The news in the computer industry is that the number of jobs is on the decline for programmers, but the situation is the opposite for web developers. Web developers are typically considered a bit less-skilled than their computer programming colleagues, but their job prospects are much higher in general, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics; a study shared with us by a national training group.
Computer programming jobs are expected to decrease overall by 8 percent, according to the BLS, and this is due in part to companies hiring workers overseas for lower wages than U.S.-based programmers. Web development jobs are expected to see the same fate, but job prospects over the next ten years are expected to be much higher. Web development jobs are anticipated to increase by 27 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS – a much better future than what is expected for computer programmers. Computer jobs in general are expected to increase by 12 percent overall, while the total number of all jobs is expected to rise by 7 percent between 2014 and 2024.
Sue Gee of i-programmer.info reports in an article that the annual median salary of a web developer is $63,490, while it is $79,530 for computer programmers. Computer programming typically requires a bachelor’s degree, while web developers can find a job with an associate’s degree.
One particular advantage that U.S.-based web developers possess is that they likely have a better understanding of “cultural nuances,” reports the BLS, “that allow webpages to communicate effectively with users, and domestic web developers are better equipped for this task, curtailing the work that may be moved to other countries.” Since web developers design websites for different industries and businesses, it’s important that they have a solid understanding of what users expect from the organizations’ websites.
If you decide to get a bachelor’s degree after becoming a web developer, you should think of yourself as a software developer, says Gee, instead of as a computer programmer. The median yearly salary for a software developer is $97,990, and there are more jobs available, particularly if you specialize in applications. Between 2014 and 2014, software developers in applications will likely see a 19 percent increase in jobs, while systems software developers will likely see just a 13 percent increase. Software development jobs in general are expected to have a 17 percent upswing.
No matter the area in which you expect to work, you shouldn’t have an incredibly difficult time finding a job working with computers. Continue your computer-related education, and get as much experience and knowledge as you can. Master different programming languages and computer-related technology. You’ll make yourself into an even more attractive candidate simply because you are more widely-versed in a number of applications, technology, and programming languages. Employers will want to hire you as you can wear a number of different hats on the job. If you decide to strike out on your own and start your own company, youwon’t have to outsource so much of your business’ start-up operations if you are knowledgeable in a variety of IT fields.