Computer programming is one of the most in-demand fields on the planet, for a number of reasons.
Mainly, every brand and company are searching for the latest technology.
As a result, computer tech is the top choice for entry into this field.
Working in this industry allows for the best computer coders to gain employment, but we are anticipating a decline in the next decade.
So what does this mean for you?
Should you get a job as a programmer or wait and see what is next around the corner?
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Programmer
- Cons of Being a Programmer
- Pros and Cons of Being a Programmer – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Programmer?
Pros of Being a Programmer
1. Pay is Extremely Good
Do you want to make $100,000 a year on average?
If so, becoming a computer programmer is the way to go.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a computer programmer earned a 2021 median pay of $93,000 per year or $44.71 per hour.
A crafts and fine arts worker in the US only makes $24 an hour, for comparison.
If you are someone who needs to make a good salary, programming pays well.
2. Only Need a Bachelor’s Degree
To really make good money as an elementary school teacher, you need to have a master’s degree.
If you want to get hired as a doctor, you must earn a doctorate degree.
But to make $100,000 a year as a computer programmer, all you need is a bachelor’s degree according to the BLS.
This is good news if you want to get your four-year college degree and move along into the workforce to earn real money.
You avoid spending two years paying for a degree and living expenses that are required to get a master’s degree.
3. Easy to Find Employment
In every country and county on this planet, people are using computer technology and require the services of programmers.
A computer programmer is someone who understands how to build computers and can fix any problem within a computer.
This is the most valuable asset we can now have in our communities, based on the rise of computer technology.
Whether you want to work in the US or abroad in a first-world or a third-world country, there is a job waiting for you.
4. Perfect for Self Employed Individuals
However, you must be willing to work as a self-employed person to work at these jobs.
That is the key and the main reason a lot of computer experts turn to computer programming for employment.
The job field allows for individuals to become trained in a variety of skills, both commercial and residential.
From there, you are able to work as a freelancer and pick up repair jobs or consultations for companies.
You are able to use gig apps and online platforms to find jobs for computer programmers with little trouble.
All of this makes a perfect work environment for self-employed individuals.
5. It Sounds Cool to Say “I’m in Tech”
When you start training and working as a computer programmer, you get to say, “I’m in tech.”
If you have a passion for technology and all things computers, then this is the right place for you.
This will add prestige and excitement to your workdays, which will improve your overall quality of life.
You might even get asked to present at some kid’s school about your very cool job as a programmer.
6. You Work in a Cutting Edge Field
As you work as a computer programmer, you are in a cutting-edge field of industry.
Computer technology is slowly taking over the universe, and this is the industry that is pushing that demand.
You get to learn about the latest in computer technology through a professional lens.
As a result, you are able to surmise what the future will hold.
You are also an active part of that community of programmers changing the world.
7. You Can Work Anywhere
Your job will take you to the ends of the earth if you want it.
After all, the work of a programmer is needed in rural communities, as well as metropolises.
Whether you want to backpack across Europe or sail to Antarctica, there is a place for you to work as a programmer.
The sky is limitless when you are in a highly advanced career field.
Cons of Being a Programmer
1. Job Decline in Industry
On the downside, the biggest threat to the occupation of programmers is a predicted decline.
The US BLS states there will be a 10 percent decline in job openings.
This is at a rate of 18,300 fewer jobs available from 2020 to 2030.
While the facts are not clear, this decline may be the result of more than enough workers in the field of programming.
After decades of jobs booming for programming, having more workers at home due to the pandemic may have increased this number.
2. Sitting Alone to Work in Solitude
As a computer programmer, you are working on a computer 99 percent of the time.
Most of this time is quietly spent typing code into a computer or trying to figure out what the bug is that is distressing a customer.
What you are not doing is chatting about Slack or probably even using Slack.
Your job is a solo one, a job that requires silence and the internet.
And maybe some caffeine to help you deal with the sedentary person you have become and the need to focus on computer content and coding.
3. Must Understand a Computer Code Language
In order to be able to work as a programmer on computers, you must be able to read computer code.
There are several computer languages that are available to learn.
These include Python and Scratch, as well as dozens of other languages that are used to refer to computer code.
If you are new to programming, you need to learn at least one language for computer code in order to get started.
This can be a setback if you want to begin training in programming right away.
However, the coding languages are simple enough and allow anyone to learn some basic programming on their own.
4. Must Have a Computer
This sort of sounds redundant, but for someone who is unable to afford a computer, it is going to be quite difficult to become a programmer.
There are easy fixes to this issue, such as the Raspberry Pi, which is a tiny and affordable computer.
You can purchase the keyboard that contains the hardware and insert the HDMI cable into the side of most television sets.
From there, you have a basic computer from which you are able to learn some programming skills.
But it is rudimentary at best, and you will want to upgrade to be able to advance your skills, especially visually.
5. Be Willing to Work With Strangers
Once you start a career in programming, the majority of the time you will need to work with strangers who have customer demands.
This ranges from consultations about which computer or software they should choose to repairs of systems.
When you are communicating with customers about their needs, which may only happen online, you have to be open and flexible and almost a mind reader.
Customer service skills are a must, so for someone who prefers to avoid others, that will be hard to do in programming.
6. No On the Job Training
As a programmer, the US BLS reports there is no on-the-job training.
This makes sense as the job is a solitary position involving computer inputs and coding.
As a result, you are expected to train and learn about programming on your own before you enter the workforce.
The training should include a bachelor’s degree education from a four-year school focused on programming.
From there, though, you will be expected to work independently and be ready for whatever job is thrown your way.
7. No Centralized Workplace
If you are a doctor, you work in a hospital or a clinic.
If you are a lawyer, you work in an office and a courtroom.
But if you work as a computer programmer, you can find yourself working in an RV, beside a construction zone, or in a nursing home.
Anywhere there is a computer or server might be the place where your job skills are needed next.
As a result, there is no real place where you can do your job where you are surrounded by others who are also programmers.
Pros and Cons of Being a Programmer – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Programmer||Cons of Being a Programmer|
|1. Pay is Extremely Good||1. Job Decline in Industry|
|2. Only Need a Bachelor’s Degree||2. Sitting Alone to Work in Solitude|
|3. Easy to Find Employment||3. Must Understand a Computer Code Language|
|4. Perfect for Self Employed Individuals||4. Must Have a Computer|
|5. It Sounds Cool to Say “I’m in Tech”||5. Be Willing to Work With Strangers|
|6. You Work in a Cutting Edge Field||6. No On the Job Training|
|7. You Can Work Anywhere||7. No Centralized Workplace|
Should You Become a Programmer?
Going through a programming career is easy for some, but others find this career to be too computer-focused.
If you are into computer technology and want to learn more about how computers work and are made, then programming will come easy.
This is a great occupation for anyone who is entrepreneurial as you need to market and sell yourself as a programmer.
However, if you want to work in an office with others, this will be difficult to come by when working as a computer programmer.