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Glassdoor ranks best jobs in 2016, tech positions fill list

Technology and health jobs dominated Glassdoor's list of the best jobs in America for 2016. But which occupation was crowned the winner?

In America, what are considered the best jobs in 2016? Is it being a video game developer? Or being a renowned food critic? Maybe it's researching and developing artificial intelligence?

Career website Glassdoor recently released its report on the "25 Best Jobs in America for 2016," and data scientists claimed the champion spot. This year, technology occupied almost half the list with jobs such as product managers, software engineers and UX designers cracking a spot.

Determined by three key factors -- number of job openings, salary and career opportunities -- jobs in healthcare and technology dominated this year's list. Tax manager took the number two spot followed by solutions architect, engagement manager and mobile developer, respectively. Physician assistant was knocked down to number seven, unable to defend its first place spot from last year.

Data scientist moved up the ranks from the previous year. Glassdoor reports a median base salary of $116,840 and although data scientist does not have the highest earnings, it does have the highest job openings. Software development manager, on the other hand, earns the most with an average pay of $135,000.

Because the technological landscape continues to grow in interest, businesses need to tackle the increasing demand. Although data scientist may be deemed the best job, the field has a lack of training programs -- even if companies are adapting to the thriving field.

Data scientists can undoubtedly be a big investment, but employers can optimize the process. It's all about knowing what companies actually need. Speakers at the Big Data Innovation Summit in 2015 in Boston said employers tend to focus more on soft skills than specific technical skills. For Frank Lo, director of data science at Wayfair LLC, this means intellectual curiosity is the top trait he looks for in recruits.

Mobile developers, deemed to be the fifth best job with a median salary of $90,000, are something of a hot commodity as well. Red Hat published a report in 2015 noting that 50% of organizations want to hire a developer or manager to advance mobile development. 

With that said, there can be a high demand for a particular position, but a shortage can still exist. The software development industry is a prime example: Qualified workers are lacking, but does that mean there aren't enough people in the field? Or is it referring to a mere lack of skill sets? If it's the latter, then smart software developer training strategies can help narrow the gap.

Regardless of the case, nothing is wrong with taking steps to brand yourself as a dream programmer. It's about being adaptable and being fluent with "hot languages" such as JiRa or F#. The more knowledge a developer has the more desirable he or she becomes to an enterprise.

Technology consistently evolves, and that will also inevitably affect the hiring process. A shift to building DevOps teams calls for different staffing needs, and cloud trends have changed business mindsets. But how is a developer or an analyst supposed to know what an employer is looking for? Staying on top of IT job trends is a good place to start.

At the end of the day, no matter the position a company is trying to fill or what is decided as the best job in America, the most important element is understanding how to breed a team for success when it comes to IT. 

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