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Well, Math is hard

The best job in America

For the second year in a row, data scientist has topped the list of the best jobs in America, based on earning potential, job satisfaction, and number of openings. According to a survey by Glassdoor, jobs in technology continue to be the best: along with data scientist, the other jobs at the top of the list are DevOps engineer, data engineer, tax manager, and analytics manager.

You might be forgiven for not knowing exactly what some of these jobs are. So: USA Today explains that a data scientist is charged with analyzing "raw data sets to extract learnings and insights," leaning on skills in machine learning, computer science, and statistics.

"If there is a commonality between these data-science tech workers," USA Today writes, "it's both a passion for figuring out what huge sets of numbers mean and a skill for distilling those conclusions in a way that ultimately helps a business, be it a shoe retailer or a media company."

"Five to 10 years ago, the tech jobs were all about web and mobile development, which was largely about coding," says Glassdoor CTO Ryan Aylward. "To be successful now in these data-focused roles, you have to have an analytical mindset."

Not everyone has that mindset or skills, of course. "The supply imbalance of open jobs and the lack of skills is pretty staggering,” says Jim Deters, whose Galvanize bootcamp offers would-be data scientists a six-month engineering course for $17,000.

The median base salary for these jobs hovers around $110,000 a year, and most jobs in these fields include a sizeable benefits package as well.