9 Programming Careers for Coding Connoisseurs

Programmer coding at desk with a laptop and two monitors

You’ve always been fascinated by the fact that an entertaining mobile application or sophisticated computer program all boils down to a string of code. How a bunch of letters, numbers and symbols assembled in the perfect order can power an entire software system.

This curiosity is what led you to teach yourself some of the basic programming languages and dabble in the art of coding. Now you’re starting to think you could expand on those self-taught skills and pursue an actual programming career.

If the scenario above describes you, you’re in luck! There are plenty of programming jobs for you to pursue in the world of technology. So whether you’d like to spend your entire days writing code or you’d like to use your programming knowledge to help drive overall business decisions, keep reading to familiarize yourself with some of the many coding careers out there.

9 Computer coding and programming jobs to consider

What kinds of programming jobs are out there? What job duties are involved? And what can you expect from a computer coding salary? We’ve got answers to these questions and more.

We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 1.8 million job postings that list programming skills as a preference.1 The data helped us identify nine common programming careers to consider. Learn a little bit about these roles and see which of these coding jobs might appeal to you.

1. Software application developer

  • 2019 median salary: $105,5902
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):21 percent (much faster than average)2

Software developers are responsible for creating and enhancing applications for cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices. This is an ideal programming career for someone who has a “big picture” mentality and likes to collaborate with others to bring ideas to life. Knowing coding basics and having an aptitude for math are also important.

Most common programming languages for software application developers:1

  • Java®
  • JavaScript®
  • Python®

Get a closer look at the role of a software developer HERE.

2. Web developer

  • 2019 median salary: $73,7602
  • Required education: Associate’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):13 percent (much faster than average)2

How a website looks and functions is the direct result of a web developer’s work. All programming careers take patience, but this one provides more instant gratification than most. Web developers listen well to their clients’ needs and problem-solve to give them the best website possible for their business. At the end of a project, you have a working, accessible website to show off your hard work. Web developers do well when they can show a portfolio of their work and have a deep understanding of coding.

Most common programming languages for web developers:1

  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • HTML5

Get a closer look at the role of a web developer HERE.

3. Computer systems engineer

  • 2019 median salary: $88,5502
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028): 9 percent (faster than average)2

Computer systems engineers are responsible for identifying solutions to complex applications problems, systems administration issues or network concerns. They work closely with clients or internal stakeholders to understand system needs and collaborate with developers to determine appropriate solutions. This is another programming career that is ideal for business-savvy professionals.

Most common programming languages for computer systems engineers:1

  • Python
  • Java
  • C++

4. Database administrator

  • 2019 median salary: $93,7502
  • Required education: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):9 percent (faster than average)2

Database administrators are tasked with securing, organizing and troubleshooting storage for large amounts of information for companies online. If you love analyzing and recovering information, as well as fast problem-solving, this could be the coding career for you.

Most common programming languages for database administrator:1

  • Python
  • Java
  • Oracle® PL/SQL

Get a closer look at the role of a database administrator HERE.

5. Computer systems analyst

  • 2019 median salary: $90,9202
  • Education required: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):9 percent (faster than average)2

Computer systems analysts are the strategists who are responsible for merging a company’s business and information technology (IT) initiatives. They evaluate computer network systems and propose upgrades to meet business needs. You’ll need to have a solid understanding of computer coding as well as the business side to succeed in this programming career.

Most common programming languages for computer systems analyst:1

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Python

Get a closer look at the role of a computer systems analyst HERE.

6. Software quality assurance (QA) engineer

  • 2019 median salary: $88,5502
  • Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):9 percent (faster than average)2

Software QA engineers are at the beginning of software, documenting defects, designing tests and scenarios, and creating manuals for new software. They also review software designs for functionality and potential problems.

Most common programming languages for software QA engineers:1

  • Java
  • Python
  • JavaScript

Get a closer look at the role of a software QA engineer HERE.

7. Business intelligence analyst

  • 2019 median salary: $88,5502
  • Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):9 percent (fast than average)2

Programming is a bonus, but not as much of a necessity for business intelligence analysts. This position is for the behind-the-scenes marketer who gathers all the cold facts about software products and trends to determine which software can help solve business initiatives. If you appreciate the basics of coding, but don’t necessarily want to build an entire career around it, this might be a good programming job for you.

Most common programming languages for business intelligence analyst:1

  • Python
  • R
  • Java

Get a better understanding of the world of a business intelligence analyst HERE.

8. Computer programmer

  • 2019 median salary: $86,5502
  • Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):-7 percent (slower than average)2

Computer programmers write programs and rewrite programs until they are free of errors. They use a workflow chart and coding formulas until the desired information is produced. Attention to detail and patience will set you apart in this coding career.

Most common programming languages for computer programmers:1

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft C#®

Get a better understanding of what computer programming entails HERE.

9. Network system administrator

  • 2019 median salary: $83,5102
  • Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree2
  • Projected employment growth (2018-2028):5 percent (as fast as average)2

Network system administrators maintain computing environments in their networks and prevent disasters by backing up data. Providing network security and avoiding viruses are the major tasks, along with making sure codes are free of errors and protecting both the network and hardware of the computers.

Most common programming languages for network administrators:1

  • Python
  • PERL®
  • Java

Get a closer look at the role of a network administrator HERE.

Which computer coding jobs catch your eye?

Now that you’re aware of the various ways you can capitalize on your coding skills, it’s time to start building on that foundational knowledge you’ve already acquired. Although most of these computer programming careers require a Bachelor’s degree, even an Associate’s degree and some portfolio building can get your foot in the door of one of these computer coding jobs.

1Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 1,800,750 jobs that require programming skills, June 01, 2019 – May 31, 2020).
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed June 2020]. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries, and employment conditions in your area may vary.

Oracle, Java and JavaScript are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.
Python is a registered trademark of the Python Software Foundation.
PERL is a registered trademark of The PERL Foundation

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in December 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.

About the author

Callie Malvik

Callie is the Content Manager at Collegis Education, overseeing blog content on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about creating quality resources that empower others to improve their lives through education.

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