The Best Paying Jobs and How to Get Them

Or, how you will never get them.

Glassdoor released its annual list of best jobs in America, and the top job had an average salary of over $100k. Not bad, right? Well, most of you lucky readers probably don’t have any of the jobs on the top five list because they are pretty boring and, in fact, you actually need a lot more skills than you think to get these gigs.

Check out the list, and our mostly accurate requirements to land these seemingly hard, high-paying jobs. And, really, a high-paying job is all that matters in life, because you really, really have to pay your rent.

Most of these jobs seem pretty far out of reach, unless of course you start majoring in math now. Math makes money.

If your ambition is to become a poor writer, please reach out to me directly in the comments sections. thx.

1. Data Scientist

In short, a data scientist understands data and processes for Internet stuff at companies that are web-based. Basically, every small and major website needs data engineers.

Median Base Salary: $116,840

How to get the job:

1. You need to know a statistical programming language like R, Python or Java.

2. You need to know a database querying language like SQL.

3. You need to know basic statistics and be able to explain a p-value.

4. You need to understand machine learning buzzwords like random forests, ensemble methods, k-nearst neighbors.

5. You need to know calculus and linear algebra.

6. You probably need a strong software engineering background.

7. Bachelor’s Degrees are usually preferred.

2. Tax Manager

A tax manager oversees all tax-related things for companies, including all aspects of U.S. federal and state taxation.

Median Base Salary: $108,000

How to get the job:

1. You will probably want a degree in Accounting, Finance, Tax or something related.

2. You will need a CPA and/or a Masters in Tax.

3. You’ve got to be very analytical and organized.

4. You will need to know Excel, SAP, or a large ERP system, OneSource/GoSystems, or any tax software system.

5. Management skills are a must.

3. Solutions Architect

A solutions architect customizes solutions to data and product problems at various companies. Basically, they come up with data-driven results and construct elaborate solutions to make people make money.

Median Base Salary: $119,500

How to get the job:

1. You’ll need a degree in Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Engineering Management, or something close to it.

2. You want some basic experience in cloud computing.

3. You’ll need to know Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL.

4. You need to know Common IPC/RPC methods and patterns.

5. You need to know L2 vs. L3 networking, network architecture, VLANs, and hardware device design basics.

6. You’ll want to know virtual memory management, batch operations, and system admin knowledge.

7. Because a lot of these positions are on a consulting basis, knowing a foreign language (or two) is helpful.

4. Engagement Manager

An engagement manager serves as the liaison between clients and a project manager and usually executes software development projects. They keep customers updated and are involved in projects from start to finish to ensure client expectations are met. They are responsible for making money for a company by maintaining a portfolio of paying clients.

Median Base Salary: $125,000

How to get the job:

1. You’ll want a BA/BS degree.

2. You’ll need specific industry knowledge and interest (depending on where you’re applying).

3. You’ll want to be organized and very personable.

4. You’ll need to know PowerPoint, Keynote, and sometimes InDesign.

5. Mobile Developer

A mobile developer designs and builds mobile apps.

Median Base Salary: $90,000

How to get the job:

1. You’ll need experience with web service integration (REST and JSON, HTTP).

2. You’ll need software development experience.

3. You’ll need demonstrable knowledge of either Android (Java) or iOS (Objective-C) development.

4. You’ll probably need a degree in Computer Science.

5. You might need have experience with Ruby.

And then, for many of these positions, you may also need the ability to pee in a cup and leave no interesting residual traces in there.

Crissy Van Meter is the managing editor at Nouvella Books and the founding editor of Five Quarterly. Her writing has appeared in VICE, Catapult, Guernica, Bustle, ESPN, The Hairpin, Golly, VIDA, and more. Her debut novel is forthcoming from Algonquin Books.
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