Most technology professionals are familiar with the frequent calls and emails from recruiters. For the past several decades there has been a strong market for good, solid technical positions – including programmers and developers. If a person is above average in their programming skillset – or in most technology fields in general -then there is a good chance they can find a great job.
But this begs the question: are employers looking for programmers?
Because many companies are regularly looking for good people, many technology professionals tend to keep their eyes open to avoid missing a good opportunity for a better position. What makes a position better? It might be pay, but it is just as likely the types of projects a company has, the benefits a company offers, or the opportunity with an organization for advancement. Each person is different as to what drives them, but it is likely opportunities are available that match.
The general question of, “is anyone hiring programmers” is easy. The answer is: of course! Having said that, if you are looking for a technology job, it might not be a “programmer” job you want to be searching for. The reality is that “programmer” jobs are not as common as other, related developer terms. We explore the career and job opportunities available for software developers in this programming tutorial.
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What are the Top Technology Positions?
According to Indeed, programmer analysts, systems analysts, and app developers were three of the top five technology positions in demand. Only IT security specialists and network analysts ranked higher.
If you search the web, you will find numerous other lists of the most in-demand positions in technology. These lists included things like AI engineers, web developers, Java developers, and mobile developers in their top five positions. One career site had product managers as their top, in-demand position, based on potential average salary ($99,862), with backend developers, systems engineers, game developers, full stack developers, front end developers, UI/UX designers, and mobile app developers all part of their top 10.
What are the Most In-Demand Programming Languages?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development is expected to grow 22% between 2021 and 2030. Web Development is expected to grow 13%. Growth, of course, means more jobs. Of course, developers tend to focus on programming languages. According to a report from Berkley, the most in demand programming languages are:
Go (also known as Golang) just missed the list at 11th.
The University of Denver posted the eight most used programming languages on their site. These languages are:
- SQL and NoSQL
- HTML and CSS
If programming is in demand, and there are a number of great programming languages people are using, then shouldn’t programmer be a title and role that is in the highest demand?
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What To Search When Looking for a Tech Job
Recruiters are reaching out to existing technology professionals with open positions. If you are considering a change, you should not simply rely on what they present. Rather, you should also do research to find out what is open, what roles are truly in demand, and what is being offered to entice people to the role.
There are a number of job sites available on the Internet. Many good sites have gone away, but some of the big players still exist. For this article, I pulled up LinkedIn, Indeed, and Dice. I also looked at Monster, but it is harder to get an idea of overall openings. Note, these are three of the most well-known sites for looking for open technology positions. There are a variety of other sites that are more focused (such as targeting start-up open positions) that can also be used as well.
If you enter a few search terms into these sites, you will quickly see how results can vary. Earlier the question was asked, “is anyone hiring programmers”? Look at the number of job listings based on searching for “C++ Programmer” on the three sites mentioned:
- Dice: 94 job listings
- Indeed: 2,326 job listings
- LinkedIn: 294,716 job listings
While this clearly gives an indication of which site is listing more openings for C++ Programmers, that is not our focus. Rather it is that, while these numbers might look good, they are not as good as searching for simply C++, which gives the following numbers for job listings:
- Dice: 4,094 job listings
- Indeed: 73,914 job listings
- LinkedIn: 678,671 job listings
Clearly searching for a shorter phrase (C++ instead of C++ Programmer) would be expected to get more results. The difference in the number of results, however, is notable.
Look at the number of results for a different search. Instead of C++ Programmer, the following gives the number of job listings when searching for C++ Developer:
- Dice: 1,095 job listings
- Indeed: 21,821 job listings
- LinkedIn: 295,589 job listings
While you might expect the same results for C++ Developer as were given for C++ Programmer, that is absolutely not the case. For Dice and Indeed, the numbers went up substantially. For LinkedIn, the numbers did, however, stay relatively close. However, if the search phrase is changed to C++ Software Engineer, you will again see that there is yet another increase in results from Dice and Indeed:
- Dice: 17,464 job listings
- Indeed: 45,733 job listings
- LinkedIn: 295,228 job listings
Clearly the search term that is used will impact the number of results. If you do the same exercise with Java Programmer, Java Developer, Java, and Java Software Engineer, you will see similar differences from Dice and LinkedIn:
- Java Programmer: 181 job openings
- Java Developer: 5,209 job openings
- Java: 13,975 openings
- Java Software Engineer: 22,126 job openings
- Java Programmer: 29,243 job openings
- Java Developer: 43,018 job openings
- Java: 755,798 openings
- Java Software Engineer: 35,298 job openings
- Java Programmer: 91,021 job openings
- Java Developer: 87,065 job openings
- Java: 142,850 openings
- Java Software Engineer: 105,094 job openings
Clearly, in order to avoid missing opportunities, if you search for a position, it is critical to use the right search terms. More importantly, you should search for the same thing more than once using different search terms and using different job sites. Granted, the larger number of search results are also likely to include a higher number of irrelevant suggestions.
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So, Is Anyone Hiring Programmers?
The answer to the question of whether anyone is hiring programmers is yes; however, clearly you will not find as many positions for programmers as you will for developers or software engineers. Maybe the question should be changed, because, in this case, you are better off asking if anyone is hiring developers or software engineers!
Clearly the numbers presented in this article are rough. They are taken at the time the article was written and are subject to change as positions get added and removed. Additionally, it could be argued that some of the results are likely not appropriate or do not fit what a technologist really cares about. While that is true, the point still remains: the search terms you use will change the results, even if they describe the same role. What you will also find is that these titles you are searching for also can impact the salary. But that is a topic for a different article!
The following table has a number of searches that were done on various topics for the three job sites:
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