Updated November, 2020
If you're considering a career in tech, you might be veering toward fields like programming, network administration, or technical support.
These are all good options for someone who wants to train quickly for jobs that are in-demand and growing fast across the country.
But which path should you choose? In this post, we're taking a closer look at the role of Programmer Analyst. We'll break down the most common pros and cons of this job (and other key facts you should know), so you can figure out if this career is right for you.
No job is perfect. But if you know what to expect in advance, you'll have a much better chance of investing in the right training program, and actually feeling satisfied in your work over the long term.
Let's get started!
Pro: programmer analyst training is QUICK
You don't need a university degree to become a programmer analyst. This is a major advantage for people who don't have the time/money to invest in a bachelor's degree.
In Montreal alone, there are several colleges offering condensed programmer analyst training, which you can complete in well under 2 years.
At Herzing College, for example, we offer a 15-month program, which also includes a guaranteed 14-week internship. Just be ready to hit the ground running, and work hard! This training is intensive and full-time—with classes 5 days a week, 5 hours per day.
Students learn everything needed to land entry-level, junior programmer analyst jobs. You'll graduate with a solid foundation in:
- Microsoft VB.Net applications
- Object-oriented programming with JAVA
- Database design and development with SQL Server
Con: Programmer Analysts do a lot of sitting
There's no doubt about it: programmer analysts spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, staring at a screen. Is this a negative? It depends on who you ask....and what kind of physical shape they're in.
For example, if you're prone to back trouble, have issues with wrist/arm pain, or eye strain, you'll need to find ways to overcome these challenges—by modifying your work station and getting regular exercise.
But, the bottom line is, if you're not prepared for a "sitting" job, you should probably re-think becoming a programmer analyst.
Pro: Programmer Analysts are in demand & well paid
We took a look at the latest Government of Canada Job Bank report, and found a very good forecast for programmer analysts. We checked demand for programmers in Quebec (because we teach this course in Montreal), and discovered strong employment growth for this occupation across the province.
In fact, "Programmer Analyst" gets the Job Bank's highest rating for employment outlook—3 stars. Salaries are also competitive. The median wage in Quebec for programmers is approximately $62,000 per year (or $31 per hour).
Source: Government of Canada Job Bank Career Outlook Report
In addition to the Job Bank, other researchers have reported very strong employment prospects for programmer analysts. You'll find programmers and systems analysts ranking high on lists, here and here.
And, global staffing firm, Randstad, recently named Programmer Analyst the #1 tech job in Canada.
"If you know how to code, you're in a strong position in the candidate-driven tech job market"
Con: This technology changes fast—you'll need to keep pace
Looking for a job where you can sit back and relax, and not worry about learning new things and building new skills? Programmer analyst is definitely not the right path for you!
Programmer analysts must stay on top of evolving technology. This often involves quite a bit of reading, learning, and perhaps even additional certifications, to continue upgrading your skills and knowledge. You'll need to keep training your brain. This field is full of young, smart people...so be ready to compete!
For some, this is a bonus. They crave challenge, and welcome changes in technology that push them to expand their technical abilities. For others, it's intimidating or feels like too much work. Where do you fall on this spectrum? Are you up for it?
Check out this post: Top 5 Skills You'll Need to Succeed as a Programmer Analyst
Pro: Advancement opportunities
Don't see yourself coding for the rest of your life? You don't necessarily have to. Programmer analysts can become team leaders and project managers—organizing and motivating coders, but doing little (or no) coding themselves.
And don't forget, programmer analysts work in many different sectors, and for all kinds of organizations. Each will present different challenges and different advancement options. You can focus on coding, get into design, or even use your knowledge to solve a real-world problem (and launch your own startup).
Programmer analysts have options for growth. This is a big motivator for many people considering this career path.
Con: Dealing with deadlines, working under pressure
Not all programming jobs come with a ton of pressure. However, there will definitely be times when you're up against tight deadlines, or struggling to solve a really challenging problem on the fly.
Managers typically want things done yesterday. And sometimes it's difficult to estimate exactly how long a programming task will take to complete—particularly if you're dealing with a new problem you haven't seen before.
And then there are times when your code doesn't work as expected, and there are last-minute "emergencies" to resolve. For example, something you've programmed breaks in production and you have to very quickly figure out why, and fix it.
There will always be executives to please and demanding clients to serve. Like many jobs, programmer analysts have to deal with a certain amount of stress. But it does vary quite a bit depending on where you choose to work.
Things like company culture, how projects are managed, and your level of technical knowledge will all have a huge impact on how stressful your job ends up being. You just need to find the right fit.
Luckily, with such strong demand for programmers, you can always change jobs until you find the company and culture that works well for you.
learn more about becoming a programmer analyst
So, you've run through this list of common pros and cons, and are still interested in becoming a programmer analyst? Your next step is to explore training options and speak with an Admissions Advisor.
Any programmer analyst college you consider should offer detailed admissions counselling for this program. At Herzing, you can get the process started online. Click below to request free information about our programmer analyst program—or chat live with an Advisor right away.
What can you ask about? An Advisor will guide you through:
- application requirements and procedures
- upcoming program start-dates (when is the next training session starting?)
- class schedules
- guidance for international students
- what skills/basic knowledge do you need to excel in programmer analyst training?
- career options after graduation
- tuition costs
- financial aid options, scholarships, and government grants
- arranging a campus tour
Chat live with an Advisor right now. Or click below to explore the program in more detail.