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The Best Jobs of 2015


If you love crunching numbers and managing spreadsheets, you're in luck. Jobs in mathematics rank among the nation's best for 2015. These positions are financially lucrative, offer abundant opportunities for advancement and, most surprisingly, often deviate from common perceptions about math.

For instance, if you're the next Einstein but can't write a cohesive email or make a group presentation, you likely won't achieve the career success you seek.

"Being strong in math is a given, but having soft skills, such as the ability to communicate well and work in a team, can be just as important," says Tonya B. Manning, Chief Actuary at Buck Consultants of Xerox in Winston-Salem, N.C. Manning is fortunate in that her position as an actuary is ranked as the nation's overall best job for 2015. Yet Manning isn't surprised.

"I've never met an actuary who said they didn't love what they do. I work with interesting people every day, from CFOs and attorneys to international clients, and what I do each day is different from what I did the day before," says Manning. "And since I love solving problems that benefit society, it's really a wonderful career."

Manning's work focuses on helping companies create retirement plans for their employees, which she says gives her the satisfaction that what she does each day makes a difference in people's lives. That's a feeling shared by another math whiz, New York-based consultant Ilya Kopysitsky. He's a statistician in the academic world whose responsibilities focus largely on helping graduate students and professors succeed in their research. That includes helping them estimate what data they’ll need when conducting experiments, which also requires solid people skills.


In addition, Kopysistsky, a graduate of Brown University who's now pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, says that working in math offers an almost unlimited career potential across a wide range of industries.

“Friends I went to school with now work in finance, government, academia, high technology and more. There are many different niches you can work in,” he says. The same is true for data science, a field that David Gerster of Big ML in San Francisco says has changed dramatically in the past few years.

“Predicative modeling historically has been this esoteric thing,” Gerster says. “You would have to hire someone with Ph.D. to get this kind of advanced analysis, [but] easier tools have brought data science to the mainstream.”

The “hype” surrounding what has been labeled as Big Data has made this career more appealing to math majors than such fields as marketing, sales, technology or any sector in which predicative models can be applied to project consumers’ behavior, says Gerster.

As a result, data scientist is ranked among the best jobs of 2015 with a favorable hiring outlook, which is one of the five core metrics used to determine our rankings.

Other factors include stress, environment and income, which definitely ranks well in the mathematics field. Actuaries, statisticians, mathematicians and data scientists earn wages waging from $79,000 to $124,000 annually, though an advanced education is typically required. Yet getting started as a data scientist may not be as difficult as one might assume, Gerster explains.

“You can’t really learn this in an academic setting,” he says. “The only way to actually learn is working with data sets.”

The other best jobs of 2015 are in either healthcare or information technology, which should come as no surprise to anyone following employment trends in recent years, as those two sectors have been the most promising.

According to the Jobs Rated report, software engineer and computer systems analyst are the best bets in IT. Both earn competitive average wages and have favorable hiring outlooks.

In healthcare, audiologists, occupational therapists, biomedical engineers and dental hygienists lead the way.

The following are the 10 best jobs of 2015, according to the Jobs Rated report. Income and growth outlook listed reflect Jobs Rated metrics.

Visit our methodology page for a complete breakdown.

GET THAT JOB NOW! The new Jobs Rated Almanac, now in its 27th year, rates 200 jobs from best to worst. Now that you  know them, the Almanac will help you GET one. Click here for more.

The Best Jobs of 2015: No. 1 Actuary

Jobs Rated Score: 80.00
Income: $94,209
Growth Outlook : 25.09

Tonya B. Manning says she's "never met an actuary who...didn't love what they do." Job satisfaction contributes to the No. 1 ranking of actuary in 2015. So, too, does the career's positive hiring outlook and high average pay.

The anticipated demand for actuaries is due in part to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Inequality in Economics,Business, Education,age.

What you see now is a huge inequality in business. Only hiring the lucky few with the best education and ones who have the best opportunity to afford it.  The older you are the less chance you have in landing the right job.  There is a large gap in hiring structure between college graduates, two year trade schools...A two year degree is a  thing of the past. If you have a 2 year degree you might as well be a High School graduate.   Thomas Piketty wasn't so crazy after all. The inequality gap is getting wider between the rich and the poor.  The lucky and the unfortunate. The deregulation of business and it's greed that gave rise to the present day economic crisis is a common day fact of life still today. It gives fuel for the unrest and disatisfaction in the voters you see today and the rise of extreme right not only in America but the rest of the World. The   new work place is becoming more extreme right and more exclusive and more prejudiced. Not everyone can be an Engineer, Mathmetician, Doctor, Lawyer, ICT Java developer. Normal, reasonable, respectable jobs for the common everyday normal person are becoming fewer. Maybe society will return to back to normal again the way it used to be. The future isn't so bright as the shakers paint it out to be. Trickle down economics, ethics, education, and class is a cancer for the future of society.


I TOTALLY DISAGREE. I am a mom of 5, that's right 5 children. After the expolistion of my 12 year marriage I found myself to be a single, unemployed, uneducated mother.  I needed to make a good living in order to even "afford" to work (given the cost of child care). I wasted no time and started taking classes at an open enrollment 2 year college (Columbus State Community College). My family and loving neighbors would drop off groceries, and babysit an hour here or there so I could attend my non online classes. I worked my ASS off. I had a 4.0 after two years of taking every math and prerequisite course I needed. Because of my long nights, putting the kids to bed at 8pm, then studying most nights till 2am, just to get up at 6am to get my older children off to school, I received a full scholarship to OSU. I then continued to graduate OSU with an Actuarial degree in addition to completion of the first two actuarial exams. I will admit I was nervous that companies would not want to hire an older, female, mother of 5, ect, ect, individual, but I DID NOT GIVE UP! Surprisingly I actually had quite a bidding war from both consulting and insurance companies in Ohio. It is not about where you come from, your age, gender, or ethnicity. It ALL boils down to your WORK! I am a living testimony of that. Companies want the best analyst with exceptional work ethics exclusively. Do not believe the system is automatically set up in order that you cannot succeed because of something you have no control over. YOU CAN DO IT! Work harder then others, and believe in yourself, the rest will work its way out. Everything else is lie sold by politicians in order to get elected, and peddled by others who want to avoid the personal responsibility in their current circumstances. Do not avoid the journey of scaling the mountain of learning and hard work ahead. I can say with high degree of certainty you will make it too! Q.E.D.!And just to squash another myth. You do not need to be an actuary, or mathematician, or engineer in order to make it out of the poor or middle class. My two brothers never stepped foot in a college. They both learned trades (electrician, and Carpenter), and I can attest that they make more money than I do as an actuary! Work harder at whatever you decided to do, and you will make it too! 


What l should do after 10th for IAS 


I agree that this is a great job....




I would just like to know what is it that you disagree ,with what parts of the statement?


I didnt even read it

I have to disagree with what

I have to disagree with what this article is claiming especially in the Information Technology industry. Most of the computer science jobs in this country are being outsourced pell mell in massive droves to cheap labor countries around the world like China and India or they are being given to foreigners coming here on guest visa programs like the H1B visa program.

It's an unfortunate mistake

It's an unfortunate mistake that has been made year over year by the WSJ, CNNMoney, and CareerCast. I'm disappointed to see Tonya B. Manning take part in the hype.- The Actuarial field is incredibly small, any job growth projections and indications of income are subject to dramatic changes.- These lists are partially responsible for the influx of freshman across the country declaring the Actuarial major. Over time, proportionally fewer of these freshman have been able to find internships and jobs, due to the relative size of the fields and the disproportionate media attention on it.- The relatively high compensation upon acheiving fellowship is paired with an incredibly strenuous exam process, that is ignored here. Generally, the intellectual calliber of an individual able to achieve fellowship in a reasonable time, would be more remuneratively spent entering top-tier law school or MBA program, graduates of which are expected to triple the future earnings of an Actuarial fellow. For those unable to pass the exams (most), a painful and poorly compensated secretarial corporate job awaits. 

I am an actuary with 39 years

I am an actuary with 39 years of experience, 29 of which have been as an FSA. Having had a few adolescent problems in my youth that lead to academic under achievement and being from a family that cut the financial spicket off when I was aged 21, I was faced with a problem of self funding years in graduate school, incurring a huge financial debt load and ultimately pounding the pavement to search out the then available jobs only to compete amongst the many other candidates for them.

Alternatively, I could become an actuarial student, be paid, study while working and ultimatly transition into a strong and promising career. The choice for me was easy, and in hindsight, it was the correct one. However, ROOT does make some good points and, in my opinion, it is imperative for the potenial actuarial candidate to fully and honestly assess their own skill base and career objectives.

You're ignoring the economics

You're ignoring the economics of labor when you say that the people who are able to achive FSA should be going to business or law school. Some people have an interest and talent in the actuarial field that the marginal monetary benefit they would receive by switching to a different path couldn't compensate for.

They would simply be more efficient, and happier, in the actuarial profession.I do agree that there probably are a lot of college students who become attracted to the field without understanding the difficulty of the credentialing process. This is why it's so important to have counselors who are aware of the entry requirements for the field and can manage the student's expectations relative to that student's academic history in relevant subjects. I was also advised to pursue a degree in something with more scope, such as mathematics, as opposed to declaring an actuarial major.

I have had sucess with the exams, but had I not I still would marketable in a different field.

I agree that being a dental

I agree that being a dental hygienist is a great job. I love my work and my patients - most of them have become friends over the years. The best part is that at the end of day, I turn off the job and go home to my family and don't think about work until I show up the next day. My boss can't say the same!

Great jobs if you've got a

Great jobs if you've got a college degree. What if you're an older worked with a high school diploma? Guess it's too late for us.

I'm an actuary and love that

I'm an actuary and love that it's back to #1 but getting that job without an undergraduate degree would be tough.  Check out the Mike Rowe Works Foundation guy from the "Dirty Jobs" show).  DON'T automatically think you need to go back to college unless you can do it without any debt - it is so overpriced right now.

It's not too late!  I'm

It's not too late!  I'm 33 and just started my first year in college pursuing an actuarial science degree 

Pass 1 or 2 exams and you

Pass 1 or 2 exams and you will find an entry-level actuarial position  ... MUCH MUCH  more valuable than a BS in Acturial Science w/o having passed any exams.And the emergy/time spent on the degree is FAR better spent passing as many exams as possible.Expect to spend 300-500 hours per exam to have a reasonable chance at passing.

Skip the degree, save your

Skip the degree, save your money and simply start taking the exams. I left college with a degree in education and left after a couple of years to pursue an actuarial career.  Exams are self-study anyway, why not take the plunge?

Can't skip the degree

True the exams are self study, but you had a degree in something.  If you read the job descriptions, all entry level actuarial positions require a degree.  I haven't seen one yet that doesn't.  It doesn't have to be in actuarial science, but a degree of some kind is required.

No Degree?

Check out our report on jobs with great potential both for growth and salary, which don't require a college degree: - Team CareerCast

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