The Most Overrated Jobs of 2014

The Most Overrated Jobs of 2014


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High pay and plentiful openings await job hunters looking to land one of our 2014 Jobs Rated report’s most overrated jobs. But these overrated jobs hold unique challenges that require special sacrifices and perseverance.

Advertising account executive is a stalwart on our most overrated jobs list. It’s a fast-paced career, thought by many to be “glamorous”, as evidenced by shows like “Mad Men." even rated advertising as the college degree with the best value that students can pursue. Yet, the challenges inherent in the field land it a spot among the most overrated jobs.

“Be prepared to move. A lot,” says Jeff Goldman, an advertising executive in Delray Beach, Florida, with 23 years of experience. “In this industry, if you ever want a raise of more than $5,000, you need to make your own raise, either by making yourself so valuable that your agency can't afford to lose you, or by finding another agency that wants you more.”

Thanks to the proliferation of online advertising, an ad campaign can now be seen across the globe. And apparently, the executive behind the campaign is virtually traveling with it.

The advertising industry itself is challenging because the market for entry-level positions is gradually shrinking.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the projected hiring outlook for advertising account executives to be -1% over the next eight years. That means the pathway to higher-paying managerial positions is even more difficult in an industry already considered competitive.


Getting a foot in the door as a public relations specialist is perhaps more viable, with a 12% growth outlook in the coming years. However, the job’s stress level is intense, which helps land it on our list of most overrated.

Surgeons are the most highly paid professionals in our Jobs Rated reports, and some of the most important contributors to the workforce. As such, becoming a surgeon requires a commitment of at least a decade of training, and being on-call 24 hours a day may not appeal to everyone—especially being on call for life-or-death situations.

After accruing huge fees for college and medical school, surgeons embark on a high-stress career in which they literally hold their patients’ lives in their hands, which many non-surgeons say is an overrated quality.

On the opposite end of the stress spectrum are bookkeepers. The work environment and stress score for bookkeepers both rank highly.

Yet businesses are also streamlining their bookkeeping processes, contracting out to third-party organizations and digitizing more of their records, which means fewer job prospects. Thus, even this low-stress job can be considered overrated.

The following are the 10 most over-rated jobs of 2014, per our Jobs Rated report:

Advertising Account Executive

1. Advertising Account Executive

Overall Rating:
Projected Growth:
Median Salary:

High stress and an uncertain market for entry-level career seekers place advertising account executive atop the most over-rated careers list of 2014.

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