way that I see it. Let me know what you are thinking, and stop by again soon for more of my ramblings.
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