What are the Different Types of Jobs in Computer Programming?

There are four different types of jobs in computer programming: working for a software development company, consulting, system dedicated programming, and teaching. A computer programmer is an information technology professional who is responsible for creating new computer tools, applications, reports, and functions.

In order to become a computer programmer, you will need post-secondary education in computer programming, software, or computer science. Admissions to these programs are based on high school credits in calculus, statistics, advanced math, and English. Computer programmers are required to continually obtain education and training on new computer programming languages and tools as they become available.

The most common type of jobs in computer programming are found in computer software companies. Most people assume that the vast majority of jobs is program creation. In fact, more programmers are employed in the maintenance, modifications, and corrections of existing software programs. The actual percentage of the split depends on the complexity of the product, the number of modules available and the life cycle of the software product.

Many computer programmers gain expertise in a specific field and become consultants. They open their own business and perform system implementation, configuration, and support for specific computer programs or tools as required. Many computer programmers form associations with a consulting or recruiting firm. These firms take on the task of finding clients and arranging the schedule of work for the programmer.


System specific programmers can find jobs in computer programming with both the software company, and the clients of that tool. For example, SAP® programmers have a very specialized skill. They can find employment opportunities in the information technology department of the client, as well as in consulting or official partners of the software.

Computer programmers can become instructors at local community or career colleges, teaching courses to future computer programmers. They can also become instructors in project management, technology landscape, and trends in computer programming. 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.

People who report the greatest satisfaction with jobs in computer programming enjoy problem solving and working independently. Computer programmer jobs vary widely, but typically, the tasks remain focused on using specific skills to create new functions to meet user needs. Computer programming jobs typically require standard business hours, with weekends and overtime required for important projects.



Discuss this Article

Post 4

@SkyWhisperer - You can find lots of jobs in computer technology. IT is a big umbrella. I have worked as a programmer analyst as well as a software developer.

Some people think that computer programming is no longer a safe career bet, because so many jobs have been outsourced to India. While this is certainly true, many companies want people that they can interact with on a daily basis (and who can speak English).

In my opinion there will always be a strong demand for computer programmers. The one piece of advice I can give you is to diversify your skill set. For example, don’t just learn one programming language; learn a bunch of them, in addition to different database platforms and even some technical writing. You will be that much more marketable in the end.

Post 3

@Mammmood - I believe that software consulting is one of the best computer jobs at home, if you are looking for something that you can do independently. I have only done limited consulting, helping to build Access databases for small companies.

I can tell you that it’s a lot of work and the only mistake that I made (because I was doing it on the side) was charging too little for my work.

The reality is that most independent software development projects should be earmarked for at least $10,000 in my opinion, not the paltry couple of thousand that I asked for. You do have to write a lot of code especially as the client asks for unending tweaks to the application.

So I would say don’t go down this path unless you’re willing to ask for reasonable market rates. Otherwise, you’ll just get taken advantage of.

Post 2

@miriam98 - There are indeed various jobs in computer technology. I have worked a few of those jobs myself. While I do agree that most computer programming jobs use people with degrees in computer science, you don’t necessarily need to have a degree in computer programming to get such a job.

Believe it or not, my degree is in English Literature, but I have always been a programmer hobbyist. I used to write my own video games in the early days of the desktop computer revolution. Armed with the BASIC programming language I was later able to transition into other software languages and technologies.

However, by and large the majority of computer science people do have the requisite degrees.

Post 1

I work at a software company. I agree with the article that your tasks can be quite varied in this capacity. I have done everything from database analysis to software development to technical support.

The software development entails everything from modifications to existing software to building software solutions from scratch, although as the article says, this is indeed not as common.

Most companies already have their systems in place and just need you to come in and do some tweaking. When they do build complete software applications, they use a team of programmers to do the job.

From my experience it’s generally not thought wise to put a new software project into the hands of one programmer alone. If that programmer gets hit by a truck (or quits) there goes your revenue.

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