Today in Clickbait Posing As Research news, job listings company CareerCast tried to top LinkedIn‘s “most misunderstood jobs” story with lists of the “most overrated” and “most underrated” gigs in the market. Let us be the first to tell you that “public relations manager” somehow appeared near the top of the former list, while many jobseekers apparently underestimate how cool it can be to work as a “market research analyst.”
These contradictory rankings should serve as red flags outing the studies as nonsense, but we’ll try to figure out the reasoning behind them anyway.
Why is the PR manager gig one of the most overrated? It’s all due to the “stress” that comes from “demanding media, audience and clients” as well as increased “competition” because PR “is among the most common majors for recent college graduates”. Do you mean that more graduates are choosing to enter one of the few industries that continues to grow in our uneven economy? Shocking, we say. Oh, and if you find a job that can’t be described as stressful, please let us know. For research purposes.
Why is market research underrated? Because it miraculously combines business and tech skills, “connect[ing] management and IT”. It also doesn’t pay as well as PR manager, but let’s ignore that fact: if you’re a numbers geek who isn’t big on interacting directly with other humans, market research is a good way to go because so few people do it well.
How did the authors arrive at these conclusions? They used U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and CareerCast’s own 2013 “jobs rated” report, which combined subjective info based on environment, income, outlook and stress levels to determine the most favored jobs in the market. So of course you should take these admittedly un-scientific surveys with the biggest grain of salt you can find.
Our two cents: someone needs to pitch a major editorial, backed by market research, that explains why these studies reveal absolutely nothing about our industry and dispels some of the common stereotypes that continue to vex the public at large. It’s got to have a controversial headline to get readers’ attention*, and the author(s) need to go on TV to push it because no one except journalists, market researchers and people who already work in the business reads white papers. It’s a tall order, we know, but the message has to start somewhere.
One final question: why do so many Shutterstock entries under “public relations” look like Eastern Eurpoean call centers? You’re not helping!
*How about “No, We Don’t Hold the Trains on Actresses’ Dresses, Dumbass”?