Benefits of Becoming A Computer Programmer Part 2

Part 14 of 24 in the Series: become a computer programmer

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“.




2 Discussions for “Benefits of Becoming A Computer Programmer Part 2”

  1. Augusto Aldana

    Dear Mr.Tagbo,

    Enjoyed your ” Blue Print ” book. It further aroused my interest in changing careers (auto mechanic) at age 42.

    I’m planning on ordering the ” Computer Programmers ” book and possibly the “Boot Camp ” course. However, I was hoping you can answer a couple of questions for me.

    First , what are my chances of succeeding strictly as an Online Programmer. You see, having a slight speech impediment, so working with others wouldn’t really
    work for me. But I do have determination and stick- to-itiveness that I think would help me as a programmer.

    I’m willing to spend 50-55 hrs a week to succeed since I have no family and prefer being alone.

    Second, on average how much money and how many books do I need to spend yearly to keep up with IT. Will you have these training and books available?

    Lastly, since IT changes so fast will your courses become obsolete making me spend more time and money?

    I’d be very grateful if you can give me any advice and therefore encouragement before I embark on this journey!

    Sincerely, Augusto Aldana

    • Augusto:

      I am glad that you enjoyed reading the “Blue Print” book. Thanks for giving me a chance to guide your endeavors.

      Here are the answers that you are looking for:

      How Does Your Age Affect Your Computer Programming Career?
      1. Your age will not stop you from becoming a successful computer programmer.

      I say this because you mentioned your age as being 42 years … which tells me that it’s on your mind. The reason why your age is not a factor is that “Computer Programming” is about your competency as in whether you can get the job done or not! If you can do a good job, your age, race, skin color, height, sex, etc. will be irrelevant in the long run!
      You will still meet a few individuals who will discriminate because they have one personal bais or the other, but that is not going to be the majority.

      Please Read These Two Articles On Age Discrimination & Computer Programming:
      http://www.it-career-coach.net/2006/12/29/how-your-age-affects-your-programming-career-and-career-success-tips-for-beginning-programming-when-you-are-old/

      http://www.it-career-coach.net/2009/06/22/it-is-never-too-late-to-become-a-computer-programmer/

      2. How Do You Start An Online Computer Programming Business?
      Starting a computer programming business and succeeding in your endeavors depends on how good at marketing and computer programming.

      Unlike the typical computer programmer who only has to be skilled in programming, you also have to be skilled in programming and managing a business (accounting, time management, strategic planning).

      The good news is that the online programming business is quite active with a lot of developers trading their skills for money and a lot of employers or small businesses hiring competent software developers online.

      Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

      a.) Start by becoming the best software developer you can be.
      b.) Keep your expenses and bills low, so that you can stay competitive and focus on building your online business.

      Please read about “How To Become A Freelance Programmer”: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2009/09/13/how-to-become-a-freelance-programmer/

      3. We recommend that you budget about $250 yearly to keep yourself current.

      This is really nothing compared to how much a typical software developer in the USA will make: ($60K to Six Figures!). Our Software Developer Training costs do not include the costs of books as you can get those books optionally from Amazon.com or from a local bookstore :

      4. IT changes rapidly but we keep our courses relevant and in-demand by constantly updating them. Furthermore, when a new technology comes out, it builds on previous technologies. Also clients typically have to maintain the older technologies for up to 5 years before they completely transition to the new software.

      For example, there are still clients hiring for Visual Basic 6.0 which was replaced about ten years ago. And languages like Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 did not make .NET 1.0, 1.1 obsolete but rather were built on them.

      I encourage you to take the step into becoming a successful online software developer especially now when the Information Technology / Software Development Industry is doing quite well!

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