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How to Match Your Aptitudes to Today's Best Careers

by Terri Williams

Expect a 14.3 percent growth for the average job through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, demand for today’s best careers will double, triple and even quadruple the national average, and these occupations also pay a lucrative salary. Now, none of the best careers are related to the arts -- this industry is experiencing slower than average growth. However, there are other top career choices that may match your aptitudes, skills and abilities.

Biomedical Engineering

If you excel in math and engineering as well as possess analytical and problem-solving skills, consider becoming a biomedical engineer. Demand for biomedical engineers will increase by 62 percent through 2020, according to the BLS. Biomedical engineers design products such as artificial organs and other body parts. They also create new drug therapies and design software to run equipment such as three-dimensional x-ray machines. These inventions place a high demand on their services, particularly in light of the aging baby-boom population, which the BLS says will require such medical devices as hip and knee replacements. Biomedical engineers need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. According to May 2012 BLS salary data, they earn an annual mean wage of $91,200.

Market Research Analysts

Those who enjoy courses in marketing, math and the social sciences as well as possess excellent communication and sales skills might enjoy a profession as a market research analyst. The BLS projects market research analyst positions to grow by 41 percent through 2020. As companies look for ways to improve their marketing tactics to better reach their target audiences, they will turn to these analysts to help them produce more effective and efficient strategies. The strategies help companies monitor customer satisfaction; the information can determine the location of new stores or the placement of products and services. The educational requirement for market research analysts is a bachelor’s degree in market research, statistics or computer science. However, a degree in communications, business administration or the social sciences is also acceptable. The annual mean wage of market research analysts is $67,380.

Software Developers

Computer-programming wizards who can balance creative and technical skills might enjoy a career as a software developer. Through 2020, demand for software developers will increase by 30 percent. These innovators are the creative minds that develop computer applications and systems. The BLS bases its growth projections on an expanding need for computer software, ranging from mobile phone applications to other computerized products, such as household appliances. In addition, healthcare information technology, combined with cyber security concerns, will also spur job growth in this area. Software developers need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field. They can expect to earn an annual mean salary of $93,280

Dental Hygienists

A love of biology and anatomy classes, combined with great interpersonal skills and physical stamina equals a good match as a dental hygienist. These professionals can expect to see a 38 percent increase in demand for their services through 2020. As research continues to establish links between oral health and general health, the BLS reports that consumers will turn to dental hygienists to diagnose oral health problems, such as using saliva samples to detect oral cancer. Dental hygienists also provide preventative and routine dental services, such as removing tartar, plaque and stains from teeth, applying sealant and fluorides, and taking and developing x-rays. According to the BLS, more dentists will hire hygienists to perform these services since the dentists can increase the number of patients they can see. The annual mean wage for dental hygienists is $70,700.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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