When you hear the term “work-life balance,” what do you think of? A job in data science, perhaps? No? Maybe it’s time to shift your thinking, then. According to Glassdoor.com’s recent report on the best jobs for work-life balance, data science is where it’s at.
The report, which ranks the top 25 best jobs in order of their average employee-reported work-life balance rating, is timely. Work-life balance satisfaction levels have been steadily decreasing in the past several years: In 2009, for example, the average rating was 3.5 (on a 1-5 scale). This year, it’s down to 3.2. By comparison, the No. 1 rated data scientists have an average satisfaction level of 4.2. Not bad!
In some ways, the report is surprising. Substitute teachers come in at No. 5 (even though Key & Peele make the job look like a grind), while lab assistants come in at No. 23. Neither of these positions are extremely well-paid, but that doesn’t seem to bear on these numbers. Work-life balance-wise, those surveyed seem satisfied. (Speculation: Maybe this is because neither of these jobs require work to be taken home at night?)
That said, there are some things to keep in mind: The report itself is based on Glassdoor.com user ratings from the past year, and, in order for a job to be included in the report, it had to have at least 75 work-life balance ratings from a minimum of 75 companies, and at least 200 active job openings on the website as of Oct. 1, 2015. Which means that super specialized fields like dolphin training may not have made it into the running.
Glassdoor’s self-reporting methodology is possibly also why the results seem skewed toward technology and internet-based jobs; data-heads (we say that lovingly!) are probably much more likely to submit reviews than average U.S. workers.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the report is about work-life balance, which is just one very small component of overall job satisfaction. So, maybe think long and hard before considering a career change based on these figures?