Perhaps S Ramanujan, modern India's best known mathematician who worked as a clerk, should have been born in present-day United States, where number-crunching has emerged as the top career choice, as shown by a study.
"Compiling research on 200 different positions, this year's JobsRated.com report ranks mathematician as the country's best job, followed by actuary and statistician -- three jobs for which a calculator and solitude are prerequisites," the career and job website CareerCast.com has found.
The study evaluated 200 professions on five criteria: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress.<b1>
"Remember that kid in elementary school who always had a pencil and calculator nearby, and while the rest of us drew pictures, read comic books or played cards, that kid was happily crunching numbers -- for fun. Fast forward 20 years or so, and it turns out that the kid probably has one of best careers around today," said the website run by Adicio Inc., a developer of web-based classified advertising solutions.
On the other hand, lumberjack was found to be the worst job in the US. Also, the most satisfying career was found to be that of a clergyman.
"On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Monty Python troupe made famous the song, 'I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK.' Unfortunately, our study finds that lumberjacks have the nation's worst job, followed by dairy farmers and taxi drivers, which seems to bear out the old grade-school adage that 'it's better to earn a living with your head rather than with your hands.'," the study report noted.
Among others, a publication editor ranks much higher (31) than a radio and TV newscaster (75), while a newspaper reporter ranks 140th in the list.
Becoming a choreographer (161) is a better job than being a chauffeur (162), a bartender (163) or an undertaker (164).
The 10 best jobs in the US with job descriptions by the website are:
Applies mathematical theories and formulas to teach or solve problems in a business,
educational, or industrial climate.
Interprets statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of
property from theft and natural disasters.
Tabulates, analyzes, and interprets the numeric results of experiments and surveys.
Studies the relationship of plants and animals to their environment.
Researches, designs, develops and maintains software systems along with hardware
development for medical, scientific, and industrial purposes.
Computer systems analyst:
Plans and develops computer systems for businesses and scientific institutions.
Analyzes and records historical information from a specific era or according to a particular area
Studies human behaviour by examining the interaction of social groups and institutions.
Designs and develops manufactured products.
Prepares and analyzes financial reports to assist managers in business, industry
The worst 10 jobs in the US:
1. Lumberjack: Fells, cuts and transports timber to be processed into lumber, paper, and other wood products
2. Dairy farmer: Directs and takes part in activities involved in the raising of cattle for milk production.
3. Taxi driver: Operates a taxi cab over the streets and roads of a municipality, picking up and dropping off passengers by
4. Seaman: May perform any number of tasks involved in the operation of ships, boats, barges, or dredges.
5. Emergency medical technician: Attends to situations which demand immediate medical attention, such as automobile
accidents, heart attacks, and gunshot wounds.
6. Roofer: Installs roofs on new buildings, performs repairs on old roofs, and re-roofs old buildings.
7. Garbage collector: Collects refuse on a designated municipal route, and transports trash to disposal plants or landfill areas.
8. Welder: Joins or repairs metal surfaces through the application of heat.
9. Roustabout: Performs routine physical labor and maintenance on oil rigs and pipelines, both on and off shore.
10. Ironworker: Raises the steel framework of buildings, bridges, and other structures.
Ten most satisfying careers in the US (Criteria here differ from those for the best and worst jobs):
1. Clergy: Leads a congregation in worship and other spiritual services, provides moral guidance to members, and
participates in community outreach.
2. Physical therapist: Plans and directs treatment to improve mobility and alleviate pain in persons disabled by injury or
3. Firefighter: Protects individuals and saves lives and property from the ravages of fire.
4. School principal: Supervises the educational curricula and day-to-day activities in elementary and secondary schools, as
well as colleges and universities.
5. Artist (fine art): Creates artwork independently, usually in the form of painting, drawing, sculpture, or other visual
6. Teacher: Introduces children to the basics of mathematics, language, science and social studies, and assists other aspects
7. Author: Creates fiction and non-fiction books, either on assignment from editors, or independently.
8. Psychologist: Studies human behaviour, emotion and mental processes, and provides counselling and therapy for
9. Special education teacher: Teaches elementary and preschool to physically challenged students, including those who are
audibly or visually handicapped, and the mentally impaired.
10. Construction machinery operator: Operates one or more machines used in extractive or construction work.