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Is Computer Programming a Good Career?

Computer programming has been a hot topic for some time. In a world that runs on technology, programming skills offer excellent career options, from software engineering to front-end development. Computer programming is also one of the most flexible careers; it offers many specialization opportunities, the ability to work remotely, and more. 

As with any career, there are as many challenges as there are things to look forward to with programming. Read on to find out whether computer programming can work as a good career option for you.

Is there a high demand for computer programmers?

Computer programmers are and will continue to be high in demand. With many senior programmers retiring and new technologies frequently popping up, the world will need specialized computer programmers to keep up with the constant change.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be about 9,700 openings for computer programmers each year. US News also rates computer programming jobs as #11 in the best technology jobs. In addition, the unemployment rate for computer programmers is only at 2.7%, below the national average of 4.5% in 2021.

It's important, now more than ever, to specialize. The world will need more computer programmers to meet demand in software engineering, web development, mobile development, game development, and many other specialized roles that all heavily rely on programming.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that:

Do I need a degree to get a computer programming job?

People with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field such as mathematics generally have an advantage in terms of getting a computer programming job. However, you do not need a degree to land a computer programming job; there are many successful self-taught computer programmers who come from a variety of backgrounds. It takes hard work and practice, but it is certainly possible to get a computer programming job without a degree.

What jobs can I get with computer programming?

Computer programming skills can land you a variety of jobs, including:

  • Web developer
  • Mobile app developer
  • Software engineer
  • Game developer
  • Task automation programmer
  • Database engineer
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Data analyst
  • And more…

To learn more, check out the article we wrote dedicated to answering the question, "What jobs can I get with computer programming?"

The career path to get a coding job isn’t always linear; some folks go through the traditional route of an engineering degree sprinkled with tech internships that funnel into a full-time job; other folks start in, say, marketing and slowly transition to computer programming with data analytics tasks. It takes small steps, but no matter your background, you can get a computer programming job.

Anyone can learn to code! Don't rule out a career in computer programming just because you've never tried before.

Is coding a stressful job?

In general, coding is a fairly relaxing job. There is the flexibility of working remotely as a programmer, and in many cases there is the security of routine.

However, as with any job, whether coding is stressful depends largely on the company you work with. Cultural pressures and tight deadlines can cause stress.

Working from home isn't always glamorous either; isolation and lack of external motivation can lead to burn out. It's easy to get stuck and lost in your head, and when you don't have external motivators, it can be easy to want to quit. 

Moreover, the sedentary lifestyle of sitting down in front of a computer all day may pose health risks if you don't exercise—it's a different kind of stress.

Is computer programming hard?

Like with all careers, there are challenges. Luckily, you don't need a master's degree to get a computer programming job. After high school, you can take a coding boot camp and start applying for full-time employment.

It's easy to want to give up when lines of code aren't working the way you want. Approaching each task can be challenging. Debugging can take hours of trial and error. But with all this, there is a reward. There is always something to learn in coding. And if you like problem-solving, you would have fun with computer programming.

Get started learning computer programming with free online courses

If you want to pivot to a computer programming career, the best way to get started is to learn computer programming.

edX offers free online courses from top universities and institutions. Online courses from universities such as Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania cover programming languages such as Python, computer science concepts such as algorithms and data structures, and more. 

Get started today!

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