"The Best Careers of 2011" — How Are They Looking So Far?

As we dig into the second half of 2011, we thought we would revisit U.S. News' "The 50 Best Careers of 2011" list to see how some of these occupations have been faring so far this year. U.S. News categorized these careers into five lists — this time we'll look at the 10 best careers in the Business and Finance list.

In compiling these lists,  U.S. News identified occupations projected to add jobs at an above-average rate, and those with above-average median income. They also looked at factors such job satisfaction, turnover, and educational requirements.

U.S. News Best Careers 2011 — Business & Finance:

[wanted-table col_styles="head,center,center"] Occupation,Median Pay,% Projected Growth (2008-18) Accountant,"$60,340",22 Actuary,"$87,210",21 Financial adviser,"$68,200",30 Financial analyst,"$73,670",20 Logistician,"$68,000",20 Meeting planner,"$44,780",16 Public relations specialist,"$51,960", 24 Sales manager,"$96,790",15 Training specialist,"$52,120",23 [/wanted-table]

As a group, employers and staffing agencies posted just over 191,000 new online job ads for these occupations over the past 120 days, up 11% over the comparable period in 2010. Nearly 60,000 of those jobs were posted in June, an increase of 58% over the 4-year low in May 2009.

Hiring Demand for U.S. News Best Careers 2011 — Business & Finance — 4 Years:

Hiring Demand for U.S. News Best Careers 2011 — Business & Finance — 4 Years
Source: WANTED Analytics™

Accountants and Sales Managers claim the most job postings, with more than 120,000 or 63% of the total. Actuaries experienced declining demand over the prior year, down 13%, while Sales Managers were down just slightly at .1%. The occupations with the most gains were Public Relations Specialists and Logisticians, followed by Meeting Planners.

Hiring Demand by Occupation — Past 120 Days vs Same Period 2010:

Hiring Demand by Occupation — Past 120 Days vs Same Period 2010
Source: WANTED Analytics™

According to our Hiring Scale™, none of these occupations were exceptionally hard to fill on a national level. Local talent pools vary, however, and looking at one of the top metro areas shows some variations. In metro Washington, DC, recruiters will face a more challenging process in trying to source talent for Sales Manager and Training Specialist positions, but will have an easier time than the average in recruiting Actuaries. There are 3.1 potential candidates in the DC area for every new Sales Manager position posted in the past 120 days, 6.2 candidates for each Training Specialist position, and 17.7 for Actuary jobs.

Hiring Scale Metrics for Metro Washington, DC:

Hiring Scale Metrics for Metro Washington, DC
Source: WANTED Analytics™

You can take a look at these positions in other locations with our new, complimentary Hiring Scale.