by Cindy Perman
All six-figure jobs were NOT created equal.
Not only do some require more education and experience than others, some are just more in demand than others. So, if you want to increase your chances of landing a six-figure job, it helps to know which ones have the most positions available.
Finance-related jobs accounted for more than half of the top 25 jobs with the most openings that paid over $100,000, according to research by Monster.com. That's everything from a finance manager to an internal audit supervisor and an accounting director.
There's still a lot of competition for those jobs, though: Indeed.com estimates that for every online job listing in financial services and banking, 30 people click on it. For accounting jobs, that number rises to 34. Health care and information technology had the least clicks per post, while media and construction had the most.
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So, where are the best opportunities? Here are eight of the top six-figure jobs that have the most openings -- and who's hiring.
Finance-related positions dominate Monster.com's list of the most in-demand six-figure jobs and, of those, finance managers are near the top of the list.
The good thing about pursuing a career as a finance manager is that nearly every company, government agency or other type of organization requires a finance manager -- no matter what the economy's doing. That's the person who oversees the preparation of financial reports and handles the cash management and investment activities of the firm.
A bachelor's degree is required by most firms -- and many require a master's degree or professional certification. The hours can be long, typically 50 to 60 hours a week, plus some travel.
The field is expected to grow by 8 percent over the next decade, which is average, according to the Labor Department. Competition is expected to be tough for these jobs, so those with a master's degree are likely to have the edge.
Who's hiring right now? Ernst & Young, Bank of America and Deloitte are among the firms doing the most hiring for finance managers, according to Indeed.com.
Not only are software engineers in demand right now, the field is expected to be one of the fastest growing over the next decade, rising 32 percent.
But let the programmer beware: While computer software engineers, the guys who write software, are projected be in demand in the next 10 years, demand for computer programmers, the guys who write the instructions for a computer to use that software, is expected to shrink 3 percent in that time.
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The reason? Software engineers will be in demand due to increased computer networking, expanding technologies and the need for more security on those systems, while programmer demand will take a hit from the rise of open-source software and outsourcing.
Most software-engineer positions require a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or mathematics, and many require graduate degrees.
Who's hiring right now? Microsoft, EMC and Broadcom, according to Indeed.com.
Corporate Public Relations Director
Demand for public-relations managers is expected to be stronger than average due to an increasingly competitive and global business environment. It is crucial for a firm to have a good relationship with the public -- their profitability, whether they're publicly traded or not, is dependent on their reputation.
Public-relations managers do everything from managing PR campaigns to doing damage control when a negative rumor or story about the company emerges. Some work traditional 40-hour workweeks but most need to be on call 24-7 in case of emergency.
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Employment for PR specialists is expected to grow 24 percent over the next decade, faster than other professions. Being on top of new trends, like social media, is crucial and additional languages are a bonus.
Who's hiring right now? Kaiser Permanente and AstraZeneca, according to Indeed.com.
Demand for public-relations managers is expected to be stronger than average -- and that is particularly true for those who specialize in investor relations, communicating the firm's financial information to investors, analysts and the media. Increased regulation and scrutiny in particular will drive the need for skilled investor-relations managers.
The qualifications for this job are unique: Not only does the person have to have strong communications skills but also a firm command of financial systems and statements -- and how to explain that in plain English. They also have to be good at crisis management and willing to work long hours, should the stock come under pressure from a rumor or news event.
A bachelor's degree is usually required, with a focus on finance, economics and journalism. Being a member of the National Investor Relations Institute is particularly helpful for networking -- they have local chapters in most states.
Who's hiring right now? Citigroup and Bank of America, according to Indeed.com.
As companies dig out from the recession, sales executives are going to be in particular demand because they're the ones that drive growth, bringing in new business and new sources of revenue.
Sales executives are the ones that set strategies and goals, and direct their sales reps for the best way to improve their sales performance. You need good people skills for this job but also good analytical skills -- knowing the trends and making sure your team is out front. There's a lot of pressure with a sales executive job because once you set those goals -- you have to meet and exceed them. The firm is counting on you.
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Having a bachelor's and/or MBA is helpful, with courses in marketing as well as law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics and statistics helping to provide an extra edge. Most firms tend to promote from within. Advancement is typically quicker at large firms than small ones, according to the Labor Department's outlook for the industry.
Who's hiring right now? IBM, CSC and ADP, according to Indeed.com.
A compensation analyst develops salary, bonus and benefits structures, identifies compensation and benefits issues and makes adjustments based on new regulatory requirements.
Typically this position requires a bachelor's degree, preferably in mathematics, business administration or human-resources management.
Not only is there solid demand for compensation analysts today but the outlook is also strong for the next decade, due to health-care reform and globalization.
Who's hiring right now? KPMG, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, according to Indeed.com.
The number of tenure-track professors is on the decline as schools increasingly seek flexibility in dealing with compensation issues, making associate professors one of the most in-demand $100k+ jobs on Monster.com.
The trend now is toward hiring professors for limited-term contracts, typically 2 to 5 years. Competition is expected to be tough for the tenured positions and often a professor will have to move into a more administrative or managerial role such as department chairperson in order to achieve tenure. Those with a PhD have the best job prospects, according to the Labor Department.
Overall, demand for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow by 15 percent in the next decade, faster than average, as enrollment is projected to increase -- not just among those 18 to 24 but also adults returning to college to change professions or enhance their prospects in an existing field. Demand is expected to be strongest for professors in fast-growing fields such as business, nursing, biological sciences and other health specialties.
Who's hiring right now? George Mason, University of Iowa and University of Miami, according to Indeed.com.
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Globalization and legislative changes are driving the need for more in-house attorneys.
Among other issues a corporate attorney has to deal with are patents, contracts, property interests and negotiating with unions. Lawyers typically work long hours, though the hours are slightly less brutal for corporate attorneys.
Not only is demand strong now but it's projected to be strong over the next decade, according to the Labor Department, amid increased demand for services such as health care, intellectual property, bankruptcy, corporate and security litigation, antitrust law and environmental law. Though, a shift toward using big accounting firms or paralegals for some of these functions will curb demand to some degree. Economic downturns also take a toll as companies are less inclined to pay hefty legal fees.
Competition is expected to be tough, so a willingness to relocate is a plus.
Who's hiring right now? KPMG, Ernst & Young and JPMorgan Chase, according to Indeed.com.