$80K Plus A Year? The Data Sector Is Where The Dollars Are

Although jobs have been expanding, many better paying occupations have still been slow. But one sector is red-hot, as CBS MoneyWatch reports. Data-driven jobs are growing four times faster than average, according to a Department of Commerce report, and pay on the average $40 an hour.

But don't necessarily expect that you can tell from the names which ones are the gravy trains. They're not only in areas of technology, engineering, and science, but in business as well, as the report, called The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy, notes. And although two-thirds of the people in them have college degrees, leaves another third doesn't, meaning that practical expertise, experience, or knowledge can pay off.The key is that the occupations lean heavily on three activities, according to the report:
  • "Analyzing data or information: identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts."
  • "Processing information: compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data."
  • "Interacting with computers: using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information."
The Department of Commerce says there were 10.3 million individual jobs in 2013 that met the criteria. Workers need to understand data (which can mean a lot more than numbers) and know, or be able to learn, how to make use of it with computers. Here are ten examples of what the department counted as top data occupations, along with their average hourly wage from 2013:
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