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

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Knowing how to code can open up 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 both in and out of the tech industry. In this article, we'll review several types of coding jobs to consider and offer tips on what coding languages to learn to get the job you want.

Consider the below languages as a starting point. You'll likely want to learn additional languages as you continue growing throughout your career. Murtadha Al-Tameemi, a Meta software engineer with a decade of experience, remembers 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:

Note: Average median salary information is provided by the latest statistics from Indeed as of May 2024.

1. Web developer

Web developers write code to create and maintain websites. Depending on the type of developer, you may specialise 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.

Median UK salary: £31,791

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. Within this field, you might specialise in systems development, application development, or quality assurance testing.

Median UK salary: £46,996

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

3. IT technician

While knowing how to code is only sometimes 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.

Median UK salary: £26,819

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 visualise data to communicate your findings better.

Median UK salary: £51,120

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, troubleshooting, and monitoring servers, networks, and security. 

Median UK salary: £33,172

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.

Median UK salary: £55,991

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

7. IT security analyst

As an IT security analyst, it's your job to protect your company's networks from unauthorised access and respond to security breaches when they do happen. A foundational understanding of programming empowers you to automate some everyday security tasks.

Median UK salary: £49,029

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

8. User experience (UX) designer

UX designers help ensure that 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.

Median UK salary: £45,403

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: Apple uses this language to create many products, including iOS, tvOS, and macOS applications. It was built to be easy and efficient, with a simple syntax you can understand even without 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, has a helpful community, and was made with non-programmers in mind, making it a good starter language.

3. C: This general-purpose coding language is a good foundation. You might use it 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 Python. It has 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. Its concise, intuitive syntax and structure make 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. 

One option for gaining experience is to pursue freelance coding jobs. Many organisations 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 can be an effective way to build your portfolio and CV. 

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and individuals who need help with coding are examples of businesses that might hire you as a freelance coder.

Build a programming portfolio. 

Portfolios are everything for coders. The 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 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 explaining different parts of it.

Enhance your CV.

The portfolio is essential, but you still need a strong CV. 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 CV 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.

Potential employers may ask you to complete a technical interview during the interview 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.

Can you get a coding job without a degree? 

It's entirely possible to get a coding job without a degree. With the proper support and training, you can launch a career in coding, and coding-related jobs are increasingly in demand. Additionally, basic coding is an in-demand skill even for non-tech employment, according to HR Forecast [1]

Although you can get a degree if you want to, you don’t need one to enter this field. Many jobs ask potential candidates to pass technical assessments before hiring them. You can master the skills you’ll need in various ways, including online courses, certifications, and bootcamps.


Next steps 

Build in-demand coding skills at your own pace with an online course from a top university. Learn Python from the University of Michigan, Java from Duke University, or C and C++ from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Article sources

  1. HR Forecast. “A Guide About Top IT Skills in 2022, https://hrforecast.com/ten-in-demand-it-skills-you-should-gain-in-2022/.” Accessed May 20, 2024.

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