The good, the bad and the over-hyped

U.S. News & World Report has released its Best Careers for 2009 outlook and this year, the list not only includes a list of the top 30 careers, but also the best careers to watch and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the most overrated careers.

The results? Good news for landscape architects, engineers, and urban regional planners, who all make the Best list. Not so good news for architects, one of the most overrated careers. Writer Marty Nemko explains:

The appeal: The public perceives architecture as a career for creative, free spirits who nonetheless ear good money while designing cool new buildings.

The reality: Architecture has many pluses. Indeed, it made it (barely) into the 2007 list of Best Careers. Not it belongs in this category. Not only is the housing decline  souring the job market, but more potential clients are off-shoring architecture jobs, downloading pre-made blueprints developed by top architects, or having lower-cost interior/exterior designers or building contractors design their structures. Two job satisfaction surveys painted a mixed picture: One gave architecture high marks, but the other rated it very low. A major cause of low job satisfaction is that many architects don't get to design buildings but rather must produce detailed drawings of the components of other people's designs, such as the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system.

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