Marketing, engineering careers top best jobs list


Glassdoor, the online job-hunting service, recently compiled a list entitled “25 Best Jobs in America for 2015.” Several of the career paths on the list are rooted in majors found at WKU and other universities. 

Glassdoor composed the list on three primary factors that included, “earning potential based on average annual base salary, career opportunities rating and number of job openings,” according to the website. 

While there were some medical careers included, the majority of the list remained concentrated in the marketing and engineering departments. 

“I think (the list) is reflective of what I always tell students,” Richard Shannon, the chair of Marketing and Sales at WKU, said. “The biggest advantage of marketing is that it’s extremely flexible. It’s everywhere. You can go in any direction with it. Everybody is selling something.” 

Today’s economy is evolving at a rapid pace, and jobs are subsequently changing along with it. When it comes to marketing, those in the field have to keep up with global trends. 

To accommodate the evolution within the job market, the department has developed a social media concentration. 

The presence of social media cannot be ignored, according to Michael Huff, a Hodgenville senior in the marketing department. He said that sites like Etsy, where individuals create and independently sell products online, are a prime example of the continued importance of social media and the Internet.

Paula Potter, the chair of the Department of Management, is excited to see more management positions on the list. 

“We say you can go into so many fields because in every aspect there will be someone who needs a manager,” Potter said. “From a broader perspective, there are so many (jobs on the list) that are supported by the Gordon Ford College of Business. This bodes very well for our graduates.”

Alongside the several marketing positions, the field of engineering also encompasses a significant portion of Glassdoor’s list. 

WKU’s Department of Engineering invokes a sense of community and involvement amongst its students, according to department head Julie Ellis. The department also works to provide its students with as much field experience as possible.

“Students in the engineering department get a better sense (of real world experience) through the work Debbie Berry does with the co-op opportunities and internships,” Ellis said. “Almost any engineer at any school will have the opportunity to work in the profession, for pay, before they graduate.”

While there are several diverse engineering positions included on the list and ones like it, the reality is that there is a lot of crossover between departments.

“A lot of the time engineering gets subdivided, so that it sounds like all these things are really different,” Ellis said. “There’s a whole lot more that holds them together than there is that differentiates them. There are four cornerstone engineering disciplines and everything else comes out of those: electrical, mechanical, civil and chemical engineering.”

Through the cornerstones, collaboration occurs.

For students that are still searching for a major, lists of this nature can be helpful in the preliminary stages. They provide information about starting salaries and current job openings. However, the decision ultimately depends on the student’s personality to determine whether a particular program is a nice fit. 

“(These lists) are always one-dimensional (in their focus on salaries), but there is always more than one dimension,” Ellis said. “And if people can understand that, then they’ve probably got the skills to be an engineer!”

The list can be found on Glassdoor’s website at