The Coding Job Market Isn’t As Bleak As You Think

If you’ve been studying coding, you are probably aware that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report late in 2015 that computer programming jobs are projected to decline by 8 percent. Sue Gee of i-programmer.info provides some information that might lift your spirits about your job prospects after graduation. If you’re a recent graduate, you may be heartened to learn that the job market for programming is not as bleak as it might initially seem based on BLS’ estimations.

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The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the BLS reports on a variety of details about positions in industries in all sectors of the economy. Between 2014 and 2014, the BLS reported that computer occupations in general are expected to increase by 12 percent, and for all occupations, the number of jobs is projected by 7 percent. For computer programmers on the other hand, the number of jobs is expected to decrease by 8 percent.

The BLS analyzed the situation for computer programmers and suggests that since programming jobs can be done anywhere there is an Internet connection and a computer, businesses may hire programmers in countries where labor costs are lower. Jobs for computer programmers in the United States are likely going to decrease, but managing projects from other countries can cost more than the gains made by paying lower wages. This can compel some companies to hire American-based programmers.

The team at DevelopIntelligence also arguesthat many programming jobs are likely going to be shipped overseas, not that the total number of programming jobs is going to decrease. The world economy will still demand programmers and coders, but there may be fewer of those jobs available in the U.S. On the other hand, there will be some businesses that will deliberately keep jobs in the U.S. to avoid having to pay high project management costs. Some may also choose to keep jobs in the U.S. to control quality and to communicate more easily with their programmers.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar discipline, you can expect a median salary of $77,500, but the median for all computer occupations is $79,390. All occupations in the U.S. have a median salary of $35,540, so working as a coder/programmer can bring in considerably more income than the average job in the United States. Don’t despair of not being able to find a job after you finish studying coding. You’ll likely be able to find work, but it’s likely that your colleagues who work with computers but who aren’t coders/programmers will have an easier time finding work.

As you complete your initial coding studies, learn as much as you can about computers. Keep learning and honing your skills. You’ll never really be done studying as technology changes so rapidly. Stay on top of your field, and get experience in several areas related to computers to stay fresh and relevant. You’ll have an easier time finding a job, and you’ll be more adaptable to an ever-changing technology job market.