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Are you interested in pursuing a career in computer programming? Before you choose your major, you might be wondering about the computer programmer job outlook. It’s also wise to know the average salary rate and other facts about the position before settling on the career.
With these points in mind, you can decide whether a future in computer programming is right for you.
The Computer Programmer Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, there were 185,700 computer programming jobs in the workforce. Overall employment is expected to decline by 10 percent in the next ten years. While employment will drop over the decade, approximately 9,700 computer programmer jobs are expected to be added to the economy each year. Each position will open to replace retiring programmers or workers who transition to new roles.
The Average Pay for Computer Programmers
On average, computer programmers are paid $89,190. According to U.S. News & World Report, the top 25 percent are paid $116,220, while the lowest 25 percent are paid $67,370. Your level of education, area of expertise and the geographic region in which you work, will impact your salary.
How to Become a Computer Programmer
Most computer programmer jobs will require a bachelor’s degree. Many colleges and universities now offer programming degrees. You can also complete a two-year associate degree at a community college or technical school. Consider completing a boot camp training course to boost your relevant programming skills further.
1. Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most employers prefer employees who graduate with bachelor’s degrees. When you earn your four-year degree, you’ll learn the basics of programming and algorithms become proficient in discrete math and computer architecture. You’ll also likely complete a final project, acting as the culmination of what you’ve learned throughout your program. Upon graduation, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Science degree and will be marketable to all computer programmer jobs.
2. Pursue an Associate’s Degree
If you’re not entirely sold on a career in computer programming, you could start with an associate’s degree. This degree will provide foundational knowledge for entry-level I.T. positions like computer programmers, database designers and web developers. This program will teach you how to test and debug applications, match programming languages and project specifications and design code. You’ll also learn math and logic, further developing your problem-solving skills.
3. Complete a Boot Camp
If you already have a programming background, you can also consider completing a Coding Bootcamp to give you additional skills to make you hireable. Boot camps are intensive training programs that take approximately 15 weeks to complete. The point of the boot camp is to give you the most relevant skills to make you successful in the information technology field. Think of a boot camp as a certification to make you more qualified to a potential employer.
According to Nerdwallet, more than 80% of boot camp graduates say the skills they learned help in their current employment. Additionally, those who completed a boot camp training course started at a salary of $66,964, which is a $22,000 increase compared to those who complete a boot camp. You can take a boot camp course in person or online.
A Final Word About Computer Programming
If you’re committed to the information technology field, the computer programmer job outlook is steady enough for you to consider the career. While computer programming employment is not projected to rise as a whole, you should find work if you complete your bachelor’s degree and learn the relevant programming skills to make you marketable to potential employers. If you find employment, you can expect good pay for your work.