In the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and even globally, demand for programmers is increasing at a rate faster than the world can produce them. As the technology age continues to advance, this is a trend that is unlikely to reverse or even slow down anytime soon. Which is why, for those lucky enough to have chosen a career in programming, the future is bright and looks to get brighter – here’s how.

1. Job Openings

The information technology job field is exhibiting a trend that runs contrary to the still tight global employment trends, especially in Europe and the United States. Whereas the overall job market is challenging due to high unemployment, the number of original jobs for developers is growing.

In both the EU and the US, demand for programmers surpasses the number of newly qualified IT workers. In the EU alone, there were a staggering 700,000 unfilled technology jobs last year. The number of tech jobs grew 3% from the year before, but the number of people looking for jobs who were qualified to fill these positions fell and continues to shrink.

In the US, this job-to-worker gap is even more impressive. In information technology, jobs are growing at twice the national average. Currently, 60% of all STEM-related jobs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) are in computer science, but only 2% of students graduating in STEM fields actually study computer science.

Programming JobsImage source: code.org

Surprisingly, without major educational changes, this trend is not expected to reverse anytime soon, and by 2020 it is estimated there will be 1 million more jobs than students.

Programming JobsImage source: code.org

But what does this mean? To look at it from a basic economics perspective, demand is outpacing supply. There are more and more jobs (ie, demand for programmers) opening up and being created than there are qualified workers to fill those jobs (supply). And when demand increases but supply remains unchanged or decreases, a shortage results and the prices for said supply will rise. Which brings us to reason number 2 that things are looking good for programmers.

2. Higher-than-average salaries

Exposure to computer science leads to some of the best paying jobs in the world (www.code.org/stats). In the UK, an impressive 90% of job offerings listing Ruby on Rails as a requirement offer yearly salaries above the national UK average (excluding London) of £40k ($64.3k). And one out of ten of those jobs offers a salary upwards of £75k ($120.7k) a year.

Programming Salaries

3-month moving average for salaries quoted in permanent IT jobs citing Ruby on Rails across the London region.

Image source: itjobswatch.co.uk

In the US, once again, the trend is no different. Entry-level jobs for students graduating with degrees in computer science averaged salaries of $62k/year, while those in math and science averaged $44k, and the humanities a significantly lower $38k.

Programming SalariesAverage starting salaries in the US by degree/major for the Class of 2014.

Image source: blogs.wsj.com

Due to the incorporation of big data, software optimization and an increasing reliance on technology in the basic structure and operations of more and more industries, demand for programmers and those specializing in computer science has grown rapidly over the last decade. Based on studies predicting the next decade and beyond, this shortage of qualified developers will continue to grow, as will, most likely, the increase in salaries for these highly-coveted, skilled individuals. Which is why being a programmer is an excellent career choice, both for right now and in the future.