8 Types of Coding Jobs (+ Tips to Get Hired)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Knowing how to code can open opportunities in various industries. Learn more about possible coding jobs to consider.

[Featured Image] A programmer wearing a plaid shirt, glasses, and headphones sits at a desk with a laptop and an external monitor with code running down the screen.

Coding ranks among the most in-demand job skills. If you know how to code, you could succeed in a range of jobs in and out of the tech industry. In this article, we'll review several coding jobs to consider and offer tips on what coding languages to learn to get the job you want.

Murtadha Al-Tameemi, a Meta software engineer with a decade of experience, remembers a time when he frequently chose the comfort of frameworks he already knew over trying something different. "I learned that was holding me back from growing and learning," he says. "Now I try to go out of my way to keep up with new technologies in my field and adopt the newest stuff even if it comes at the expense of slowing me down while I have to learn."


8 coding jobs + what language to learn

The prevalence of technology means that familiarity with coding can help across many jobs and industries. Here are a few coding jobs to consider:

* All salary data is sourced from Glassdoor as of September 2023

1. Web developer

Web developers write code to create and maintain websites. Depending on the type of developer, you may specialize in front-end (the parts of a site a user interacts with), back-end (the behind-the-scenes part), or full-stack (the front and back end) development.

Average salary: $67,000 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: HTML, PHP, or JavaScript for front-end; Python, Java, or Ruby for back-end

2. Software engineer

Software engineers build software applications, such as computer games, web or mobile applications, and network control systems. You might specialize in systems development, application development, or quality assurance testing within this field.

Average salary: $98,682 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: Python, Java, C++

3. Information technology (IT) technician

While knowing how to code isn't always required to get a job in IT, it can certainly help. IT technicians write code to automate solutions to common IT problems and administrative tasks.

Average salary: $52,289 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: Python

4. Data scientist

Data scientists are in demand across various industries for their skills in leveraging data to help drive business decisions. In this role, you'll use programming languages to identify patterns and trends in data, build algorithms and models, and visualize data to communicate your findings better.

Average salary: $91,203 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: SQL, Python, R

5. Systems administrator

Systems administrators, sometimes called sysadmins, ensure a company's computer systems are functional and efficient. This typically involves configuring, upgrading, and troubleshooting servers and networks and monitoring security. 

Average salary: $72,988 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: Python, Perl, Bash, PowerShell

6. Product manager

Product managers oversee the vision, business strategy, and development of specific products. As a product manager developing digital products, coding experience can help facilitate better team communication and help you troubleshoot technical issues as they arise.

Average salary: $93,603 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: JavaScript, Python, SQL

7. Cybersecurity analyst

As a cybersecurity analyst, it's your job to protect your company's networks from unauthorized access and respond to security breaches when they happen. A foundational understanding of programming allows you to automate some everyday security tasks.

Average Canadian salary: $75,277 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: JavaScript, Python, C, C++

8. User experience (UX) designer

UX designers help ensure digital products are usable, accessible, and enjoyable by designing with the end user in mind. While you don't have to know how to code to be a UX designer, having this skill may make you a better collaborative partner with the engineers you work with.

Average salary: $87,998 CAD

Best coding language(s) to learn: HTML, CSS, JavaScript

5 coding languages for beginners

If you're new to coding, start with one of these programming languages:

1. Swift: This language is used to create many Apple products, including iOS, tvOS, and macOS applications. It was built to be easy and efficient, with a simple syntax that you'll be able to understand even without any coding experience.

2. JavaScript: This is another prevalent language used to create content on the internet, and front-end developers are particularly fond of it. It's easy to learn because it's so widespread with a helpful community, and it's made with non-programmers in mind, making it a good starter language.

3. C: This general-purpose coding language is a good foundation, and it's commonly used to build applications ranging from Unix to Windows to Photoshop. It has a simple 32-word syntax with easily understood data structures.

4. Python: Data scientists, AI/machine learning professionals, web developers, and embedded application developers often prefer using Python. It's got plenty of white space and numerous libraries that help make this high-level, general-purpose language easy to learn.

5. Java: This general-purpose, object-oriented language is popular with back-end developers and anyone creating security applications. It has a concise, intuitive syntax and structure that makes learning easy.


Tips for getting a coding job

As you start looking for your next coding job, keep these tips in mind: 

Gain experience through freelancing. 

Many organizations need computer programmers and coders to solve their problems, and they're sometimes willing to hire someone with less experience. 

Freelancers often take jobs that don't require full-time employees but are still necessary. These temporary positions are great to help build your portfolio and resume. 

Examples of businesses that might hire you as a freelance coder include entrepreneurs, small businesses, and individuals needing help with coding.

Build a programming portfolio. 

For coders, portfolios are everything. The old adage for writers, "Show, don't tell," also applies to coders. A well-rounded portfolio can be a real asset when looking for coding jobs. 

To create one, you'll need some projects to showcase. If you went through a bootcamp or completed certifications, you should have some projects to use. Go through your projects, ensure your code is efficient and readable, and add comments to explain different parts.

Enhance your resume.

The portfolio is essential, but you still need a strong resume. We've got a few tips to help get you started with creating it:

  • Include all programming languages you're proficient in and your level.

  • List relevant workplace skills, including the ability to think analytically.

  • Tailor your resume to the coding job you're applying for by matching your experience with the job description.

  • Demonstrate the impact you made in past roles using metrics when possible.

Prepare for a technical interview.

You may need to complete a technical interview during the screening and hiring process for many coding jobs. These interviews often include questions about your technical skills and a live coding test. Ask the recruiter what you should expect from the interview process, and if that consists of a technical interview, spend some time reviewing common technical interview questions.

Next steps 

You can sharpen your coding skills at your own pace with a beginner-friendly online course from a top university. For example, you can earn a certificate for your resume with the Python for Everyone Specialization from the University of Michigan. Or, learn C and C++ from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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