Updated December 2023
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 software developer. We 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: SOFTWARE DEVELOPER training is QUICK
You don't need a university degree to become a software developer. This is a major advantage for people who don't have the time/money to invest in a bachelor's degree.
There are several colleges offering condensed software developer training that you can complete in well under two years.
At Herzing College, for example, we offer a 12-month program, which also includes a guaranteed six-week internship. Just be ready to hit the ground running and work hard! This training is intensive.
Students learn everything needed to land entry-level, junior developer 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: software developers 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 or have issues with wrist/arm pain or eye strain, you'll need to find ways to overcome these challenges by modifying your workstation and getting regular exercise.
But the bottom line is, if you're not prepared for a "sitting" job, you should probably rethink becoming a software developer.
Pro: SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS are in demand & well paid
We took a look at the latest Government of Canada Job Bank report and found a good forecast for software developers. There's strong demand for programmers in many areas of the country.
Salaries are also solid. The median wage for programmers and developers is approximately $93,000 per year (or $44.62 per hour).
Con: This technology changes fast—you'll need to keep pace
Looking for a job where you can sit back, relax, and not worry about learning new things and building new skills? Software developer is definitely not the right path for you!
Developers and programmers 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?
Pro: Advancement opportunities
Don't see yourself coding for the rest of your life? You don't necessarily have to. Software developers can become team leaders and project managers—organizing and motivating coders, but doing little (or no) coding themselves.
And don't forget, developers 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).
Software developers 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 in many jobs, software developers 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 SOFTWARE DEVELOPER
So you've run through this list of common pros and cons, and are still interested in becoming a software developer? Your next step is to explore training options and speak with an admissions advisor.
Any college you consider should offer detailed admissions counselling for this program.
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
- The skills/basic knowledge 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.