Editors' pick: Originally published April 13.
If you want to have the best job in America, you'll need a background in mathematics or science, preferably computer science. Of the 10 best jobs on CareerCast's annual Jobs Rated report, released on Wednesday, all of them require schooling in one of those areas.
While the report's top 10 occupations may require intense education, the payoff is large. These jobs have high median salaries and double-digit growth prospects.
The top job for 2016 is data scientist, a relatively new field that has an annual median wage of nearly $130,000 and is expected to grow 16% from 2014 to 2024, notes CareerCast, an online career portal for job seekers and a unit of Adicio, a provider of white-label software for job boards, real estate, motors and general classifieds sites.
CareerCast's annual report ranks 200 professions based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To determine the best and worst jobs, CareerCast analyzed each job's environment (emotional, physical and hours worked), income (growth potential and salary) and outlook (employment growth, income growth potential and unemployment), along with 11 stress factors to determine which professions are among the most and least desirable, the report said.
On the other hand, the worst job of the year is in the media industry, where big changes are transforming the industry from print to digital. As a result, newspaper reporters (CareerCast's worst job for 2016) are in decline. But that doesn't mean the reporter can't make the transition to a job with a digital medium. (Check out the 10 worst jobs here.)
So what are some other most desirable jobs this year? Here are the top 10.
Annual Median Wage: $96,700
Growth Outlook: 18%
Actuaries analyze risk and uncertainty and determine the associated financial costs. It is a field suited for those with schooling in mathematics, statistics and financial theory. The work of actuaries is essential to the insurance industry, according to the BLS.
The BLS projects that employment of actuaries to rise 18% over the 10-year period to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
"Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate a variety of insurance products and calculate the costs of new, emerging risks," according to the BLS.
Annual Median Wage: $71,550
Growth Outlook: 21%
Speech-language pathologists are therapists that "assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients," according to the BLS.
The BLS projects that speech pathologist employment to rise 21% over the 10-year period through 2024.
"As the large baby-boom population grows older, there will be more instances of health conditions that cause speech or language impairments, such as strokes and hearing loss," according to the BLS.
Annual Median Wage: $82,710
Growth Outlook: 21%
A computer systems analysts studies "an organization's current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively," according to the BLS.
The field is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations due to the growth in cloud computing, cybersecurity and mobile networks, which will increase demand for these specialized workers, the BLS said. Computer systems analyst jobs are projected to rise 21% over the 10-year period through 2024.
Annual Median Wage: $97,990
Growth Outlook: 17%
Software engineers, or software developers as the BLS calls them, develop software applications for computers and mobile devices as well as the underlying systems that run the devices or networks.
Employment in the field is projected to rise 17% over the 10-year period through 2024 as the demand for computer software stays strong.
Annual Median Wage: $103,720
Growth Outlook: 21%
Mathematicians "analyze data and apply mathematical techniques to help solve real-world problems," according to the BLS.
Jobs in the field are expected to grow by 21% over the 10 years through 2024 -- much faster than the average occupation.
"Businesses will need mathematicians to analyze the increasing volume of digital and electronic data," the BLS said.
Annual Median Wage: $62,540
Growth Outlook: 24%
The BLS groups diagnostic medical sonographers together with cardiovascular technicians, which operate special imaging equipment to create images or to conduct tests to help physicians assess and diagnose medical conditions, according to the BLS.
The BLS is projected employment for the group to rise by 24% from 2014 to 2024 -- much faster than the average occupation.
"As imaging technology evolves, medical facilities will continue to use ultrasound to replace more invasive, costly procedures," the BLS said.
Annual Median Wage: $73,060
Growth Outlook: 29%
Audiologists are health care professionals who diagnose, manage and treat a patient's hearing, balance or ear problems. It is another profession that will be in increased demand as baby boomers age, needing more specialized health care services.
The BLS expects employment for audiologists to grow by 29% over the 10 years through 2024.
Annual Median Wage: $88,890
Growth Outlook: 18%
The growing problem of global computer hacking means there is a greater need for cybersecurity solutions, contributing to ranking information security analysts as the third best job for 2016, according to CareerCast. An information security analyst creates and executes security measures protect an organization's computer networks and systems.
The BLS projects information security analyst employment to rise 18% over the 10-year period through 2024.
"Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks," the BLS said.
Annual Median Wage: $79,990
Growth Outlook: 34%
CareerCast's second best job for 2016 is a statistician. Statisticians use "statistical methods to collect and analyze data and to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields," according to the BLS.
With the highest level of growth projections among CareerCast's top 10 list, employment of statisticians is expected to rise 34% from 2014 to 2024 as companies and organizations increasingly use statistical analysis to make informed business and health care decisions.
Annual Median Wage: $128,240
Growth Outlook: 16%
CareerCast's top job for 2016 is a data scientist.
"Similar to a business/data analyst, data scientists [combine] knowledge of computer science and applications, modelling, statistics, analytics and math to uncover insights in data," according to I Programmer, an online magazine for programmers.
Employment growth is strong for data scientists. The rise of big data means there is a growing need for professionals who can interpret the data.
Harvard Business Review has dubbed the profession the "sexiest job of the 21st century."