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The 12 Best Engineering and Information Technology Jobs

software code on a screen By CareerCast.com

Engineers and other technical professionals weren't always seen as having the nation's coolest jobs. Many other professions have claimed that distinction over the past few decades, including investment bankers, airline pilots and surgeons. But those days have passed. Perhaps Steve Jobs and his legacy can take credit, but working in engineering, computer science and many other traditionally "nerdy" careers is the new rave.

"We're enjoying a true technology revolution, and techies who can lead that effort by creating and managing great software can write their own tickets," says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com. “Software engineers are the rock stars of today's working world, and even computer systems analysts and web developers can claim some of that recognition, since the demand for IT pros is so deep.”

In fact, Software Engineers have the nation's overall best job, according to the CareerCast.com Jobs Rated report. Their pay is great, hiring demand for their skills is through the roof, and working conditions have never been better.

"The problem is that we are not producing enough computer science graduates to meet the growing global demand," says Michael Buryk, Business Development Manager at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). "Even electrical engineers, especially those who work as power engineers, are in short supply, especially given the growth in the fields of alternative energy and Smart Grid."

Petroleum engineering is another field with tremendous career opportunities, as the world's energy needs and new oil and gas exploration require the skill set that only an engineer can deliver. And that demand spans the globe, from central Pennsylvania to Saudi Arabia to Malaysia.

While the number of new computer science graduates from the nation’s colleges remained steady in recent years, overall the number of bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees awarded in engineering fields has steadily increased. According to the National Science Foundation, the number of engineering undergraduate degrees awarded annually in the U.S. reached 500,000 in 2009, along with 134,000 graduate degrees and 41,000 doctorates. But even this growing supply of new graduates cannot keep up with demand.

"There is currently a dearth of quality applicants in many technical fields, in addition to computer science," says Lee. "Corporate recruiters are scouring the nation's universities in search of smart engineering and IT students, and they simply can't find enough to fulfill their hiring needs. And that typically translates into those jobs being highly ranked in our report."

The Jobs Rated report measures a range of criteria to determine the top-ranked jobs, including the work environment, current hiring demand, average compensation, stress levels, the long-term career outlook and the physical effort required on the job. When measured together, they provide a clear picture of those jobs that rank higher than others in the field.

Here is the full list of CareerCast.com’s Top 12 Best Jobs of 2012 in engineering and information technology:

  • 1. Software Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 25.02
    Work Enviornment: 41.00
    Stress: 10.42
    Income: $90,000

    Researches, designs, develops and maintains software systems along with hardware development for medical, scientific, and industrial purposes.

    Search Software Engineer Jobs

    1 of 12
  • 2. Computer Systems Analyst

    Hiring Outlook: 22.58
    Work Enviornment: 47.390
    Stress: 16.480
    Income: $78,000

    Plans and develops computer systems for businesses and scientific institutions.

    2 of 12
  • 3. Web Developer

    Hiring Outlook: 21.49
    Work Environment: 51.00
    Stress: 22.79
    Income: $75,000

    Creating and maintaining layout, navigation, and interactivity of intranet and internet websites.

    3 of 12
  • 4. Petroleum Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 17.48
    Work Enviornment: 52.06
    Stress: 19.48
    Income: $114,000

    Plans drilling locations and effective production methods for optimal access to oil and natural gas.

    4 of 12
  • 5. Civil Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 18.73
    Work Enviornment: 52.060
    Stress: 22.33
    Income: $77,000

    Plans and supervises the building of roads, bridges, tunnels, and buildings.

    5 of 12
  • 6. Computer Programmer

    Hiring Outlook: 11.78
    Work Enviornment: 50.18
    Stress: 11.78
    Income: $71,000

    Organizes and lists the instructions for computers to process data and solve problems in logical order.

    6 of 12
  • 7. Technical Writer

    Hiring Outlook: 15.93
    Work Enviornment: 65.75
    Stress: 30.16
    Income: $63,000

    Transforms scientific and technical information into readily understandable language.

    7 of 12
  • 8. Nuclear Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 10.32
    Work Enviornment: 52.06
    Stress: 32.12
    Income: $99,000

    Conducts research, designs, and monitors the operation and maintenance of nuclear reactors and power plant equipment.

    8 of 12
  • 9. Aerospace Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 4.24
    Work Enviornment: 50.06
    Stress: 20.34
    Income: $97,000

    Designs, develops, and tests new technologies concerned with the manufacture of commercial and military aircraft and spacecraft.

    9 of 12
  • 10. Mechanical Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 9.03
    Work Enviornment: 52.41
    Stress: 22.33
    Income: $78,000

    Develops mechanical products and coordinates the operation and repair of power-using and power-producing machinery.

    10 of 12
  • 11. Electrical Engineer

    Hiring Outlook: 7.39
    Work Enviornment: 52.56
    Stress: 23.39
    Income: $87,000

    Conducts research and plans and directs design, testing, and manufacture of electrical equipment.

    11 of 12
  • 12. Industrial Designer

    Hiring Outlook: 9.35
    Work Enviornment: 48.25
    Stress: 24.85
    Income: $76,000

    Designs and develops manufactured products.

    12 of 12

CareerCast.com's Jobs Rated Reports utilize a wide range of criteria, such as income, outlook, environmental factors, stress and physical demands to rank the best jobs.

2012 Jobs Rated Methodology


No chemE?

chemical engineering didn't even make the list? Lololololol it's the highest paying job you can get straight out of school, and only a 4 - 5 year program, not to mention one of the easiest jobs to obtain with the degree. companies are ALWAYS looking for chemical engineers. 

Guys plz plz plz reply

Software Engineering or Computer science??? which has more scope? any reply from any body will be highly appreciated> PLZZZZ do reply

Either

software engineering focuses more on programming code. Computer science generally covers every aspect, including hardware

what about biomedical engineering

there's a whole department of biomedical science and engineering in NASA so that can't be just out of the list.They are listed in the top 100 jobs of Forbes n better den ME and also gives about 70k at starting with more than 80k in states lyk California ,New York and Texas .So it deserves a position n dat 2 a gud 1

what about matrial

what about matrial engineering

i want to study telecomunication engineering but ...

i want to study telecomunication engineering and befor entering the field i want to be sure of making the right choice! the growth of self literate get me sceptic of entering a field where any one can take uphis mind and become easily. i chose telecomunication because of the hight practical level yu need to aquire befor been qualify and the average salary for the qualification! but yet i'm not still satisfy with what i read... so please i realy need some one to well orient me!

it

it is the richest field in the world. 

Over the past few decades we

Over the past few decades we have found a huge fall in job sectors; due to economic crisis thousands of people from different sector were lost their jobs. But still freshers were searching for better career and job opportunities in their preferred sector. In my point of view engineering and information technology jobs more in demand now days; therefore job seekers are used to searching for opportunities and from here we can get better information about the career and field in which now days freshers are searching for develop opportunities. To be very honest software engineer and web developer would be better choice. I must sure that with the help of this above choices we are able to deal with our job and career problems and also get solution for job interviews. 

engineering

l am confused please help me.......        

I mean if you r interested in

I mean if you r interested in sitting and working on computers, take computer or electrical.

engineering

friends i am in chosing an egineering field.please help me.  

Ramiel

Why did you choose Engineering? instead of tobe an Information Technology?

wtf

mechatronic is the best  its all of them

chemistry

go east go west petroleum engeenering is best

nuclear engineer

there should be further information reliable for class 10 students so that they excel and prepare themselves from beginning....nidhipaul06@gmail.com

MORE INFO

I NEED MORE INFO ABOUT EACH JOB 

...

you guys dont let me see the results

I believe the future demand

I believe the future demand of civil engineers would be the result of our nations outdated and crumbling infrastructure. Moreover, the list is for best jobs which used varialbes such as stress, work environment, job outlook, and income.Working for a Fortune 50 as a mechanical engineer I can confirm 4 things. I make a very good living. I have a very very stressful job. My work environment is alright when you discount the stress and unreasonable deadlines. The outlook for the field is good however I'm somewhat of a specialist so this may limit me in the future. Who ever the rant guy is he should dial back the superiority complex.I know plenty of non math engineers (Industrial) that do very well and are very intelligent people. Finally, this subject is obviously a controversial one as most engineers will side with their field. Chemical Engineers have always impressed me despite me not being one.

Please remove/rewrite this article

Industrial Engineer: "Designs and develops manufactured products"That's not at all what we do... please remove this. This order is completely wrong to. Mech E, EE, and IE should be at the top of the list.

about stupid man

u r expert or he is expert.........i think your branch is above of them that is why u become jelous.......stupid petroleum eng,marine eng IT is one of branch which has more demand in abroad.....if u dont know anything then dont give explanation.....bcoz truth is truth.........

Throw this article out. It is all wrong!

Civil Engineering #5?  Seriously!?  The most unemployed engineers I see are civil engineers.  It is considered one of the easiest of the engineering fields; therefore, it graduates more people.........so many people, that more than half our graduating classes are all civil and very rarely do most of those kids get jobs as actual civil engineers because construction projects occur far slower than college graduations.  Many of them go into other engineering fields if they are lucky or go into management, engineering technical support, or consulting.Nuclear engineering should not have that high of a job outlook because many of radioactive materials are approaching the end of their lives and not only does the US government not have enough money to re-amp these plants, people unfortunetly frown upon nuclear power so there isn't a lot of support.  It has potential to be a #8 position, but it is a HUGE gamble.From what I've seen and heard, Aerospace is a sketchy field as well.  The only real innovations the aerospace industry is experiencing is the replacement of steam gauge instruments (cockpit dials) for glass cockpits (computerized cockpits) and that is more of an Electrical and Software Engineering field, not an Aerospace field.  Other than that, the completion of the double decker Airbus and the lightweight Boeing 787 will not spark any new innovations for "real" Aerospace engineers to work on.Mechanical engineering cannot be higher than electrical engineers!  The many conferences and job fairs I've been to throughout different parts of the country, there are 2 mechanical engineers for every 1 mechanical engineering job and 2 electrical engineering jobs for every 1 electrical engineer.  But even despite that, mechanical and electrical should NOT be at the bottom of this list.  What this crappy article is saying is that Civil Engineering beats out Mechanical and Electrical.  Based on that, this article should be taken down!!!  The author is CLEARLY not an engineer.  Many kids are going to go into Civil Engineering only to be vastly disappointed later.  For the sake of our youth and to save future graduates from unemployment, TAKE DOWN THIS ARTICLE and hire real people to write on these subject matters.(Other than that, the first 4 seem okay, especially #1 and #3.) 

civil engineering will be always in demand.

Civil engineering is an evergreen branch. Maybe you have written this comment because you did not get to study civil engineering. 

TODAY SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IS

TODAY SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IS ON THE TOP OF ALL ENGINEERING 

This is absolutely correct.

This is absolutely correct.

I teach high-school math, and

I teach high-school math, and it's nice to see there are jobs in this economy that companies have to compete against each other to fill. I'm telling my students to stay the course in math and science, and it will pay off now and long term.

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