What are the Different Types of Computer Programming Jobs?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
Computer programmers may specialize in updating existing software.
Computer programmers may specialize in updating existing software.

There are four different types of computer programming jobs: consultancy, working for a software company, teaching, and research. All four options require a minimum post-secondary training in at least three different computer languages, experience writing and troubleshooting programs, and testing skills. Computer programming is an information technology sector job that is expected to experience an above-average demand in the next five to ten years.

Computer programmers often have to work with computer coding.
Computer programmers often have to work with computer coding.

In order to become a computer programmer, you will need to complete post-secondary education in computer science or programming. Admission to this type of program requires high school credits in calculus, technology, and English. Computer programming training is available from universities, community and career colleges. There are multiple options available within this type of program to specialize in different types of computer technology and programming languages.

Computer numeric controlled manufacturing jobs require extensive computer programming training.
Computer numeric controlled manufacturing jobs require extensive computer programming training.

The most common source of computer programming jobs is consultancy. A skilled, experienced computer programmer can open his own consulting practice or join other self-employed, information technology staff. Many professionals set up their own consultant firm, and then contract with a larger information technology firm to provide them with projects and jobs. While the agency does take a percentage of the revenue, the programmer does not have to spend time looking for work and submitting proposals.

Computer programming includes three computer languages and several different "genres" of programming.
Computer programming includes three computer languages and several different "genres" of programming.

There are a broad range computer programming jobs available in computer software companies. Although many people think that all programming languages are the same, this is not the case. In fact, computer programming can be divided into four genres: web-based, functional, operational, and graphical. The types of skills required depend on the industry and the language the product was originally created in.

Some programmers write code while others are tasked with troubleshooting existing code.
Some programmers write code while others are tasked with troubleshooting existing code.

Experienced computer programmers can become instructors at local community or career colleges, teaching courses at a professional and amateur level. Many people who have no background in information technology are interested in learning computer programming as a hobby. These types of courses are usually offered on evenings and weekends.

Full-time courses for people who want to become professional computer programmers are usually scheduled during the day. In order to become an instructor, many computer programmers complete a certificate program in adult education. Learning the most effective way to teach adults can be a huge help when making this career transition.

Software developers might create mobile friendly versions of popular computer programs.
Software developers might create mobile friendly versions of popular computer programs.

Research into computer programming, logic, and system manipulation is a huge area of exploration. Grants are available from government agencies, software companies, and other groups to expand the field of knowledge in this area. Many of these types of projects are international in scope, like the Human Genome Project. While the output and data is purely scientific, the computer programming behind this tool was a significant, multiyear project.

People who report the greatest satisfaction in computer programming jobs enjoy problem solving and working independently. Computer programming as a career provides many opportunities. However, it also requires a significant dedication to continuing education throughout your career, as new languages and technologies are constantly being developed.

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Discussion Comments

Charred

@David09 - Yes, programming where you're at is a good way to break into the field. People can go through the temporary agencies and look for technical support jobs. That’s how I got started.

Many technical support jobs easily morph into programming positions as support personnel are required to write scripts and perform various administrative functions.

SkyWhisperer

Computer programmers have many avenues to market their services. One such route is online computer programming jobs. I’ve done this myself, where I’ve found clients online who needed small projects done, like a database or something, and I’ve been able to put something together for them within their budget.

This is another way to get experience and bolster your resume. You can find such jobs through online classifieds or reverse auction sites where clients post projects to bid on. You won’t make much money in this auction environment, but the experience will be worth more money to you later on.

David09

Finding entry level computer programming jobs is the most important step you can take in landing permanent jobs in this field. I would recommend that you get internships, if they are available, early on while you are in school.

Another thing you might want to consider is to offer your computer programming skills in a job that is not directly programming related. For example, if you are working for a small business part-time and doing some general clerical work, offer to put together a simple database to keep track of some of the business expenses, or inventory, or whatever is related to what you’re doing.

Real-world, hands on experience will be the most important criteria in helping you to get a full-time job after graduation.

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    • Computer programmers may specialize in updating existing software.
      By: Photo_Ma
      Computer programmers may specialize in updating existing software.
    • Computer programmers often have to work with computer coding.
      By: Leo
      Computer programmers often have to work with computer coding.
    • Computer numeric controlled manufacturing jobs require extensive computer programming training.
      By: uwimages
      Computer numeric controlled manufacturing jobs require extensive computer programming training.
    • Computer programming includes three computer languages and several different "genres" of programming.
      By: Gudellaphoto
      Computer programming includes three computer languages and several different "genres" of programming.
    • Some programmers write code while others are tasked with troubleshooting existing code.
      By: Anna
      Some programmers write code while others are tasked with troubleshooting existing code.
    • Software developers might create mobile friendly versions of popular computer programs.
      By: Ariwasabi
      Software developers might create mobile friendly versions of popular computer programs.