December 4th, 2020
BY GERALD M. BRADSHAW
Bradshaw College Consulting
Dear Mr. Bradshaw,
My parents and I read your column, and we have a question. It appears that most of the students who write you are academically and socially well-rounded. They have good grades, test scores and participate in several extracurricular activities.
I would describe myself as a nerd. While I excel in the area of academic skills, I don't participate in any school activities outside of the classroom.
My friends and I like to write computer programs. We are known as "coders." We get together and enjoy writing computer programs using several different languages.
I'm really into computers, and my goal is to meet other students like me when I get to college and find a career in the industry. Can you give me an idea of what's out there in terms of jobs and starting pay?
Advice: Coding skills are in high demand in today’s economy
The economic paradigm has shifted markedly to the Internet. New graduates (and even dropouts - think Bill Gates back in the day) with computer programming and engineering degrees rank Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and networking firms such as LinkedIn as the places to make names for themselves. After a few years, some branch out and form their own companies.
The epicenter for the computer industry continues to be the Silicon Valley in northern California. Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley are the leading providers of Google hopefuls and Facebook fanatics, but the door is open to anyone smart enough to take COVID-19 transformed the employment market virtually overnight. Business Insider reports that the job site, Indeed, says that 2020’s most in demand skill is coding and that the most promising job is software architect, the person who makes the decisions about the design and standard of the code used in a platform. In second place, is the full-stack developer – someone who has the coding skills to make a platform.
By the numbers, recruiters say Facebook and others pay competitively, with average annual salaries for engineers typically starting at $115,000. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted one Silicon Valley recruiter who said a client got in a bidding war among Google, Facebook and other tech companies. He was hired with a $125,000 salary. Computer coders are also paid well with an average salary of $63,903 a year. Beginning programmers earn approximately $50,000 and experienced coders earn about $85,000.
Not everyone wants to work for Google, even if it is a great company. The lure of creating a company tends to run deep among computer graduates. With that in mind, I advise you to keep up the coding. The industry needs coders during a recovering economy in the midst of a pandemic. With many people working from home using software their companies are thriving thanks to work by folks like you.
Don't worry about not participating in extracurricular activities. Start thinking about what college is best for you to develop your coding and programming skills and what niche in the industry is most comfortable for you. There are abundant career opportunities out there. advantage of this global village. The most ambitious of the lot are eager to make their mark and their first million as newly minted entrepreneurs.
Gerald Bradshaw is a top US college admissions consultant with Bradshaw College Consulting.
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