America's corporations have been hiring armies of data scientists and data engineers as they collect exponentially larger amounts of data about their customers, their businesses and their markets. Now, they also need more people to help them decide what to do once they have all that data, and what decisions to make as a result, leading to a boom in "business operations" jobs that the careers website Glassdoor says make their annual list of the best jobs in America for the first time.
This year's list features "data scientist" in its top spot for the third year in a row – physician assistant held the top spot in 2015 – and includes several other data-related careers. But there are at least four new titles on the list that help crunch that data and make decisions based on what they suggest. These include strategy managers (No. 7), business development managers (No. 14), business intelligence developers (No. 42) and business analysts (No. 43), each of which make the list for the first time, said Scott Dobroski, a career trends analyst at Glassdoor.
"There's always a lot of tech jobs and health-care jobs – that's not new and not going away anytime soon," Dobroski said.
"But the biggest trend this year was this emerging theme of business operations," he said, or people "who make sense of all that data and recommend business decisions."
Many of the people hired for these jobs, he said, are former consultants who companies are bringing in-house to help with strategic and market decision-making.
Even with those entrants, this year's list also includes more tech jobs than last year – 20 of the 50 are from that industry, up from 14 in 2017. High-tech or engineering jobs among the top 10 include not only data scientist but "devops" engineers, mobile developers, and electrical and manufacturing engineers.
Many of the jobs on the list are decidedly not the glamorous gigs many people might put on a "dream jobs" list – no fashion designer or craft beer taster here – and instead are technical or high-demand jobs that are seeing thousands of openings, Dobroski said. Traditional corporate roles like human resources managers and marketing managers also crack the top 10. There are also five jobs listed in health care, including occupational therapist (No. 4), physician assistant (No. 25) and a new addition to the list, speech language pathologist (No. 35).