The number of programming jobs in the U.S. will decline 8 percent by 2024, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
That seems like a surprising statistic in a world that’s being eaten by software. Programmers write and test code for applications on platforms ranging from PCs to mobile devices, suggesting the need for their particular skill-set should only increase over the next decade.
But the BLS suggests that the very perks of the job—including the ability to work remotely, according to one’s own schedule—could impact programmers within the United States. “Computer programming can be done from anywhere in the world, so companies sometimes hire programmers in countries where wages are lower,” read the note accompanying the data.
For those interested in programming as a career, despite that outsourcing challenge, the median pay in 2014 hit $77,550 per year ($37.28).
Not all tech jobs face such potentially dreary prospects. The BLS estimates that Web developers will experience a 27 percent increase in jobs through 2024, well ahead of computer and information research scientists (11 percent), computer network architects (9 percent), computer support specialists (12 percent), systems analysts (21 percent), and database administrators (11 percent).
Developers will also benefit from the rising need for software and apps, with the BLS estimating a 17 percent increase in related jobs over the next eight years. In its notes, the bureau makes no mention of international competition or outsourcing as a threat.
Although the unemployment rate among technology professionals ticked upward in November, to 3.4 percent, the tech industry has recently performed better on the jobs front than the broader economy, where the unemployment rate stands at 5.0 percent.