For those considering a career in IT, computer programming seems to top the list for many candidates.

It's one of the first thoughts that spring to mind when someone says information technology. And rightly so, because programming has become necessary to the tech world.

As long as there is a need for software and applications, programmers will be in demand, and computer science universities will continue offering computer programming courses.

However, no job is perfect. There are inconveniences and downsides that many seem to overlook. If you're expecting a programmer's job to be a bed of roses, you're mistaken.

But if you know what to expect, you can make an informed choice. Knowing the pros and cons of this job can help you advance wisely.

So, let's get started!

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Pros

Read on as we list the pros of embarking on a career in computer programming:

Programming Is The Future

Computer programs and applications have come a long way since personal computers, and the internet first took hold of the public.

As computers become more powerful, the software behind them becomes more complicated. It is now possible to work with higher programming languages, offering better user-interfaces and more reachability for the average person.

Computer programmers now have the luxury of branching out into new niches. Those who were once limited to programming in C++ can now learn HTML, JavaScript, and many other languages to apply themselves in new directions.

Additionally, as artificial intelligence seems to become more ubiquitous, the scope for programming expands, and new programs suited to AI make their mark.

Programmers can now develop applications to suit different needs, such as live-chatting, voice detection, and virtual reality modules for businesses and individual consumers alike.

A man facing three monitors while sitting on his desk, because as a computer-programmer-working, you must learn to multi-task. It is usual for coders and programmers to zone out during extended periods of coding; the process is quite taxing
Programming requires you to think outside the box and come up with solutions quickly. A minor error can lead to hours of coding remaining fruitless; therefore, it is imperative to perfect your skill before taking on a massive project. (Source: Unsplash)

Plenty Of Opportunities To Grow

If you wish to transition, a career in computer programming gives you plenty of opportunities to move horizontally within the industry.

Programmers can move around into different industries, fields, and organizations as the demand for programming experts transcends.

Each field will pose different programming challenges, giving candidates a chance to break free from the monotony and apply themselves differently.

They can focus on coding, design, managing projects, analyzing code, and devising programming solutions for real-world problems. Therefore, the opportunities for progression are immense.

Also, programmers can find several freelance opportunities, and they don't necessarily have to be restricted to a nine-to-five job.

Programmers Are Always In Demand

Programmers have solid employment prospects and rank among the higher paid professionals in the IT industry.

According to the global staffing firm Randstad, programming features among the top 5 tech jobs. The most in-demand programming languages happen to be JavaScript, C, and C++.

Therefore, all the best schools for computer science offer multiple programming language courses and provide their students' resources to accomplish that.

Programmers with a professional grip on any of the languages have excellent job prospects. Those versed in other programming languages, such as Python and HTML, are also given preference.

You Don't Need A Formal Degree To Become A Programmer

Programmers can learn programming languages on their own, through internet tutorials, books, or friends. It's not necessary to have a computer science degree to qualify as a professional programmer.

While organizations may require specific qualifications from prospective employees, candidates do not have to spend four years studying to get a programming degree.

This is an excellent advantage for people who don't have the time or money to invest in a degree.

Many of the best programmers are self-taught and get into programming by themselves. They have had to polish their skills through trial and error.

If self-taught programming is not your cup of tea, you can access many condensed programming training courses, both online or through an institute.

Programmers can choose different modules and fill particular niches, such as:

  • Object-oriented programming with JAVA
  • Database design and development with SQL Server
  • Internet programming with JavaScript, PHP, and mobile technologies

Never Too Late To Become A Programmer

There's no age limit to who can become a programmer. You might think that programmers are young people who've been coding since their teenage years.

You couldn't be more wrong; students of all ages enroll in complex and demanding programs at computer science schools worldwide.

If you have plans for a mid-career shift, you can always take up programming, and you'll still be relevant as ever, with plenty of job opportunities at your disposal.

Did you know that 25% of programmers are above the age of 35? This proves that you can become a programmer at any age!

No Monotony In This Field

Computer technologies are continually evolving. As a programmer, you must keep yourself updated with every innovation.

It would help if you spent time learning new libraries and APIs to arm yourself with the latest resources and data.

It might seem like a downside to some, but the field's ever-changing scope will always keep you on your toes and never becomes boring.

The basics of programming might remain the same – such as data structures and algorithms – but improvements and changes in the programming environment are widespread.

Programming and computer science is an ever-evolving field, and professionals need to keep themselves updated with everything that's happening in the tech world. Finding a job in computer science will compel you to stay abreast with the latest tech advancements (Source: Unsplash)
Programming and computer science is an ever-evolving field, and professionals need to keep themselves updated with everything that's happening in the tech world. Finding a job in computer science will compel you to stay abreast with the latest tech advancements. (Source: Unsplash)

Con

Now that we've discussed the bright side to having a career in computer programming, let's shed some light on the things that may be frustrating to some:

High Competition

Since programmers are in such high demand, there is an equal number of candidates entering the field every year.

Due to the low entry-barriers, many people have started learning to program. Therefore, the competition is equally tough, even if the job market is relatively healthy.

If you don't perform, you can always be replaced with a freelancer or someone who does the job better than you or at lower prices.

Health risks

While many would assume programming to be a risk-free profession, the health implications cannot be ignored.

Like most computer science jobs, it involves long hours of sitting in front of a computer, increasing the chance for strain injuries.

The human body is not prepared to sit behind a desk for long intervals, which can manifest itself in crippling health issues, such as backaches, headaches, and muscle atrophy.

Besides that, there are many psychological strains of this job that people tend to ignore. Long hours of sitting behind the desk, with a high pressure to deliver, and dealing with long lines of code can affect your mental health.

Programmers often complain of depression, communication issues, and passive-aggressive behavior. The time spent writing code may lead to burnout and fatigue and impinge on candidates' social life.

A black screen with multicolored lines of HTML code. Most computer programmers tend to have a basic knowledge of HTML since it is vital for designing websites. Being adept at coding will open your doors to numerous opportunities
Programmers must be very focused, have an eye for detail, and strong analytical skills to excel at writing code. As every company needs someone to code, the skill can help you land a lucrative position at a work-place of your choice. (Source: Unsplash)

Lack Of Communication

For people who are used to socializing, programming can be a tedious job. It will require them to interact with a computer all day long, translating human language to computer language and vice versa. This can have drastic effects on their communication skills.

In the long run, it can end up affecting interpersonal relationships, and some may find it hard to communicate with others in their life outside programming.

Working Under Pressure

While programming is a stimulating job, it also comes with pressure-tight deadlines and plenty of deadlocks.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this job is when you're on a tight schedule, and your code doesn't seem to be working.

The pressure to perform is very intense for programmers, especially when faced with real-life problems that cannot be delayed.

When faced with last-minute emergencies, even the best coding experts can give in. Furthermore, if these problems stack on top of personal issues, it may be mentally devastating for an individual.

Luckily, with such a strong demand for programmers, you have the liberty of changing jobs if the stress becomes too overbearing.

Navigate The Pros And Cons Of The Field With A Superprof Tutor

It is essential to know what you're getting into when embarking on a new field, especially if it is a field as technical as computer programming.

Superprof has a catalog of tutors who can help you achieve the education you need to complete a competitive degree in the field.

Sign up today to find experts in your city who can help you weigh up these pros and cons to make a calculated decision.

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