Is Computer Programming a Good Career?
Are you frustrated or bored in your current career?
Were you made redundant from your previous role during the pandemic and are now looking to change career?
Have you just finished school or college and are wondering what to do next?
If the answer to any of the questions above is yes, a career as a computer programmer may be a great choice for you.
There are currently over 387,000 computer programmers in the UK, and this number is growing all the time!
Join us as we look at why programming is such a great option, and how you can take the first steps into this exciting career.
What is computer programming?
A computer programmer is someone who creates code. This code powers everything from mobile apps and software all the way through to operating systems, cars and even robots!
Programmers will not only be involved in creating new systems, but fixing and improving existing systems too.
You can be involved in ‘back-end development’ where you create the code that powers software or systems, or ‘front-end development’ where you are responsible for how a system looks and works.
Computer programmers come from all walks of life. No matter your gender, age or circumstances, you can be a fantastic programmer!
Why is programming a great career to get into?
At this point, you may be wondering what the advantages of becoming a computer programmer are, and why you should consider programming as a future career.
We spoke to some programmers to ask them why they got into it, and what they love the most about their jobs.
Your skills will be in high demand
We are more reliant on computers and systems than ever before, and a lot of people are needed to keep these systems up and running.
All companies are reliant on programmers to a degree, whether they have their own team inhouse or use agencies or freelancers to help finetune the systems that they use.
There is a lot of job security in programming. In the worst-case scenario that you lose your job, you will easily be able to find a role with another organisation.
55% of larger companies say they have difficulties in filling vacancies for programmers, making it a great career to get into if you are looking for a role with longevity and security.
You will be paid well
The demand for computer programmers is reflected in the salary that they receive.
Your final salary will depend on experience, level of authority and the programming languages learned, but the average salary for a computer programmer is £35k.
If you become a senior programmer or team leader, you can expect to earn a lot more on top of that.
No two days are the same
With a lot of roles, you can spend your time working on the same things, day in, day out.
Computer programming is exciting as you can be working on different projects with different departments and different people. Things move quickly, and it can be challenging at times… but computer programming is ultimately a very exciting role.
As technology moves so quickly too, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn new techniques and skills that will help you in your career.
You can work flexibly
2020 has been the year of working from home, and many programmers have found that they can easily carry out their role without having to spend time or money commuting to the office.
If you are looking for a truly flexible career, programming is a great choice. All you need is a computer and internet connection, meaning that you can carry out your work anywhere.
Another bonus is that you are not restricted to specific hours like you are in other careers, meaning you can easily work around childcare and other commitments.
You learn transferable skills
Although computer programming is a secure career, you will learn a lot of other useful skills in case you feel like a career change a few years down the line.
You learn a lot of soft skills as a computer programmer, including critical thinking, problem-solving and attention to detail.
You may decide to go into management after being a programmer, or you may choose to become a tutor and train other programmers.
Alternatively, programming has a lot of transferable skills that you can also utilise in other careers. For example, programming and cybersecurity have a significant overlap. You can also be a technical writer or data analyst.
You get to make a difference
With some careers, you put in a lot of hours, but other people don’t get to see the fruits of your labour. With programming, you are making a difference in the world.
You may work on a programme that helps charities raise vital funds. You may work on something that helps people save time or something that brings a smile to people’s faces.
It’s always a great feeling to be able to point to something and say “I helped make this!”
How we can help get you on track with a computer programming course
If you are looking to reskill as a programmer, then you will need to learn a programming language. There are a wide range of different languages out there, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Generally the more challenging the language is to learn, the more in demand the programmers are and the more they can earn. Examples of languages you can learn include Java, Linux, C++, SQL and Python.
All programming languages can be learned online, meaning that you can easily fit learning around your current job or around childcare.