Factors to Consider in Career Choice: Pay and Demand

What should be considered in choosing a career path? Some will advise you to choose a discipline you enjoy, but there are many English majors working at jobs that do not utilize their skills. Others will advise the choice of an in-demand career, but this alone will not lead to enjoyment or satisfaction in the work. Unsatisfying work is a major cause of stress. No amount of money can transform a deeply unsatisfying career into an enjoyable choice.

Hence, the choice requires balance. Any discipline will provide multiple career options, and some of these will be in greater demand and provide better pay. A look at the top-paying jobs in 2012 shows that the best bets for a secure salary are found in the fields of science and technology.

Green-collar Jobs

Green-collar work is often associated with installation and engineering, but green professionals are thriving across every economic sector, and demand for their skills is projected to grow. Green MBA graduates can work in any aspect of business, from marketing sustainable products and financing green innovations to urban planning and toxicology. About 2,800 environmental engineers are hired annually, and their average income of $78,740 has grown over 30 percent in the last year. If principled work appeals to you, this is definitely an area worth consideration.

Medical Practice

General-practice doctors have always been in demand and commanded comfortable salaries. This is a reflection of the expense and rigor of years in medical school. Increasing specialization in the medical field has led to higher demand for specific skills.

Professors in the health field currently take the cake when both demand and salary are considered. An average salary of $85,270 experienced 15.1 percent growth over last year, and around 4,000 vacancies each year means plenty of opportunity. Other medical specialists in high demand are radiologists, anesthesiologists, obstetricians, and public health researchers.

Information and Communications Technology

Modern technology has led to rapid changes in the global market. Online high schools and colleges are becoming more competitive with traditional classrooms, cyber stores with lower overhead are able to undercut competitors, and advances in communications are making it possible to collect and use demographic information for more efficiency in everything from distribution to marketing.

Behind it all is a horde of computer specialists. Whether they are called network architects, information technology specialists, or communications engineers, the set of skills they possess is in high demand and earning an average salary of $75,000. New hires for network architects alone are at around 21,000 a year.


Though not considered prestigious or particularly lucrative, educators have long enjoyed both job security and meaningful work. For the top-paying
jobs in education, it is necessary to target the fields in greatest demands. Educators in the field of health and medicine have already been discussed, but this is hardly the only option.

If education appeals to you, but the prospect of other types of work listed above does not, it may be worthwhile to pursue one of those fields anyway. Most universities would rather have an enthusiastic educator training students in network applications than someone with years of experience in computer networking and poor communication skills.

Selection of a career path should begin early in the college career. Goal orientation is a primary predictor of success. Remember that current economic outlook is not necessarily the best basis for your choice, because the only constant in this world is change.

David Dubose is a career counselor and freelance blogger. If you’re considering a career in Human Resources he recommends checking out http://www.humanresourcesmba.net/best/hr-mba-programs/ to learn more about where to go to earn your Human Resources MBA.

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