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Computer Programming

Some people consider themselves more artistic and creative while others see themselves as quantitative and logical. If you feel as if you straddle both sides, there is a career you should seriously consider. In computer programming you have opportunities to use both sides of the brain. It is a field that requires extensive technical knowledge in addition to outside-the-box thinking.

As a programmer, you basically write detailed instructions for computers. Video games, office software, financial reports, and applications all rely on programs. Your instructions provide functionality so that users can check email, write documents, play games, and create spreadsheets. You truly are an artist because you create something from nothing. However, you are also a scientist of sorts because your "something" must work properly according to very specific rules.

Although a good many programmers lack any type of formal training, the U.S. Department of Labor is quick to point out that certification in a programming language will certainly improve your chances of employment. Because there are so many qualified programmers, you'll need to distinguish yourself with qualifications and credentials. HTML, C++ Basic, and other languages are a great place to start, but they are by no means the only languages out there.

While you can certainly work for a company, many programmers work freelance. As such, you can work from anywhere that you have a computer and Internet connection. Some programmers actually never see their clients face-to-face. And you can accept or reject whatever projects you choose. Median salary was $65,000 in 2006.

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