7 Types of Development Careers to Pursue

Are you looking to make a real difference in the world? Well, the field of development offers a vast range of opportunities for those who want to make a positive impact. With new technologies and methods emerging all the time, the possibilities are endless. You can work with charities, governments, international organizations and private companies to help build a better world. And development projects come in all shapes and sizes. You might find yourself working with local communities on small-scale initiatives or helping large organizations manage complex global health programs. In either case, you’ll be part of something bigger: developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

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That’s why in this article, we’ll break down some of the most popular career paths within development so you can get a better sense of what’s out there. And don’t worry, we’ll provide you with some insider information and statistics to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in!

1. Web Development

computer code

Web development is a form of software engineering that deals with the creation, maintenance and optimization of websites. Web developers are responsible for coding and writing web applications, troubleshooting errors, designing layouts and visuals, testing how users interact with websites and databases, ensuring performance levels, understanding user experience design principles and more.

Website development entails utilizing different programming languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build the front-end and Python, Ruby, and PHP for the back-end. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of web developers is projected to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Specific careers you might be able to land in this career category include:

  • Frontend Developer: A frontend developer works on the visual part of a website or application, such as page layout, colors and fonts, and user interface elements like menus, buttons, and sliders. Frontend developers use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create web pages that are responsive and look good on all devices.
  • Backend Developer: A backend developer builds the server-side of a website or application, which includes things like databases and APIs. They work with the front-end developers to ensure the application is working correctly, and use languages like Java, Python and PHP.
  • Full-stack Developer: A full-stack developer is an expert in both frontend and backend development, creating comprehensive websites or applications that work seamlessly. By understanding visual design principles paired with coding capabilities, they bridge the gap between designers and developers to create visually transformative digital experiences.

2. Data Science

close up image of a motherboard

Data science is an interdisciplinary field that combines statistics, computer science, and software engineering to collect, analyze, and interpret data. Data scientists are responsible for creating systems to store and process large amounts of data in order to make predictions or uncover insights. This could include anything from predicting customer behavior or trends in the stock market, to informing decisions on public policy or healthcare initiatives.

Data scientists often work with a variety of programming languages (such as Python, R, and SQL) to develop algorithms, build models, and extract insights from data. Employers are increasingly seeking data scientists with experience in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Again, according to the BLS, employment of data scientists is projected to grow 36% from 2021 to 2031.

If you hope to pursue this career path, some potential job opportunities may include:

  • Data Analyst: A data analyst collects and organizes large amounts of data and then uses it to uncover insights or answer questions. They often create reports to share their findings with others within a company or organization.
  • Data Engineer: Crafting the systems and pipelines needed to collect, handle, and evaluate copious amounts of data is the work of a data engineer. They partner with data scientists in order to guarantee that their models are dependable and precise.
  • Machine Learning Engineer: A machine learning engineer develops algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data. They often use artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to create powerful models.
  • Data Architect: Data architects are highly skilled professionals who create a database’s architecture, including how data is stored and used. Their expertise guarantees that large amounts of information can be managed safely and efficiently.

3. Mobile Development

a mobile phone and ear buds sitting on a white surface

Mobile development is the process of constructing applications for mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. With more people increasingly relying on their mobile devices to access the internet, this fast-growing field has become even more important. Developers can choose between two main paths: iOS or Android; Swift and Objective-C are used by iOS programmers while Java and Kotlin cater to those working with Android platforms.

A report conducted by Data.ai forecasts that global consumer spending on apps would reach an astonishing $157 billion in 2022 – a remarkable testament to how crucial it is for businesses today to invest in creating software specifically tailored towards these devices.

Several potential job opportunities in this field to choose from include:

  • iOS Developer: Designing and crafting apps for Apple products, such as iPhones or iPads, is the cornerstone responsibility of an iOS developer. To make their works user-friendly yet secure, they rely on languages like Swift or Objective-C.
  • Android Developer: An Android developer is responsible for coding apps that run on Android devices, such as phones and tablets. They use languages like Java or Kotlin to create apps that are both user friendly and secure.

4. Agile Development

a web development professional  typing on a computer

Agile development is a go-to method of software production that focuses on collaboration and adaptability. Industry leaders strongly value the Agile manifesto, which lauds customer communication, individuals’ efforts, and working software over tools or processes. 

Many businesses have opted to use Scrum – an agile structure specifically designed for managing projects – when creating their own applications. This tactic has become particularly popular within the tech industry due to its effectiveness in producing high quality outcomes in shorter timeframes.

Scrum is an Agile framework that’s widely used in the software development industry. It’s based on the principles of transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Scrum teams are made up of a product owner, a Scrum master, and a development team. Together, they plan, execute, and deliver working software in sprints, which are typically two to four weeks long.

Careers that fall under the Agile umbrella include:

  • Scrum Master: A Scrum master serves as a facilitator and mentor to the team, ensuring that projects are completed on time. They ensure that meetings run smoothly, assist with project backlogs, and remove any obstacles preventing progress.
  • Product Owner: The product owner is responsible for setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and managing the product backlog. They work closely with the development team to strategize and ensure that every aspect of their projects are in line with customer needs.

5. Game Development

an African American man holding video game controllers and sitting on a couch

Game development is the process of creating video games and other interactive media. It’s a complex field that requires knowledge in a variety of areas, such as coding, design, art, writing, music, and sound. According to the BLS, employment of game developers (which falls under the general software developer/quality assurance category there) is projected to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this industry, some potential opportunities may include:

  • Game Designer: A game designer is responsible for creating the concept and vision of a game. They design levels, mechanics, and features that can make a game fun and exciting.
  • Programmer: A programmer writes code to bring the design of a game to life. They use languages like C++ and Java to program the game mechanics, such as character movement and enemy behaviors.
  • Artist: An artist is responsible for creating the visuals of a game, such as characters, environments, and UI/UX elements. They may use programs like Photoshop or 3D modeling software to create assets for the game. 
  • Sound Designer: A sound designer is responsible for creating the sounds and music of a game. They use audio recording equipment and software to create sound effects, background music, and voice-overs.
  • QA Tester: A QA tester is responsible for testing the game to ensure it’s free of bugs or other issues. They play the game multiple times and record any issues they find in order to ensure the game runs smoothly and can be downloaded by users.

6. Security Development

cctv security camera

Security development is the process of protecting software and networks from malicious attacks. It includes tasks like writing secure code, researching vulnerabilities, and testing for security flaws. Security developers are in high demand, as cyber threats continue to increase and organizations need to ensure their systems are protected from data breaches.

This career field has a variety of opportunities, including:

  • Security Engineer: Security engineers are essential in the development of secure systems and networks. Through a combination of methods, they help protect applications, databases, and other areas from destruction due to malicious attackers. With their expertise, businesses can rest assured that their digital assets are safe and sound for years to come.
  • Penetration Tester: They are responsible for taking the initiative to scan networks and applications in order to detect any potential vulnerabilities. Utilizing specialized techniques and tools, they can pinpoint security flaws and provide solutions on how they can be addressed.
  • Security Analyst: A security analyst is responsible for analyzing system logs and monitoring network activity in order to detect any suspicious behavior. They investigate cyber incidents, review policies, and provide reports on their findings.
  • Security Architect: A security architect is responsible for designing secure systems from the ground up. They create secure architectures and frameworks that meet organizational security goals.

7. CRM Development

CRM messenger

As companies seek to make customer interaction more streamlined and efficient, the demand for CRM developers has skyrocketed. The development process of this dynamic software involves crafting user interfaces, coding, and testing usability – all essential components in creating a successful system.

CRM development is a vast field, and here are some potential roles you may find yourself in:

  • CRM Software Developer: A software developer is responsible for creating the code and logic of a CRM system. They use languages like JavaScript, Python, and PHP to write the code that powers the application.
  • UX/UI Designer: A UX/UI designer is responsible for designing user interfaces and experiences for a CRM system. They create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to ensure the system is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Systems Analyst: A systems analyst is responsible for analyzing user requirements and designing solutions that meet those needs. They review existing processes and recommend changes that can improve efficiency.
  • Database Administrator: A database administrator is responsible for setting up databases and ensuring they are secure, stable, and optimized for performance. They create backup plans, troubleshoot problems, and monitor database usage.
  • Business Analyst: A business analyst is responsible for understanding customer needs and translating them into systems requirements. They analyze user data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement as well.

Which Development Career is Right for You?

The field of development offers a wide range of career opportunities for those with an interest in making a positive impact on the world. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, there is a career path that will suit your skills and passions. 

Consider which type of development career would be the best fit for you and start exploring your options. With the right training and experience, you can become a valuable asset to any team.  Good luck!