7 Types of Jobs Coders Can Get — And How Much They Pay

Computer programming is arguably one of the most important aspects of modern technology — without it, the digital sector as we know it would cease to exist. Since early assembly languages powered the first computers of the 1940s, coding has grown to become the foundation of today’s complex digital entities — from desktop software, to mobile applications, to video games. As a result, coders are in high demand, filling roles in software engineering, web development, and network administration.

Regardless of a coder’s experience level or technical specialization, it helps to have potential career paths aligned when considering a new job in the field. Let’s take a closer look at a few types of coding jobs, exploring each job’s unique responsibilities, current salary information, and projected employment outlook. We will also cover leading ways to learn each profession’s prerequisite skills. As you read, keep in mind that salary figures are dependent on a variety of factors including professional and educational experience, industry, location, and company size.

What is the highest-paying coding job?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information systems managers are the highest-paid coding professionals, recording a median salary of $151,150 in 2020, In addition, this career is projected to see 10 percent employment growth by 2029.

Read on for an overview of the following coding jobs:

A graph comparing all of the median salaries for the coding careers referenced throughout the article.


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1. Computer and Information Systems Manager

As one of coding’s leading career paths, computer and information systems management is a challenging but ideal job goal for those entering the industry. It involves making high-level technical decisions, valuing specific software installations and modifications, and other responsibilities requiring comprehension of a network’s digital infrastructure.

Broadly speaking, managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing all computer-based activity within an organization. These activities apply to everything from network security and technical auditing to directing the work of other IT professionals like software developers, systems analysts, and information security analysts.

Coding skills are important in this role because they help make higher-level technical matters easier to approach and communicate. Managers with a coding background may be poised for success as both versatile IT professionals and tech-savvy team leaders, applying technical knowledge to address their network’s underlying framework while spearheading efforts to make it stronger and more efficient.

Additionally, managers should be both strong multitaskers and communicators, as much of their role involves discussing network-based changes in tandem with directly advising on those changes from a technical level. Managers should also bring a blend of creativity and critical thinking in pitching new IT ideas to company executives.

How Much Do Information Systems Managers Make?

Computer and information systems managers are among the highest-paid coding professions in the technology field. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the role saw a median annual pay of $151,150 in 2020, with the lowest 10 percent of managers still earning around $90,430. Furthermore, the profession is currently projected to see 10 percent employment growth by 2029 — much faster than average for all occupations in the field.

2. Software Engineer

Software engineers (also known as software developers) oversee the design and development of computer programs and applications — a process that usually requires prior coding expertise. Engineers may leverage coding knowledge to create software diagrams reflecting user needs, work with programmers to help write stronger code, or position the program or application for long-term success and security.

Additionally, these professionals exercise their back end coding knowledge to recommend new software and upgrades to existing software. These upgrades are important because they help avoid complacency, which can lead to cyberattacks and general efficiency issues. Beyond technical skills, software engineers should be expert problem solvers, strong communicators, and team players. In many cases, software development is a team initiative — these skills help engineers keep their projects on pace while maintaining team cohesion and morale.

See also our guide to the career paths for software developers.

How Much Do Software Engineers Make?

According to the BLS, software engineering employment is projected to grow by 22 percent nationally by 2029 — much faster than average for all industry occupations. The BLS also cites an influx of mobile applications as a primary contributor to this outlook, which complements the industry’s 2020 median salary of $110,140. In Georgia, the 2020 median salary for software engineers was slightly below average at $104,730.

3. Data Scientist

With much of the working world shifting to data-driven strategies and infrastructure, demand for data scientists has risen across countless industries. In fact, according to the 2021 Degreed State of Skills Report, the need for such professionals was deemed a top-10 consideration by surveyed workers, team managers, and business leaders.

Data scientists study and analyze crucial data to rectify network issues, solve complex computing problems, develop new computing languages and software systems, and test the operational capabilities of existing software. These tasks usually require an established coding background, as such knowledge allows data scientists to be more literate in their technical concentrations and make more informed, in-depth recommendations to other IT departments. Beyond hard coding and data skills, data scientists are typically adept in critical thinking, communication, and patience as they formulate technical insights and distill them into understandable, actionable information for scientists, engineers, and other professionals.

See also our guide on how to become a data scientist or explore Georgia Tech Data Science and Analytics Boot Camp.

How Much Do Data Scientists Make?

According to CareerOneStop, data scientists in the U.S. make a median salary of $98,230, while Georgia-based scientists in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell Metro area make $91,310 per year. Meanwhile, the BLS reports a 15 percent employment increase for the broader computer and information research industry (including data scientists) by 2029, which is 11 percent higher than the projected national average for all industry occupations.

4. Full Stack Developer

Full stack developers are versed in both front and back end web development, meaning they handle everything from user interface (UI) design and browser compatibility to software fine-tuning and site testing. Because of the breadth of their responsibilities , full stack development requires a variety of crucial technical skills, including fluency in coding languages like Python, JavaScript, and Go — all of which rank among the most popular web development languages, according to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Web Developer Survey (in which 55 percent of surveyed developers identified as full stack).

Coding literacy in multiple languages helps full stack developers address front and back end matters in a wider variety of digital entities. Leading languages like Python, JavaScript, and Go generally reflect this versatility in numerous types of software and applications. What’s more, developers must consistently be strong communicators, as they often interact with clients, company executives, and development team members. They are usually inquisitive listeners and record keepers for this same reason.

A chart showing top web development coding languages, with Python as the leading language.

How Much Do Full Stack Developers Make?

The BLS reports a 2020 median salary of $77,200 for all web developers and digital designers (including full stack developers), but compensation can vary depending on location and a candidate’s prior industry experience. For example, the median salary for web developers in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia Metro area was reported to be an above-average $92,860, according to CareerOneStop. Those with full stack development skills may be qualified for higher paying positions depending on the job and market in question. Nationally, the industry is expected to see an 8 percent employment increase by 2029.

5. Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for nearly all day-to-day aspects of an organization’s computer network. They regularly assess a network’s needs, make crucial upgrades, repair existing network flaws, and optimize systems to run safely and efficiently. Administrators also train their teams to properly use networks and systems, educating them on potentially complex technical subjects and leading them through upgrades and other network changes.

Coding sits at the heart of many of these responsibilities. Administrators fluent in programming languages should have an easier time making well-informed network-based decisions and recommendations, as they can do so with the network’s underlying code in mind. Beyond these hard skills, administrators play an active managerial role in leading network teams, and should be prepared to communicate clearly, provide high-level feedback, and embody a solution-driven demeanor.

How Much Do Network and Computer Systems Administrators Make?

The BLS reports a 2020 median salary of $84,810 for network and computer systems administrators, with industries like finance, information, and corporate enterprise management recording slightly higher annual figures. In Georgia, administrators made a slightly higher than average 2020 median salary of $85,220. As a whole, the industry is expected to see 4 percent employment growth by 2029, matching the national average for all industry occupations.

6. Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts are high-level problem solvers and critical thinkers. They are tasked with studying and analyzing an organization’s existing computer network and proposing solutions to make the network more efficient.

Analysts also conduct system testing, design and implement new software, and research emerging technologies to determine if they are viable installation options. Since the analyst role is heavily rooted in back end technical knowledge, coding fundamentals are nearly synonymous with success. In fact, according to the BLS, a computer systems analyst does more coding and debugging than other type of analyst. Helpful soft skills may include an inquisitive approach to research and a high degree of patience in training a system’s end users.

How Much Do Computer Systems Analysts Make?

Computer systems analyst employment is projected to grow by 7 percent by 2029 — much faster than the national average for industry occupations. Broadly, this growth is expected, in part, due to an increased cross-industry reliance on IT professionals. For now, the field has enjoyed a median annual wage of $93,730, with analysts in the Atlanta, Georgia area currently making around $91,120 per year.

7. Product Manager

Product managers oversee a product’s full life cycle, from initial creation to final release. During product development, these professionals are responsible for tasks including creating plans to meet production goals, monitoring and streamlining the production process, and analyzing market data to develop stronger, more informed insights regarding consumer behavior (which can impact the production of future products). Additionally, product managers are usually top-level communicators, often working alongside developers, procurement professionals, accountants, and corporate executives. In doing so, they can bridge crucial gaps, keep production fluid, and foster a culture of transparency and cohesion. Successful managers are also typically flexible and adaptable, given the ever-changing nature of their work environment.

Though not as hard-skill-driven as the previously mentioned roles, product managers can implement coding depending on the company or product in question. For example, product managers with a coding background may have an easier time managing (and understanding) the development of digital products like mobile apps, online guides, and web elements such as themes or widgets. Additionally, coding fluency can aid managers in technical troubleshooting scenarios — such as a breakdown in production-related software — where managers and software engineers must be on the same page in creating an effective solution.

How Much Do Product Managers Make?

The collective marketing management industry saw a national median salary of $142,170 in 2020. In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia Metro area, product managers made slightly less at $132,550. Nationally, the industry is projected to see a 7 percent employment increase by 2029.

Educational Options for Coding Careers

Now that we have discussed a few leading types of coding jobs, let’s explore the ways in which new coders can learn the skills to fill them. There are several educational pathways in coding, such as bootcamp programs, college degrees, and self-taught options. Here is a closer look at each of these options:

Coding Bootcamps

Bootcamp programs are an ideal option for aspiring coders — especially those with little to no prior experience or education in the field. Bootcamps usually offer a series of modules aimed at industry fundamentals and real-world task simulations. For instance, Georgia Tech Coding Boot Camp includes an immersive curriculum rooted in market-driven programming as it pertains to full stack development, covering crucial coding languages and the construction of web applications.

Typically, bootcamps are fast-paced and intensive (the Georgia Tech program lasts 12-24 weeks), but they are also flexible and personalized. Learners have the chance to gain coding knowledge quickly and efficiently while working or pursuing a traditional education path.

College Degrees

Hopeful coders can also hone their skills through traditional college degrees. Though equivalent knowledge can be gained through other educational mediums, coding degrees are valued by many industry employers, with some even requiring a Bachelor’s degree in a related field. Coding-oriented major concentrations may include computer science, information technology, or engineering (among others). These programs offer the chance to learn coding as it pertains to broader industries — all in a more gradual, communal environment.

Self-Taught Options

Self-guided learning options may also be a helpful method for learning coding fundamentals. These resources can include everything from free online coding courses and guides to videos and educational apps. Self-taught options can be ideal for learners favoring full autonomy over instructor-led curricula, and they can be a great asset for honing organization and goal-setting skills in tandem with coding skills.

Summary

Computer programming has grown to encompass several types of coding jobs — many of which yield competitive salaries and a promising employment outlook. Coding is now opening up many lucrative pathways and opportunities for high-level responsibility while working in a rewarding career with competitive pay.

Luckily, coding education has become increasingly accessible through several effective learning options. Even aspiring coders with no prior experience can gain industry fundamentals through options like coding bootcamps, which typically offer a thorough, yet flexible curriculum aimed at practical learning and comprehensive skill building. Other options like degrees and self-guided resources also remain viable pathways for new coders.


Ready to start your educational journey in coding? Consider Georgia Tech Coding Boot Camp, a great way to learn coding in as quickly as 12-24 weeks.


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