Time for a Career Change? Here’s How to Break Into Programming



Everything you wanted to know about taking your first step towards a tech career.

Chances are, at some point in your career, you’ve wondered if the career you’ve chosen (or found yourself in) is the right one for you. If you’ve thought about a career change, don’t panic!


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It’s perfectly normal to change careers from time to time; in fact, people change jobs 12 times during their lifetime on average. It might be time to change careers, and a career in programming might be the ideal move for you.

break into programming

Decide If It’s Time for a Career Change

Before you change careers, there are some questions you should ask yourself.

Have You Lost Interest in Your Job or Career?

Are you bored? Dissatisfied? Ready to try something new? Jobs in tech are consistently listed as top jobs by U.S. News & World Report. Programming jobs offer numerous challenges to overcome and are full of opportunities to collaborate with colleagues to solve problems.

Is Your Career Outlook Poor?

Do you feel stuck in your current job? If you’re having trouble finding opportunities for upward mobility or career advancement, learning to code might provide you with those opportunities. Even if you stay within your company, coding skills are in high demand among employers. Programmers are always learning and developing their skills, too, which means they’re always creating new opportunities to advance their careers.

Are You Experiencing Burnout?

Maybe you’re not bored or stuck, but you’re simply burned out on your current career. If you find yourself calling in sick often, engaging in cynicism about your work or just trying to get through the day, a new career might be a good way to start fresh.

Do You Want to Increase Your Income Potential?

Earning a good living is important, and programming is an incredibly marketable skill set to have. Computer programming and similar jobs have very good earning potential, even in entry-level positions. Given that you can learn these skills quickly at a coding bootcamp, computer programming can give you tremendous bang for your buck.

Consider Your Options

Once you’ve decided to change to a tech career, it’s time to choose how you’re going to learn the skills you need. The following are some pros and cons between a coding bootcamp program and a college degree in computer science.

Time Commitment

If you choose to attend a program full time, you can expect a bachelor’s degree in computer science to take at least four years to complete. Coding bootcamps, on the other hand, tend to be short and focused. A full-time Java or .NET/C# coding bootcamp from The Software Guild lasts 12 weeks, while a part-time online version of the same bootcamp can be completed in as few as 10 months.

Skill Acquisition

A bachelor’s in computer science includes not just a broad level of training in several programming languages, but also an understanding of the history and theory of computer science. Coding bootcamps, meanwhile, are designed to teach you marketable skills quickly. In The Software Guild’s Java track, for example, you’ll learn the skills necessary to become a successful Java programmer. This includes soft skills like teamwork, communication and leadership, as well as job search skills like interview training and resumé writing.

break into programming

Opportunities and Salary

Whether you’re attending college or a coding bootcamp, learning a programming language can open up impressive opportunities for you. The median salary for a computer programmer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is around $80,000 per year, and computer-related occupations are poised to grow by 12 percent by 2024.


When considering price, you should compare total cost as well as available financial aid and scholarships. In general, the cost of a college degree is much higher than the tuition for a coding bootcamp. Think about how you’ll pay for your education and the return on investment you expect.

break into programming

Verified Results

Results matter. That’s why The Software Guild joined the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR): so that we could demonstrate our results as independently verifiable. In addition to our 92 percent graduation rate, we can also verify that 82 percent of our graduates are working in their chosen fields within 90 days of graduation.

Careers in Programming to Consider

Do you have an idea of what job you want in the tech world? We’ve covered the kinds of jobs you can get with a solid foundation of programming knowledge in a previous post, but it’s worth going over a few of them briefly here.

Software Developer

Software developers spend the bulk of their time writing applications for specific tasks. They design, create and test software, and they often collaborate with other tech workers and computer specialists on larger projects.

Software Engineer

Similar to a software developer, a software engineer works on software applications, designing and creating them. However, a software engineer applies the principles of engineering to software creation and works on complex software like operating systems, databases or networks.

Database Administrator

Database administrators work with company databases, ensuring they work properly and meet the needs of their businesses. Database administrators are frequently well-versed in cybersecurity measures, as databases are attractive targets for hackers.

Start Your Career Change

A coding bootcamp like The Software Guild can help you kick your career change into high gear. In our 12-week full-time program or our 10-month online program, you can learn everything you need to become a junior Java or .NET/C# developer from our master instructors. Apply today.

Interested in learning the in-demand skills required to become a developer? The Software Guild’s coding bootcamps help apprentices like you gain experience building full-stack applications from start to finish using .NET/C# or Java. With locations in Akron, Minneapolis and Louisville, we provide an intensive learning environment to teach you the hands-on skills required to begin a successful development career.

If you are ready to learn more, check out our guide to The Software Guild for an in-depth look at the curriculum, format, application process and everything else you need to know.

This article was originally published here on The Software Guild. 

Getting started in computer programming doesn’t have to be difficult. The Software Guild offers a 12-week full-time program or a 10-month online program as a part-time option, so you can learn Java or .NET/C# on a schedule that fits your life. Upon completion, you’ll be prepared for junior developer positions. They also offer an online bootcamp in mobile development. Watch the video below, or apply to The Software Guild today.


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