Computer programmers are responsible for writing and testing the code that allows software applications to function properly. They often appreciate a good deal of autonomy, with occasional opportunities for collaboration. The U.S. is expected to see a decline in computer programming jobs in the next decade. Computer programming can be done remotely, so jobs in the field are often outsourced to save labor costs. Computer programmers typically have a bachelor's degree in computer science or mathematics. Their median wage is $79,840, with top earners making considerably more.
Hiring talented software engineers is a challenge. They usually need to be able to work independently, meet deadlines, and report to managers. Since programmers need to be able to describe their progress and coordinate with others working on the same project, communication is vital while knowledge of specific computer languages and their applications is important, what separates good programmers from great ones is often their creativity and advanced critical thinking skills.
So while it is important to hire programmers who have knowledge of the languages that a company uses, critical thinking and learning ability are better predictors of long-term job success for programmers. This is because programming is such a rapidly evolving field and coding languages are changing and developing quickly. For this reason many employers use general aptitude tests such as the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) to gain insights into the cognitive abilities of prospective programmers.
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Rank in HireSelect:
20 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$79,840/year or $38.39/hr
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 294,900
Education level of Computer Programmers: