Since this website (IT Career Coach) is about careers, it makes sense for me to discuss at some point, the benefits of becoming a computer programmer.
So, I will continue along the lines set by part 1 of benefits of becoming a computer programmer, by discussing further, the advantages or benefits of choosing a career in computer programming.
1. Lots of different companies hire computer programmers
Computer programmers are employed in virtually every industry including entertainment, medical or financial industries, and they enjoy the same perks and privileges that employees in these other occupations do. That’s one of the benefits of working in the software development industry; you are exposed to a number of different industries without being required you to make huge shifts in your own skill-sets.
That’s part of why I got into computer programming says Brad, a Microsoft .Net developer in Denver, Colorado. Brad worked for a healthcare provider for 4 years, before transitioning to a financial services firm last year. I’m still doing .NET software development work, but the data I work with is completely different, the users have very different requirements, and the systems my stuff interacts with are completely different.
So while I’m still doing what I love, it’s in a totally new environment, and it’s all fresh again, and the challenge is back.
2. Future job demand for computer science is likely to skyrocket
One frequently mentioned aspect of the future US job market is the coming wave of retirements, as the baby-boomer generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) start exiting the workforce. To put it in perspective, the baby boomer generation is calculated at 76 million people; that?s out of a population of roughly 300 million, meaning that the baby boomers represent about one-quarter of the entire US population.
In fact, this retirement exodus from the workforce has already begun, as over over-60 workers begin retirement this year, and additional numbers will follow. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, anticipates the demand for computer programming jobs to increase by a whooping 35-40% by the year 2014, less than 7 years from now, and the baby boomer retirement wave will not complete until some time in the 2020’s.
The reality is, these numbers aren’t fudged, and they can’t be made to go away either because aging is aging. And as the senior workers begin to exit the workforce, younger workers will move into their positions.
The problem is that the baby boomer generation created the single largest generation of workers and computer programmers, in the history of the United States, and the skills shortfall created by their retirement can’t be filled by the current number of computer programmers in the US, unless the current generation of workers find ways to upgrade their technical skills and get into the software developement industry quickly.
3. Career paths for computer programmers are also likely to expand in the future
Closely related to the last point is that, as technology expands into virtually every part of the business enterprise, so will the roles and usefulness of computer programmers. Gone are the days of computer programmers working together in a forgotten corner of the enterprise, toiling for days on end in anonymity.
Also gone are the days of simply writing Cobol code for in-house mainframe applications. Most corporations and industries have woken up to the use of technology, and adoption continues and increases year after year. Computer programmers today are asked to develop applications for data analysis, security, wireless communications, web-based marketing tools, and a wide range of other uses.
Also, more and more disciplines are realizing that technical skills make sense in their departments as well. A marketing exec with programming skills and who can design applications directly is more valuable than one who has to rely on IT to understand and prioritize marketing’s application needs.
Therefore, those who can take their programming skills and apply to it, a greater understanding of the larger business enterprise are more marketable, will be compensated more than those who aren’t.
4. Computer programming experience and knowledge is portable to other professions
In the end, computer programming is all about problem solving. The ability to take a set of business requirements, and create a solution that meets those requirements is what computer programmers do. Computer programming requires problem solving and analytical skills, combined with a stubborn desire to see a problem through to resolution.
Those who have of develop the ability to do this are hand picked for choice assignments and are compensated and promoted accordingly.
So, you will fare well as a computer programmer, if you enjoy analyzing real-world problems and solving them.
5. How many jobs give you the chance to really change the world?
It might sound cliche, but the chance to change the world is something a lot of people look for in their careers. People want to know that their work isn’t just mind-numbing and bureaucractic, and that they’re doing something that positively impacts their company or their world.
Want proof of the impact computer programmers can have on the world? Look no further than Google, the Internet and Email, without which you will still be writing letters by hand and without which you wouldn’t be able to search for information on any topic and get results or answers within a second fom a computer in your home.
This ends my two post series on “why you should consider a career in computer programming” or the “benefits of becoming a computer programmer“.