The Highest-Paying
Computer Programming Careers of 2021

Careers in the computer science field usually offer high salaries. Some career paths are more lucrative than others. With the right skills and computer science training, you can pursue one of the highest-paying computer programming careers. Take a look at the list below to learn which are the best computer programming careers in 2021.

What Is Computer Programming?

Computer programming consists of building digital products like software, apps, or computer networks. There are several specifications inside the computer programming field, such as web development, database administration, and web design.

Most computer programmers use programming languages like JavaScript and HTML to build software and other systems. Each language has different benefits to help you succeed in the field. Whether you’re interested in software development or creative web design, you can find success in a computer programming career.

Why You Should Pursue a Career in Computer Programming

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Any career in computer programming usually offers a high salary and benefits. These rewarding careers are in high demand due to modern reliance on technology.

Although it might be a technical field, most computer programming careers have fewer job requirements than other high-paying professions. Most employers don’t ask you to have a bachelor’s degree if you have the right experience. However, a degree or coding bootcamp is the best way to learn to code.

You should pursue a career in computer programming if you are a detail-oriented and logical thinker. You’ll also need to use creativity to find innovative coding solutions. Read below to learn more about the best computer programming careers and decide which is best for you.

Top 10 Computer Programming Careers at a Glance

There are several high-paying careers in computer programming. Below, you will see a list of the top computer programming careers based on their salaries. All median annual salaries have been sourced from Indeed and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job outlook statistics, sourced from BLS, refer to the growth in demand between 2019 and 2029.

Job Title Education Requirement Projected Job Growth Median Pay
Computer and Information
Systems Manager
Bachelor’s Degree 10% $151,150
Computer and Information
Research Scientist
Master’s Degree 15% $126,830
Mobile Developer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $118,733
Computer Network Architect Master’s Degree 5% $116,780
Software Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $110,140
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s Degree 31% $103,590
Database Administrator Bachelor’s Degree 10% $98,860
.NET Developer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $94,805
Computer Systems Analyst Bachelor’s Degree 7% $93,730
Web Designer Associate Degree 8% $77,200

*Job growth statistics are based on BLS data for Software Developers.

The Best Computer Programming Careers in 2021

The Best Computer Programming Careers in 2021

The following list contains the best computer programming careers in 2021 based on their salaries and education requirements. You can choose which career is best for you according to its skill requirements and responsibilities.

A computer and information systems manager is a professional responsible for leading a company’s IT projects to meet specific organizational goals. They allocate resources, plan budgets, design project strategies, and more. Most employers prefer to hire IT project managers with a programming background.

Computer and Information Systems Manager Responsibilities

  • Designs strategies to meet IT organizational goals
  • Identifies the resources needed for the project
  • Sets up schedules that the developing team must meet
  • Monitors employees to make sure everyone is on track

A computer and information scientist is an IT professional who collects, filters, and analyzes data. They are also known as data scientists. They use different datasets to extract meaningful information out of raw data. Data scientists can work in almost every industry, including marketing, healthcare, and finance.

Computer and Information Research Scientist Responsibilities

  • Collects data from multiple datasets
  • Scrapes the raw dataset to find meaningful insights
  • Analyzes the final results to identify trends in the data
  • Prepares data visualization graphics to share their discoveries

A mobile developer is a computer programming professional who creates mobile applications. They use different programming languages like Java or Swift. To become a mobile developer, you need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. The demand for mobile developers will continue to grow due to the increase in mobile use.

Mobile Developer Responsibilities

  • Develops mobile apps with front end and backend functionalities
  • Performs tests to evaluate the performance of the app on mobile devices
  • Discusses development strategies with clients
  • Builds application programming interfaces (APIs)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network architecture is one of the highest-paying computer programming careers in 2021. A network architect makes high-level web development decisions. Most employers look for professionals with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

Computer Network Architect Responsibilities

  • Discusses desired strategies and functional requirements for the development of new projects
  • Develops high-level product specifications that will be shared with other members of the production team
  • Evaluates potential software solutions
  • Trains other members of the IT team

A software engineer is a computer programmer who uses different programming languages to build digital products from scratch. There are three types of software engineers: front end developers, backend developers, and full stack developers. To become a software engineer, you can complete a bachelor’s degree or attend one of the best coding bootcamps.

Software Engineer Responsibilities

  • Writes and tests codes for software development
  • Communicates potential challenges with the client
  • Works with other professionals such as web designers and UX/UI designers to find practical solutions

An information security analyst implements different strategies to configure and maintain information security systems. They monitor and install tools like firewalls, switches, and routers. According to the BLS, the demand for these specialists is expected to grow by 31 percent from 2019 to 2029. This is an extremely high rate of growth.

Information Security Analyst Responsibilities

  • Configures security equipment
  • Performs risk management tests
  • Identifies vulnerabilities
  • Analyzes security systems to identify the best options

A database administrator is a computer programming professional who stores and organizes data. They must ensure a company’s data integrity, which involves security policies and migrating data from old to new systems. A database administrator must have completed an information technology or computer science bachelor’s program.

Database Administrator Responsibilities

  • Installs and maintains databases
  • Enhances database security
  • Sets standards for databases in the company
  • Manages access control and assigns authorizations

.NET developers build websites and applications by using the .NET framework. They work throughout the entire development process to design and implement programming strategies and test their performance. To become a .NET developer, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience.

.NET Developer Responsibilities

  • Designs a development strategy based on the .NET framework
  • Implements strategies
  • Builds .NET platforms
  • Provides technical support when necessary

Computer systems analysis is a coding career that consists of evaluating the current computer system of an organization. Analysts provide up-to-date upgrades and improvements. They maintain the IT infrastructure by designing new programs to meet the company’s technological goals.

Computer Systems Analyst Responsibilities

  • Conducts research to identify new technology tools
  • Identifies the company’s needs
  • Analyzes costs and budgets
  • Adds new software and hardware to the system

A web designer is a programming specialist who evaluates and improves websites. They must perform multiple surveys and tests to improve user experience. They should also design a pathway in the website so that it’s easier for users to navigate the interface. Web designers use programming languages to create optimized websites.

Web Designer Responsibilities

  • Conducts user research
  • Performs tests in the platform across multiple devices
  • Performs usability testing
  • Creates website prototypes
What Education Is Required for a Career in Computer Programming?

What Education Is Required for a Career in Computer Programming?

Most computer programming careers require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or another related field. However, it will all depend on the career level you would like to pursue.

For example, some employers may hire a software developer with a certificate or associate degree. Other positions such as network architect may require a master’s degree. Before you apply for jobs, make sure you have the right experience and level of education.

Can I Study Computer Programming Online?

Yes, you can. In fact, there are many institutions such as universities and coding bootcamps that offer online training for computer science careers. This is a technical field, but most computer programmers can work remotely, so studying online works well.

Online education is perfect for those who are currently working to pay for their tuition. This method is compatible with other activities since most schools also have flexible schedules. Another reason to learn computer programming remotely is that you can study at any institution regardless of your location.

Personality Traits Necessary for a Computer Programming Career

To build a career in computer programming, you need to have certain traits such as logical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and resilience. You need to become a lifelong learner to stay updated on the latest trends in the industry.

You must also have time management skills to help you meet deadlines and standards. A computer programming specialist must pay attention to detail because even the slightest coding error can affect final results. Finally, the most crucial trait is to have a passion for programming and computer science.

Is a Computer Programming Job Good for Me?

Yes, a computer programming job is perfect for someone who will be committed to educational preparation. This is undoubtedly a high-paying industry, but it comes with the huge responsibility of being a constant learner. If you are passionate about computer science, you will thrive in one of these computer programming careers.

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