Whether you most enjoy coding, analytics or user experience, you can find a place for your talents in computer programming. The list you’ll find below outlines just a few of the ways you can use your programming knowledge. You’ll be able to help organizations and businesses make good decisions and provide value for their customers or end users. Computer programming jobs are growing each and every year. Growth makes the field an interesting prospect for students.
The computer programming field – in all its forms – continues to boom across the world. Additional specialties and concentrations of expertise develop seemingly overnight. And computer programming skills are needed in a wide variety of industries. Those industries may span everything from consumer products, startup companies and video games to health care, education and insurance providers. As society becomes more connected and dependent on data and technology solutions, the forecast for computer programming opportunities remains strong.
Because of this tremendous amount of opportunity, it can be easy to become overwhelmed when trying to define your niche. Below you will find a list of programming careers you might consider. Given the current events in the field, you might want to consider studying this important field.
Backend Systems – Top Computer Programming Jobs
Any website or dynamic web application consists of various layers, including its design, content, structure and functionality. The technology and programming that “power” a site appear invisible to the end user but serve a critical role. This collection constitutes the back end. Consisting of the server, the database and server-side applications, it’s the behind-the-scenes functionality.
The back end serves as the ecosystem in which database managers and back-end developers operate. Back-end developers are grouped with all web developers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS predicts that this career field will see job opportunities increase by 27 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Business Intelligence Analyst
Business intelligence analysts play a major role in making the vast amount of data now available to companies useful. They help a company put data it already collects to use in order to increase the company’s efficiency and create value for consumers. On a day-to-day basis, they comb through massive amounts of data by effectively querying databases. They then produce usable reports that identify trends and recommend immediate, actionable business insights. Successful business intelligence analysts require a range of skills, including comfort with big data, along with a keen business understanding.
Once a business intelligence analyst makes recommendations for a company, he or she may often be called upon to lead trainings for colleagues, including teaching managers to implement and monitor new data systems.
The job market for business intelligence analysts will grow by 21 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Computer Hardware Programmers – Top Computer Programming Jobs
Computer hardware engineers and programmers research, design, develop and test myriad computer systems and hardware pieces including memory devices, circuit boards, processors, networks and routers, among others. They represent the ultimate architects within the computer technology universe, driving the overall design and development process – creating blueprints, constraining project costs to original estimates and making sound logistical recommendations.
In other words, computer hardware engineers influence the overall direction of computer technology development and drive its associated design processes.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects drive the conceptual and implementation work behind all types of data communication networks, including local area networks, wide area networks and even Intranets. Complexities of these types of projects range from simple interfaces between two offices to multi-complexity, next-generation networking capabilities – such as cloud infrastructure for customers across the globe.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for computer network architects will grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026. Demand for computer network architects will organically increase as organizations continue to expand information technology networks.
Computer network architects typically do the following:
- Create schematics and designs that outline appropriate data networks
- Make recommendations for hardware, such as routers or adaptors, and software, such as network drivers, that are critical for the organization’s success
- Continuously explore new technologies to determine what would best meet the organization’s future data and communications needs
Computer Programmer – Main Computer Programming Jobs
Computer programmers create and test the code that spurs computer applications and software programs to behave as intended. In other words, they transform program designs created by software developers and engineers into coded instructions that a computer can follow to achieve desired results.
Overall, the professional computer programming loop involves writing, reviewing, debugging, maintaining and continually testing programs. Computer programmers, software engineers and software developers typically collaborate to create comprehensive software frameworks.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for computer programmers remains positive. The BLS forecasts that computer programming jobs will grow by eight percent from 2012 to 2022.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts, also known as systems architects, study current computer systems and procedures. They then design solutions to ensure that those systems and procedures operate most effectively in the best interests of an institution. They marry the concepts of business and information technology by researching innovative technologies and making appropriate recommendations. Businesses trust them to know if adopting new ways can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness and help it provide more value to its customers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of computer systems analysts will grow by 9 percent from 2016 to 2026. Increases in how prolifically both large and small businesses adopt cloud technology, along with using more IT services, especially in the health care setting, is part of the expected increased demand for these roles.
Database administrators play a critical role in many U.S. and global business sectors, and they have a strong presence in such diverse industries as health care, finance and retail. They specialize in storing, securing and sharing electronic information as appropriate. Thus, they ensure that the appropriate data are available to authorized users, along with protecting those data from unauthorized access for any reason.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that employment of database administrators will grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, largely driven by increased data needs of companies around the world.
With Big Data increasing in prominence, the need for cybersecurity expertise also expands within both public and private enterprises. When one considers the crucial role database administrators play in protecting the nation’s security and economic well-being, it is reasonable to expect that their specialized skills will continue to be in high and increasing demand in coming years.
Embedded systems engineer represents a relatively new job category that marries many of the characteristics and responsibilities of both electrical engineering and computer science. These engineers address both hardware and software designs for needs such as electronic medical equipment, appliances, mobile communications devices, industrial and military control systems, and remote controls – and industries that have a tendency to employ embedded systems engineers range from consumer electronics and defense to robotics, aeronautics and communications.
To enter this field, candidates should have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field – and some colleges and universities are beginning to offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in embedded systems engineering, along with specific certification programs.
Because this category remains so new, no growth forecasts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are yet available.
Full Stack Web Developer – Technical Computer Programming Jobs
The modifier, “full-stack” simply describes developers who are comfortable working with both back-end and front-end technologies. Thus, the term is not a standard determined by the computer science industry, but instead is a natural evolution of existing roles and skills. A full stack developer can be considered a generalist who understands the combination of front-end development, plus back-end development, plus dev-ops, plus design.
Apart from building web applications comfortably, a full stack developer will feel at home deploying, optimizing and automating applications.
Benefits to pursuing this kind of role include the fact that it forces a developer to constantly learn new things. Technology changes at lightning speed, and consistently pursuing the same type of programming roles may lead to decreased career options. A more versatile developer proves more valuable to a team and can serve the industry on a larger scale.
This type of role also seems to pay more. Some studies show as much as a 38-percent salary difference between full stack and specialized web designers. Because this is an unofficial job category, the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistic has no job growth forecast currently available.
Healthcare Informatics – Applied Computer Programming Jobs
Health informatics, otherwise known as health information systems, employs information technology to analyze and manage health care records in order to help improve patient care outcomes in a variety of health care settings.
These computer programmers help bridge the gap between computer processing data and front-line health care workers. Not only do they ensure that a health care practice’s software and hardware technology are kept up-to-date, but they also regulate security and compliant distribution of patient records in the electronic space. Health informatics professionals work across a wide spectrum of health care settings. Those may include public health agencies, hospitals, medical associations, pharmaceutical companies, federal government agencies, non-profit health groups, physician group practices and insurance companies – just to name a few.
Mobile devices and their applications continue to shape the way people do business, access media and entertainment and generally communicate. With this rapid change organically comes growing demand for the developers who create and update these apps to ensure that they are secure, user-friendly and effective.
Mobile developers typically develop programs inside mobile development environments using various programming languages. The developer can choose an operating system (mobile platform) to develop for, such as Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS, then familiarize him/herself with the appropriate programming languages and software development environment for that particular platform.
Many mobile application developer training programs and accredited degrees exist at colleges and universities that feature coursework in mobile application programming, app deployment and mobile media design for leading mobile platforms.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10-year projected job growth for mobile developers sits at 19 percent.
Network System Administrator
Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization, and network system administrators bear responsibility for the continuous operation of those networks.
These computer programmers help guarantee network availability to all users of a local area network or wide area network. They install, configure, support and monitor organizations’ networks, plus continually monitoring website performance and initiating appropriate upgrades and maintenance. You can find network administrators in almost any organization – from manufacturing companies to colleges and universities, healthcare providers and IT service firms.
Network system administrators also lead disaster recovery and other contingencies, and they are called upon to diagnose and troubleshoot network challenges. In addition, they often coordinate between network and data communications systems, as well as with network security operations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for network and computer systems administrators will increase by 6 percent from 2016 to 2026 – demand should keep increasing as organizations invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks.
Software Application Developer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for application developers will grow 31 percent between 2016 and 2026, largely attributed to huge increases in the demand for computer software.
In fact, the need for new applications on smartphones and tablets within a variety of settings is expected to continue driving demand for applications software developers. For example, the health and medical insurance industry will need software to manage new health care policy enrollments and digitally administer existing policies. As the number of organizations that adopt digital platforms increases, demand for software developers must keep up.
In addition, systems developers are likely to see new opportunities because of an increase in the number of products that use software; for example, higher numbers of products like consumer electronics, cell phones and appliances continue to include computer systems.
These computer programmers are the creative brain power behind computer programs – some develop the applications with which the end user interfaces, while others develop the underlying systems that power particular devices or that control entire networks.
Developers of software typically analyze user needs and then design, test and develop software to meet those needs and provide a smooth end user experience. They also may recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems, and/or design components of an application or system, along with how all components work together for a seamless experience.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this area of computer programming will grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Software Quality Assurance Engineer
Software quality assurance engineers guarantee that new software programs function as intended before they are released to the public – a basic but critical role in the creation of new software products. These computer programmers, often called QA engineers or specialists, must be extremely detail-oriented and methodical, and they often write software test cases, consult with managers on product goals and anticipate user behaviors.
QA engineers also troubleshoot software bugs, implement automated test scripts and document application procedures. Organizations that benefit from hiring QA engineers include computer and electronics manufacturers, software publishers and computer systems design companies
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a much faster than average rate of growth of 17 percent nationwide for software developers in general between 2014 and 2024.
Statistical Modelers – Numbers-Based Computer Programming Jobs
Statistical modelers analyze data and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help reveal solutions to real-world problems. You’ll find them in health care, business, engineering or almost any other field. Duties include determining what data are necessary to answer business questions and applying statistical theories and techniques toward answering them. They also may design experiments, surveys, or opinion polls to collect data. Finally, they develop statistical models to analyze resulting data and make appropriate recommendations based on what they reveal.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment opportunities for statistical modelers will grow 33 percent from 2016 to 2026. Most growth can be attributed to more widespread acceptance of statistical analysis as a way to make informed organizational decisions. In addition, the large increase in available data from the Internet will continue to make new types of analysis possible.
Ui/UX Developer – Fast Growing Computer Programming Jobs
UX design takes a human-centered approach to product development. Designers must evaluate the user experience at every turn. Then they ensure the experience is one that is intuitive and without cognitive dissonance. Seamless design represents the goal of the UX developer; it gives companies a strong point of difference, and it’s why they are in such high demand.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 13-percent job growth rate for UX developers through 2020.
Web developers drive how a website looks, plus its technical aspects, including performance and capacity – measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic it can feasibly accommodate without crashing. Some web developers may also create content.
Web developers typically write code; integrate graphics, audio and video into a site; and create and test applications for a website. They also work with graphics and other designers to determine an appropriate layout; and post-launch, they monitor website traffic and course-correct where necessary.
Employment of web developers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 as e-commerce continues to expand its presence. In addition, an increase in the use of mobile devices continues to support increased demand for web developers.
Will Computer Programming Jobs Continue to Grow?
A major concern for many is the rate of growth in the field. Computers and digital technology continue to grow every single year. For almost a decade now, every year has seen growth in this field. So, is there a point where growth will cease? Well, there are a few reasons to consider it won’t be any time soon.
Digital World Continues to Grow
We use more computers now than we even did 5 years ago. As the world grows more technologically advanced, so too will the need for computer programming jobs and knowledgable professionals. There are a number of fields that are also adding computer programming positions. For example, school districts are continuously expanding their digital needs and tools. For that reason, many districts are growing their programming fields.
If K-12 schools are growing, just imagine higher education. That’s right; more and more college courses are continuing to offer digital classes and resources. If there are any jobs that seem stable heading into a new decade, then they’ll definitely be computer programming jobs.
Computer Programming Solves Real World Problems
The number of growing concerns in our global world add up daily. There are a ton of things to think about when we consider the well-being of the human race worldwide. For one, global economic crises can break out at any minute. A few years of major trade talks have left major countries feeling very worrisome over international deals. A big concern is always cybersecurity. Because of this, computer programming jobs in the cybersecurity sector grow exponentially in times like these.
Next, we can also assume that climate change is going to lead to a number of computer programming jobs. There are a ton of opportunities to update technology and machinery to make things more green. There are a lot of places that are going to need extra hands in dealing with the environmental transition. For many, there will be room to grow the field.
Growth in the computer programing jobs market means a few things. One, stability is offered to those who choose to study the subject. Two, many will continue to push for better experiences for computer programmers in the job field. Lastly, people will continue to enjoy the products and innovations worked on by programmers. That makes the field a recipe for success in terms of growing job fields.
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