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Eight Coding Careers You Should Consider

By The Fullstack Academy Team

Woman at desk coding

Eight Coding Careers You Should Consider

Coding is the process of writing instructions that guide how computers, software, and applications operate—and many of the careers that depend on it have strong growth and salary potential.

For many who are interested in pursuing these promising careers in coding, completing a coding bootcamp makes sense. These bootcamps focus on providing job-specific coding competencies in less time than many other forms of education, and many graduates report that coding bootcamps are worth it for the skill building, networking, and job counseling they provide.

Data provider Priceonomics presented a 2020 report showing that 96% of coding bootcamp graduates rated their experience four or five stars. Bootcamps can prepare students for a broad range of roles in the computer and information technology (IT) sector, whose projected growth is 15% from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That rate is much faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations.

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by learning more about the immersive tech bootcamps at Virginia Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy.

If you are evaluating whether a coding bootcamp—and the jobs that it can lead to—makes sense for you, it is wise to take a closer look at key coding careers. Following are details about eight of those careers:

1. Junior developer

One coding career is junior developer: an entry-level role that can provide the foundation for more advanced developer roles. Junior developers assist a development team, usually working on behind-the-scenes elements of websites. These functions are called back-end or server-side functions.

Junior developers often work alongside senior developers, who review their work and take on the more complex tasks in the development of software, products, or services.

Job Responsibilities

The responsibilities of junior developers require them to collaborate with others and use programming languages to perform development tasks. Their duties include the following:

  • Designing computer applications and programs

  • Writing and debugging code

  • Collecting user feedback

  • Providing on-call support to correct problems

  • Troubleshooting product issues and error messages

Education and Experience Requirements

The first step to become a junior developer is to learn to code, using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), as well as languages such as:

  • Java

  • JavaScript

  • jQuery

To learn these languages, you could pursue a computer science, an engineering, or a math degree, or you could teach yourself through online sources or textbooks. A quicker and more intensive option is a bootcamp, which offers short-term sessions that focus on specific skills needed in coding careers.

When comparing a coding bootcamp vs. self-learning, another factor to consider is that teaching yourself can make it difficult to keep up with the latest technology updates and techniques.

Gaining coding experience through internships or freelancing is another great way to prepare for a junior developer role. Taking part in training, events, or online chats can offer opportunities to make connections that can lead to a job.

Salary and Job Outlook

The median annual salary for software developers with up to two years of experience, including junior developers, was $83,000 in September 2022, according to labor market analytics firm Lightcast™. Web developers with up to two years of experience earned a median annual salary of $81,900 in September 2022, according to Lightcast™.

In comparison, the BLS indicates that the median annual salary for all professions was $45,760 in May 2021.

The job outlook for junior developers is also strong, with Lightcast™ reporting 1.2 million software developer roles overall for the 12 months leading up to September 2022. The firm projected 17% growth in these jobs for the following 12 months.

Nationally, job postings for web developers overall totaled 138,066 in the 12 months leading up to September 2022, according to Lightcast™, with 8% growth projected for the coming year. The BLS’s projected job growth rate for web developers is 23% between 2021 and 2031, thanks to the demand for e-commerce. By comparison, for all occupations during that period, the BLS projects 5% growth.

2. Front-End Web Developer

Programming languages are also important to the role of front-end web developer. These professionals code applications for users that are sometimes called client-side applications. They build elements such as menu bars and buttons and determine the layouts of websites or applications. They are responsible for the look and feel of websites.

Job Responsibilities

Working with project teams and with clients, front-end web developers perform tasks such as:

  • Developing website features such as graphics, audio, and video, according to requirements

  • Identifying and resolving problems with the website

  • Reviewing and reporting on website features

  • Writing code for websites using programming languages such as JavaScript, C#, Python, SQL, and C++, as well as HTML and CSS

  • Establishing project plans to meet scheduling and quality objectives

Education and Experience Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field can provide the education and skills, including knowledge of web design and search engine optimization (SEO), that the role of front-end developer requires.

Coding bootcamps are another option for learning about web development and the languages it requires, and they can prepare you for a career as a front-end developer.

Experience in web or application development, including work in web design across platforms, is helpful in seeking a position as a front-end web developer. If you are seeking a role that emphasizes the visual appearance of websites, then graphic design experience is also helpful.

Salary and Job Outlook

Entry-level web developers—those with up to two years of experience—earned a median annual salary of $81,900 in September 2022, according to Lightcast™. Mid-level professionals with three to five years of experience made a median annual salary of $94,400.

Nationally, job postings for web developers overall totaled 138,066 in the 12 months leading up to September 2022, with 8% growth projected for the coming year. The BLS’s projected job growth rate for web developers is 23% between 2021 and 2031.

3. Back-End Web Developer

Keeping server-side functions operational is the responsibility of back-end web developers. These professionals write code for new and updated features, using programming languages such as PHP, Ruby, and Python.

Back-end developers manage the parts of a website that users do not see, including servers, applications, and databases. The infrastructure they create backs up the work of front-end web developers.

Job Responsibilities

To program and maintain a company’s websites and its components, back-end web developers perform tasks such as:

  • Working with the product and design teams to determine business needs and ensure that implementation meets those requirements

  • Evaluating whether website pages, forms, functions, databases, and servers function correctly

  • Building and updating features, using tools such as Zend, Cake, WordPress, and Drupal

  • Writing and maintaining clean, tested, and debugged code to operate features

  • Serving as the last line of defense against issues in web development and to ensure that front-end features operate properly

Education and Experience Requirements

As with front-end web developers and most other coding careers, education and training are typically a prerequisite for getting a job. This education can be a degree in computer science or a related subject, a coding bootcamp, or self-training. A bootcamp often offers opportunities to focus on programming languages needed to begin a web developer career.

To gain the experience that many employers prefer for back-end web developers, options include internships, hackathons, or personal projects.

Salary and Job Outlook

Lightcast™ and the BLS provide salary and job outlook information for web developers in general. Lightcast™ indicated that the median annual salary for an entry-level role as a web developer was $81,900 in September 2022. The median annual salary for web developers with three to five years of experience was $94,400.

September 2021 to September 2022 saw 138,066 job postings for web developers nationwide, and Lightcast™ projected 8% job growth for the next year. The BLS projects 23% growth between 2021 and 2031.

4. Full Stack Web Developer

Oversight of a web development project, from start to finish, is the job of the full stack web developer. People in this role incorporate front-end and back-end development work and collaborate with graphic designers to ensure that website functions coordinate with their appearance.

Job Responsibilities

The main responsibility of full stack web developers is facilitating user interaction on websites, writing code that optimizes the operation of both front-end and back-end functions. These professionals rely on various coding languages and web development tools to perform duties such as:

  • Managing development from idea to release

  • Maintaining and updating existing web functions

  • Leading the testing of functions and providing feedback during development

  • Testing changes to website elements

Education and Experience Requirements

While some employers require full stack web developers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related major, others focus more on expertise in the programming languages necessary for the role.

Completing a coding bootcamp, for example, can help put you on a path toward a career as a full stack web developer.

Understanding front-end and back-end web elements is critical to being a full stack web developer, and many employers expect job candidates to have experience in these areas to help ensure easy communication between both facets of development.

Salary and Job Outlook

Lightcast™ reports that the median annual salary was $81,900 in September 2022. The median annual salary for mid-level web developers who have three to five years of experience was $94,400.

Web developer job postings totaled 138,066 across the country between September 2021 and September 2022. Lightcast™ projects 8% growth in jobs for web developers in general for September 2022 through September 2023. Job growth between 2021 and 2031 will be 23%, the BLS projects.

5. Software Developer

Another promising coding career is software developer. In this role, professionals write code to design and build computer programs. They create online applications, environments, and structures—with some focusing on underlying operating systems, and others working on mobile and desktop applications or computer games.

They often focus on design and the user experience, ensuring that software has a look and feel that is appealing. Software developers rely on programming languages such as:

  • Java

  • Python

  • C++

  • Ruby

  • Scala

  • JavaScript

The work of software developers can either make an organization’s internal processes more streamlined or power the software that the company can sell to others.

Job Responsibilities

Working as part of a team or as freelance professionals, software developers perform tasks such as:

  • Developing and testing software to meet client needs

  • Documenting work to inform future development

  • Upgrading existing software

Education and Experience Requirements

Employers typically count on job candidates to have expertise in one or more programming languages. A degree in computer science or IT can help prepare you to become a software developer. As with many other coding careers, however, self-training and coding bootcamps are also options.

Bootcamps can help you focus on the programming languages that are integral to software development, gaining skills in those languages in a relatively short period of time.

Salary and Job Outlook

The median annual salary for software developers with up to two years of experience was $83,000 in September 2022, Lightcast™ reports. For software developers with three to five years of experience, the median annual salary was $99,300.

Lightcast™ reported 1.2 million job postings for software developers in the 12 months leading up to September 2022. The firm projected 17% growth in these jobs for the next 12 months.

6. Software Engineer

Software engineers design and build computer systems and applications to perform specific tasks, ensuring that the functions the design team develops work together correctly. While the role of software developer emphasizes appearance and the user experience, software engineers also apply engineering principles to ensure that software operates smoothly.

Job Responsibilities

From developing prototypes to coding and testing, software engineers are responsible for the overall software development life cycle.

During the design phase of a project, software engineers collaborate with other team members to determine the tasks the software should perform. Then they help map the functions necessary to perform those tasks. Their responsibilities include the following:

  • Reviewing current features and recommending enhancements

  • Analyzing and problem-solving to ensure that software performs specified functions

  • Developing and implementing project plans

  • Establishing technical specifications

  • Testing and debugging software features

  • Monitoring and assessing software performance

Education and Experience Requirements

Software engineers draw on their knowledge of technologies and programming languages, such as JavaScript, Java, and C++, to ensure that software being built performs tasks as designated in project specifications.

You can gain knowledge and experience with these languages through a computer science or related degree program, self-instruction, or a software engineer skills-focused coding bootcamp.

Software engineers generally have several years of experience in the field, including a background in software development.

Salary and Job Outlook

Lightcast™, which provides national earnings information for software developers and software engineers as a group, indicates that the median annual salary for those with up to two years of experience in the roles was $83,000 in September 2022. Developers and engineers with three to five years of experience earned $99,300.

Job postings for these roles totaled 1.2 million across the United States from September 2021 to September 2022, according to Lightcast™. The firm projected 17% growth for the next year.

7. Data Analyst

Math, statistics, and data coding are key to the work of data analysts. This coding career requires extracting, analyzing, and interpreting data from a broad range of sources. Using the insight they glean from that data, these analysts help organizations make decisions and plans.

Job Responsibilities

Starting with surveys to gather information, data analysts interpret results and share them through charts, reports, or online databases. They translate collected data into categories of information through data coding. Working with structured data that people and programs can easily access, data analysts gather and review data about current activities, revealing information such as:

  • Inventory

  • Market research

  • Transportation costs

  • Sales figures

  • Profit margins

The insight that data analysts glean from this information, often with the help of data visualization tools like Tableau, can inform company decisions about issues such as product pricing, sales timing, and cost-saving efforts. The responsibilities of data analysts include the following:

  • Collaborating with corporate leaders to determine business and data needs

  • Reviewing and reporting on data examined through statistical methods

  • Designing and using databases and data collection processes

  • Identifying, analyzing, and interpreting data trends

Education and Experience Requirements

In addition to tools like Tableau, data analysts typically rely on Microsoft Excel to gather and categorize data. Expertise in Structured Query Language (SQL) is helpful in collecting and analyzing data.

A degree in a subject such as computer science, information management, or statistics can be helpful in preparing for a data analyst career, but bootcamps that focus on the tools and skills required for the role are helpful in providing training, as well as experience. Internships can help aspiring data analysts gain experience for the role.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to Lightcast™, the median annual salary for data analysts with up to two years of experience was $61,100 in September 2022. For mid-level professionals with three to five years of experience, the median annual salary was $78,200.

The firm reported 113,738 job postings for data analysts nationwide between September 2021 and September 2022, a rate that Lightcast™ predicted would grow by about 12% in the next 10 years. CIO magazine credits the growth in this career to companies’ increasing need for analyzing current data to complement their longer-term projections.

8. Data Scientist

Another coding career that focuses on data is data scientist. These professionals gather data and develop and apply machine learning algorithms and automation to extract and classify relevant information. In contrast to the review of current activity that data analysts typically perform, the work of data scientists often informs upcoming product development or corporate plans in anticipation of future needs.

Job Responsibilities

Data scientists collect, analyze, and report on data, but they often spend much of their time cleaning and organizing gathered data. Their role calls for tasks such as:

  • Determining which data is available and best suited for the analysis

  • Developing, testing, and updating algorithms and models for gathering and organizing data

  • Collecting, categorizing, and reviewing data

  • Presenting models of trends uncovered

  • Recommending future actions based on data reviews

Data scientists with a strong coding background might focus on developing data gathering systems, building machine learning algorithms, and improving online browsing capabilities.

Education and Experience Requirements

Experience in the Python and R programming languages is important in data cleaning and processing. Data scientists also rely on machine learning algorithms and big data infrastructure, so a background working in these platforms is helpful for the role.

Education in math and statistics is beneficial, with a college degree in one of those subjects often serving as the foundation for a data scientist career. Bootcamps that focus on data analysis and programming languages that are helpful to data scientists can provide effective training in technology and data science trends and techniques. They also offer hands-on experience.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for all data scientists was $100,910 in May 2021. Projected job growth for 2021 to 2031 is much faster than average, according to the BLS, thanks to companies’ increased emphasis on data-driven decisions. The agency projects 31% growth in data scientist jobs during that period.

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by learning more about the immersive tech bootcamps at Virginia Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy.

How Coding Careers Intersect

While you might pursue education and training with a specific coding career in mind, preparing for a specific role does not limit you to just one type of job. The similarities between roles sometimes means that they are classified together in descriptions and data tracking, as in the case of positions for web developers and roles for data analysts and data scientists.

Here are some ways that coding careers are similar—and how training for and working in one career can prepare you for many others.

Programming Languages

The programming and other languages required of different coding careers often overlap. Learning the Java and JavaScript programming languages, for example, can help you prepare for roles ranging from junior developer to software engineer. HTML and CSS are important for a broad range of careers in web development.


While each coding career has its own tasks and responsibilities, they are often similar regardless of the specific role. For example, full stack web developers write code that optimizes functions that are the focus of front-end and back-end web developers. Data analysts and data scientists can work hand-in-hand to collect and evaluate information to assist in corporate decision-making.

Education and Training

While many coding careers call for college degrees, they also generally have skill and experience requirements that bootcamps can help you meet—in a shorter amount of time than the typical postsecondary program. Bootcamps also offer networking opportunities; job counseling; and, in some cases, certification opportunities that can help you stand out in various roles.


Some coding careers are stepping stones to similar, but advanced, positions. Junior developer, for example, is an entry-level position that can set the stage for mid-level and experienced roles in web and software development. Becoming a software developer can provide experience for becoming a software engineer.

Discover How a Bootcamp Can Jump-Start Your Coding Career

Coding directs the function of computers, software, and applications, and it is a key part of some of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest-paying professions. If you are ready to find out how a bootcamp can help you launch your coding career, learn more about Virginia Tech’s coding bootcamps.

Whether online, in-person, full-time, or part-time, a bootcamp exists to provide the skills and hands-on training you will need to start on your coding career path. You can complete the training in weeks, not the years often required for college programs or self-learning.

Explore how Virginia Tech’s coding bootcamps can set the stage for your coding career.

Recommended Readings

How Much Do Coders Make? Salary Potential & Career Outlook

Is Coding Hard to Learn?

What Is a Coding Bootcamp? Requirements and Steps


Business Insider, “What Is Coding? A Brief Guide to the Facet of Computer Programming”

CareerExplorer, What Does a Back-End Developer Do?

CIO, “What Is a Data Analyst? A Key Role for Data-Driven Business Decisions”

Cloudflare, What Do Client Side and Server Side Mean? Client Side vs. Server Side

Forbes, “Software Engineer Job Description (With Examples)

Indeed, Front End Developer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Indeed, Full-Stack Developer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Indeed, How to Get Hired as a Junior Developer in 8 Steps

Indeed, What Is a Software Developer? Definition and Skills

Payscale, Average Data Analyst Salary

Payscale, Average Front End Developer / Engineer Salary

Payscale, Average Software Engineer Salary

Priceonomics, Bootcamp Satisfaction Statistics: What Jobs Can You Get After a Coding Bootcamp?

TIBCO, What Is Structured Data?

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Technology Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Data Scientists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Web Developers and Digital Designers

ZipRecruiter, Junior Software Developer Job Description Sample Template