Computer Programming/Software Development Profession
(this data was compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Quick Facts: Computer Programmers/Software Developers
|2015 Median Pay||$51,759 - $64,677|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|On-the-job Training||Depends on Company|
|Number of Jobs, 2014||1,492,040|
|Job Outlook, 2014-24||18.8%|
Nature of the Work
Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.
- Related Developers:
- Software Developers: The creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
- Computer Systems Analysts: Study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.
In general, software development is a collaborative process, and developers work on teams with others who also contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software. However, some developers telecommute (work away from the office).Employment
Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of applications developers is projected to grow 19 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 13 percent. The main reason for the rapid growth in both applications developers and systems developers is a large increase in the demand for computer software.
The need for new applications on mobile devices and tablets will help increase the demand for application software developers.
The health and medical insurance and reinsurance carriers industry will need innovative software to manage new healthcare policy enrollments and administer existing policies digitally. As the number of people who use this digital platform increases over time, demand for software developers will grow.
Systems developers are likely to see new opportunities because of an increase in the number of products that use software. For example, more computer systems are being built into consumer electronics and other products, such as cell phones and appliances.
Concerns over threats to computer security could result in more investment in security software to protect computer networks and electronic infrastructure. In addition, an increase in software offered over the Internet should lower costs and allow more customization for businesses, also increasing demand for software developers.
Some outsourcing to foreign countries that offer lower wages may occur. However, because software developers should be close to their customers, the offshoring of this occupation is expected to be limited.