What education do you need to get hired for one the best jobs of 2012?

Recently, U.S. News released their ranking for the 25 best jobs of 2012 based on projected growth, salary, job prospects, and job satisfaction. Each of the positions listed have educational requirements, whether it be a degree or formal training. Learn below what you need to do to earn some of the top jobs from the list.

#1 Registered Nurse – Nursing is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S., as it is predicted to grow 26 percent by 2020. There are typically four educational paths to becoming a registered nurse: a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), an accelerated master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or a diploma. These programs involve coursework on care theory, human anatomy and physiology, along with training with doctors and RNs. Before becoming a registered nurse, students also must pass the National Council of Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

#2 Software Developer – In the fast-paced world of technology, software developers play an important role in designing, testing and updating new software. These software developers usually require a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, information science and/or management information. Some individuals also choose to pursue a master’s degree or a Ph.D to increase their skill set and salary. Employment opportunities for software developers are expected to bring 143,800 openings by 2020.

#3 Pharmacist – The pharmacy industry is one of the most stable and well-paying jobs in healthcare, and the demand for pharmacists is expected to grow by 25.4 percent by 2020. Education for pharmacists starts with two years of study at a college begin beginning their training as a Doctor of Pharmacy at a college of pharmacy. There are multiple examinations that potential pharmacists must pass, and usually they enter into a postgraduate residency program upon degree completion. Pharmacy technicians help these pharmacists in filling prescriptions, and require less education.

#4 Medical Assistant – Medical assistants are expected to have one of the highest job growth rates of the 25 best jobs, with a 30.9 percent increase by 2020. Medical assisting degrees, diplomas and certifications are offered by many colleges, universities, and technical schools both on-campus and online. Training for assistants can range between clinical procedures to anatomy to microbiology, depending on the specialization of the medical assistant.

#5 Database Administrator – Data storage and maintenance has become a vital part to businesses as the amount of data available grows exponentially. Database administrators usually require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science and management information. Coursework includes computer programming, engineering, mathematics, and database management. Some specialized fields in database management require advanced degrees, such as a master’s or doctorate degree. Database administrators can expect a 30.6 percent growth in employment by 2020.

#6 Web Developer – In terms of job satisfaction, web developers are one of the highest ranked careers on the 25 best jobs list, and growth in the position is expected to create 65,700 jobs by 2020. Web developers design, create and maintain websites for organizations, businesses and individuals. This career path requires a bachelor’s degree in web development, and a master’s degree is ideal for the most prestigious jobs.

#7 Computer Systems Analyst – A systems analyst must be able to understand how a computer works from the inside out, as their job will include designing and developing computer systems. Computer systems analysts typically require a bachelor’s degree in a field such as management information or computer science. Many higher-level jobs also require a master’s degree in information systems or business administration, since this job is highly technical. This field is expected to grow by 22.1 percent by 2020.

#8 Physical Therapist – Careers in physical therapy are growing faster than almost any other field, with an expectation to reach a 39% growth rate by 2020. Physical therapists usually purse a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, but recently master’s and doctorate degree programs have become the norm for those pursuing a career in this field. Coursework generally includes human anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. Students also must take the national licensure examination in order to practice physical therapy.

#9 Computer Programmer – Computer programmers have a range of responsibilities, from writing programs to testing and maintaining software programs. Programmers require a bachelor’s degree or certificate in order to receive adequate training in the field. Coursework usually consists of learning programs such as Python and C++, engineering and mathematics. Growth in the computer programming industry is expected to add 43,700 more jobs by 2020.

#10 Occupational Therapist – As the elderly population in the U.S. grows, the demand for occupational therapists grows as well. This growth is expected to reach 33.5 percent by 2020, partially because the training for these therapists is extensive. Occupational therapists are required to have a master’s degree in occupational therapy, and must pass the national certifying exam. Training prepares therapists for many different types of patient conditions, ranging from mental to emotional to physical.

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