By Martha C. White
January 20, 2016
Steven Puetzer—Getty Images

What makes a job not just good, but great? According to, it’s a combination of how much you make, the level of demand for your skills, and how easily you can advance in your field.

By those measures, one title topped Glassdoor’s 2016 list of the best jobs in America: data scientist, with a median base salary of nearly $117,000, more than 1,700 openings right now, and a top “career opportunities” rating.

“This is a job title that’s so hot,” said Glassdoor careers trends analyst Scott Dobroski. “It’s a job title where demand outpaces supply. There’s a ton of upward mobility right now,” he said.

While data scientist was on Glassdoor’s top 25 list last year, it jumped from No. 9 to the top spot this year because companies of all types are looking for people who can turn big data into moneymaking ideas or insights, Dobroski explained.

Technology jobs in general have a robust presence on the list. Software development managers (No. 12) take home the highest median base salary, at $135,000, while the most in-demand job is software engineer (No. 9), with a whopping 49,000-plus job openings.

The 2016 best jobs list also includes an increasing number of financial services roles, including tax manager and audit manager. “As organizations continue to bounce back after the Great Recession, they’re putting more focus on their financials,” Dobroski said.

Two healthcare jobs made it onto the list this year, down from three in 2015. Physician assistant, last year’s top job, comes in at No. 7, and nurse practitioner lands at No. 23.

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Several titles are new to the list this year, including tax manager (No. 2) and engagement manager (No. 4). More than half of the 25 jobs have the word “manager” in the title, indicating that companies of all stripes are looking for employees to step into roles that require at least some experience.

Dobroski said the list reflects the fact that more fields are growing and hiring workers, and the types of jobs they need to fill are more varied. “The big theme here is you see a lot more diversity in the job titles” across industries, he said, which is good news for job seekers.

Here is the full top 25 list.

1. Data Scientist

2. Tax Manager

3. Solutions Architect

4. Engagement Manager

5. Mobile Developer

6. HR Manager

7. Physician Assistant

8. Product Manager

9. Software Engineer

10. Audit Manager

11. Analytics Manager

12. Software Development Manager

13. Product Marketing Manager

14. Marketing Manager

15. QA Manager

16. Finance Manager

17. Business Development Manager

18. UX Designer

19. Strategy Manager

20. Technical Account Manager

21. Consultant

22. Construction Superintendent

23. Nurse Practitioner

24. Electrical Engineer

25. Software Architect