Computer Programmer Review

Computer programmers usually work independently, sometimes from the comfort of their own home. A bachelor's degree is usually required to get started in the field, but the career's high salary and flexibility make it worth the initial investment in education.

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The Good

Easy to advance

As a computer programmer, you can easily improve your job prospects by learning new programming languages and staying on top of the latest developments in the industry. Along with experience, this can lead to management positions and other advancement opportunities. If you have business experience, even more doors open up for you. You could go on to become a computer systems analyst, for example. These individuals work with businesses to come up with the most effective computer systems for the organization. Technology is always changing, so no matter what type of programming you’re most interested in, there’s always going to be room to grow in this field. This makes a job as a computer programmer an excellent choice for individuals looking for a stable yet flexible career.

Very competitive salary

Computer programmers earn around $75,000 on average per year, with some making over $100,000. The relatively high salary and earning potential make the investment in a bachelor’s degree very well worth it. The computer programmers who stand to earn the most are those with a thorough knowledge of many different programming languages, as it makes them more versatile and equipped to handle a wide range of projects. A high salary may not be the deciding factor for everyone when considering a vocational career, but there’s no denying it makes a job like this worth considering.

Perfect for independent workers

The majority of computer programmers work solo on projects aside from the occasional chat with their employers and, for larger projects, other programmers. For the most part, a programmer’s work requires them to be relatively independent. This is somewhat unusual among vocational careers, as most of them involve a considerable amount of interaction with others, be it coworkers, clients, or both. If you’d enjoy more solitary work, a career in computer programming may be one to consider.

Opportunity to work freelance

Computer programming skills are widely sought after by all sorts of organizations, so you always have the option of working for yourself and choosing just the projects that interest you. This isn’t possible with most other vocational careers, and it’s worth thinking about if you want some more freedom and flexibility in your work schedule. Also, because a computer programmer’s work only requires a computer, you often have the option to work from the comfort of your own home rather than coming into the office every day.

The Bad

Many employers require a bachelor's degree

It is possible to get started in this field with only an associate’s degree, but the majority of employers today prefer those with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. If you’re interested in programming, you’ll likely have to attend school for at least four years, which might not be an option for you. If you can manage it, however, spending that extra time in school to earn a bachelor’s degree is worth the investment since a job as a computer programmer comes with a high salary and more flexibility than with most other vocational careers.

Below-average job growth

Computer programmers are only expected to see an 8% increase in the number of available jobs in the next 10 years, which is slightly below the average 11% growth expected across all careers. This doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of computer programming jobs out there, but it might make it a bit more competitive. The good news is there are hundreds of thousands of computer programmers currently employed all across the country and, as technology continues to grow and evolve, there will always be a need for those with programming skills.

The Details

Details

  • Career Growth (2012-2022): 8%
  • Median Pay: $74,280
  • Number of Jobs: 343,700
  • Number of New Jobs (2012-2022): 28,400

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