If you've decided to pursue a career in development, you're probably wondering what the next steps are. What's the best path to take? With all the different types of coding jobs available, how do you know which one is right for you?
Well, it depends. If you're artistic, you could combine your creativity with your programming skills to create beautiful websites. Or maybe you'd rather work with data — helping companies analyze it for actionable insights or helping users keep their sensitive information safe from prying eyes.
As you'll learn in the paragraphs below, there are many different types of coding jobs. To help you figure out which one is best for you, we'll explore 6 of the most popular coding jobs and their responsibilities. Then, we'll show you where to get started.
1. Front-End Engineer
Front-End Engineers create and manage everything that you see and interact with on a website. Think about the text you're reading right now, all the menus, and even the cool progress bar that tells you how far along you are in this article. All of this was created by a Front-End Engineer. Front-End Engineers create the world you see on the web page, from the login screen to the layout of your search results.
Average salary: $105,800 with $2,500 annual cash bonus
What makes a good Front-End Engineer?
2. Back-End Engineer
Everyone loves working with slick, well-designed apps and web pages, but what good are they if they don't give you the information you need? That's where Back-End Engineers come in.
Most apps and websites store their information in large databases on remote servers to be easily accessed later. Back-End Engineers manage these "behind-the-screens" parts of a website. So, when you search for something like "learn SQL" (which we recommend for Back-End Engineers), it's thanks to them that the results you see are relevant to your search. Similarly, when you're browsing, it's the work of Back-End Engineers that allows you to quickly view the most current content available.
Average salary: $120,700 with $4,000 annual cash bonus
What makes a good Back-End Engineer?
3. Full-Stack Engineer
What if you love both the creativity of front-end engineering and the technical challenges of back-end engineering? Then, consider becoming a Full-Stack Engineer.
While most people think of a Full-Stack Engineer as a Front-End and Back-End Engineer combined, the truth is they're much more than that. Full-Stack Engineers also understand how front end and back end components interact and communicate with each other.
Average salary: $107,300 with $4,100 annual cash bonus
What makes a good Full-Stack Engineer?
4. Data Scientist
Data science is booming as people and businesses have more and more access to data. The wealth of data we create daily is too much to analyze with traditional methods, so companies rely on data professionals to make sense of it all. Enter the Data Scientist.
Businesses need people who have both the programming skills to automate data analysis and specific field expertise to make sense of what the data and results mean. In other words, companies need more Data Scientists.
Think of data science as a broad field with many potential niches. For example, it's Data Scientists who develop systems that recommend playlists on streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube. It can also be used to build machine learning models.
Average salary: $119,400
What makes a good Data Scientist?
If you're switching to development after years of working in another field, you might wonder whether all that knowledge and experience will go to waste. The answer is that it doesn't have to! Data Scientists are experts in multiple fields, namely statistics, computer science, coding (including R and Python), and specific fields of expertise. So, if you're a new developer with past experience in another field, then you're already well on your way to becoming a great Data Scientist.
5. Data Analyst
How does a company figure out which products are the most popular? What about the most profitable? When adding new products, how do you know if they'll appeal to your customers? And what is it about your business that makes people choose your services over someone else's?
Believe it or not, most businesses have enough data at their disposal to answer these kinds of questions. It's up to Data Analysts to work with multiple data sources to find their answers.
While Data Analysts and Data Scientists sound similar, they perform different roles. Both help make sense of large data sets, but Data Analysts focus on business performance and what a company can do to improve. In another post, we take a closer look at the difference between Data Scientists and Data Analysts.
Average salary: $70,000 with $2,500 annual cash bonus
What makes a good Data Analyst?
Because Data Analysts specialize in using data to improve business performance, they're comfortable working both behind the terminal and in the boardroom. Many analysts use SQL and Python to work with large, complex datasets and distill them into clear visuals and summaries that non-technical teams can understand. They're also great communicators who can explain how the insights gathered from large datasets can contribute to organizational goals.
6. Cybersecurity Specialist
Cybersecurity becomes more and more important every day. No one wants their information to fall into the wrong hands, and Cybersecurity Specialists keep our data safe by preventing attempts to steal or compromise it.
Cybersecurity Specialists monitor, detect, investigate, and respond to risks and vulnerabilities within a company's network. More and more companies are recognizing that cybersecurity is a necessity rather than a luxury, which means that the demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals is soaring.
Average salary: $57,500 with $5,000 annual cash bonus
What makes a good Cybersecurity Specialist?
Much like Back-End Engineers, Cybersecurity Specialists enjoy solving complex problems using logic. They also adopt a forensic approach to determine the root causes of a system's weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Lastly, a good Cybersecurity Specialist knows how to think like a hacker and stays up to date with the latest cyberattack techniques.
Take the next step in your coding career
Hopefully, this list of 6 types of coding jobs helped bring you closer to your dream career. If you can see yourself in any of the roles listed above, check out our Career Paths. Our Career Paths take the guesswork out of figuring out which skills you need to move forward in your journey. We'll teach you everything you'll need to know to land an entry-level position in our:
- Front-End Engineer Career Path
- Back-End Engineer Career Path
- Full-Stack Engineer Career Path
- Data Scientist Career Path
- Data Analyst Career Path
If you're more interested in keeping data safe from cyber threats, take your first steps into the field with our introduction to cybersecurity course. And if you need some extra support, our community is always there to help.