About Our Rating System

The Career Project uses a rating system to evaluate different career paths on a scale from 1 to 10.? This page will discuss more about the significance of those ratings, and how we determine them.

Careers vs. Jobs

Firstly, its important to understand that our career guides discuss and evaluate careers, not jobs.? We use the term “career” to refer to a myriad of different jobs (including both junior and senior levels) in a particular discipline.? Just as there is likely to be variance on things such as income based on the organization you work for, location, experience, etc. so too there will be variation within a career – in fact even more than when comparing similar job titles since a career path may include many different ones.? So our ratings evaluate the career overall.? Just because we evaluate a particular career as 3/10 for income, for example, doesn’t mean there aren’t people making very good money in that career.? It simply means that overall that career has lesser potential on average than other career paths.

What We Evaluate

Income: This is the most straightforward, and generally refers to the financial compensation associated with a particular career. This includes salary as well as bonuses and other forms of compensation like tips or stock. Note that this is absolute and does not consider the costs associated with education and/or training.

Career Growth: What level of growth is possible in this career space or among parallel careers? For this we’ll consider growth that can be expected as a result of normal increases in experience and skill level, but we will exclude any significant educational requirements such as going back to school for a graduate degree and instead consider that a career change.

Personal Growth: Will this career provide opportunities for you to develop yourself as a person? Admittedly this is a fairly subjective rating factor.

Meaning (Direct): How does this career impact others? Do people working in this career consider it a source of meaning and purpose in their lives? Does it directly contribute to a greater good?? Again, this is subjective. But we’re a subjective resource after all.

Advocacy (Indirect): Does this career have influence over others? This is similar to meaning but whereas meaning is direct impact, advocacy is indirect in that its more about sharing ideas and providing motivation than doing the actual work itself.