Computer Programming Career Outlook and Salary Information
With computer programmers holding around 455,000 posts in 2004, you might be forgiven for thinking you could just walk into a job. The outlook for jobs in this sector is not completely straightforward, however, and there are some plusses and minuses to consider.
Computer programming job outlook
On the plus side, we live in a computer-driven world. So we need programmers, and plenty of them. There is a downside, however. Computer programming is not going to be a fast growing area of employment. Some programming work has been automated, some outsourced to overseas programmers, and software tools make it easier for non-specialists to write their own applications.
With this reduction in lower-end opportunities, it follows that the best outlook will be for programmers who have more advanced and specialized skills to offer. This means that education and training are more important than ever. Earning a college degree (preferably at bachelor level) and certification in particular skills are the best way to ensure that you can match the requirements of potential employers.
The best outlook (for well-trained programmers) will be in software houses, data processing, and consulting firms, where good growth is forecast.
Computer programming salaries
In May 2004, programmers were making a median salary of $62,890. The top ten per cent of programmers were earning nearly $100,000. In 2005, with a bachelor’s degree to your name, you would have expected a starting salary around $50,820. Salary levels vary a little between organizations. Software houses generally offer the best rewards, with median annual salaries around $73,000 in May 2004.
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