Best jobs for fast growth

If you're stalled or burned out, these fast-growing fields (with relatively low barriers to entry) can help you earn more, get ahead and put life back into your career.

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1. Software Developer

best jobs, fast growing, software developer
Median pay: $82,400
Top pay: $118,000
10-year job growth: 32%
Total jobs: 380,000
The job: As technology evolves rapidly, companies continue to need developers to design, test, and debug software programs for mobile devices and apps. Since the landscape changes so often, even longtime developers frequently need to retrain and learn new programs, lowering the barriers to entry for job switchers.

How to switch: If you have a technical background, all you need are self-study courses for vendor-specific program certifications. Tech newbies should start with a programming course at a local college.

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility
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Do Software Developers have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job.

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
Video
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com identified jobs requiring a bachelor's degree that have strong growth prospects, and eliminated any with fewer than 10,000 positions nationwide, plus those requiring advanced degrees that take more than three years. More

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