If you’re learning how to code in C++, the odds are you aren’t doing it for a hobby. You want to build a career around your knowledge of the language, which leads to the ever-important question: “What jobs can I get knowing C++?”
The versatility of C++ means that it’s used in a variety of sectors. As a result, job opportunities are rife as long as you know where to look for them. In this article, we examine what makes C++ so desirable in many industries and the jobs you can get if you know the language.
What Makes C++ So Useful?
C++ —also sometimes referred to as CPP— is one of the most used programming languages in the world. Created in 1983, C++ began life as an extension of C. However, its ability to fit into most programming methods allows C++ to be used for extremely diverse applications, including the development of databases, video games, and operating systems.
There are several reasons why learning C++ is useful on a general level:
- The language’s scalability makes it ideal for programming projects of all sizes. Something that starts as a small project can be easily scaled up in C++.
- C++ experiences wide usage in many industries, including health care, government, gaming, software development, and data science. If an industry leverages modern technology, the odds are high that this technology has a C++ component.
- As one of the world’s oldest programming languages, C++ has an extensive resource library and an extremely large community. Novice coders can typically find support and solutions online with little effort.
- Because C++ is a low-level language, it’s often used when developing cross-platform applications.
- C++ is a foundational language, which means that many modern programming languages are based on it. Java is the most famous example. Learning C++ gives you a grounding in programming principles that applies to almost any other language you learn in the future.
What Jobs Can I Get Knowing C++?
The versatility of C++ means that you have many career paths open to you once you’ve learned the basics of the language. The following is a selection of jobs you may be able to get with C++, though some require further knowledge of other subjects.
If you have a flair for visual design, you may consider a career as an animator. These professionals are in great demand in the entertainment industry, with their skills being required for movies, videos, and video games.
As an animator, you’ll need to develop an extensive knowledge of animation software, with many of these platforms grounded in C++. Furthermore, you’ll often work alongside other creative professionals, such as developers, to design animation sequences underpinned by C++ code. This is particularly the case in the video games industry, which heavily relies on C++ and uses development engines created with the language.
Though C++ isn’t essential for a career as an animator, a working knowledge of the language broadens your scope in terms of the types of animating jobs you can take on.
Digital Electric Engineer
Understanding electronics may not be enough for a career as a digital electric engineer in the modern world. Having a strong C++ understanding is often essential because it’s the language most often used for the electronic devices you’ll work on.
Knowing C++ means you’ll have a better understanding of device firmware and software. This allows you to make tweaks, create fixes, and even customize devices for specific purposes. Many companies looking for electrical engineers like to see some experience in C++ for these reasons.
Perhaps the most obvious career to consider when asking, “What jobs can I get knowing C++,” programmers code directly in their language of choice. There are plenty of open positions for a C++ junior software developer. Junior programmers work on debugging, reviewing code, completing small coding jobs within large projects, and creating technical documentation.
After about four years as a junior programmer, you’ll be in a position to move to the senior level. By this point, you’ll have developed your C++ skills to the point where you can build more complex applications. Senior programmers are also responsible for mentoring junior programmers.
Those with sales skills may find themselves interacting directly with clients, especially when selling in-house applications or when ensuring a company can fulfill client requirements.
Of course, programming careers exist for all coding languages. But even if your career takes you away from C++, having a strong knowledge of the language allows you to quickly pick up any other languages you’re required to learn.
Hedge Fund System Coding
Modern hedge funds leverage high-speed trading systems for their investing activities. Often, these funds require bespoke systems designed specifically for their needs.
Though trading systems can be built using several languages, C++ is often preferred because of its flexibility and speed. As such, coders with strong knowledge of C++ may find that they can get niche job opportunities in the financial sector.
The appetite for C++ coders in this industry shouldn’t be understated. The highest paying jobs in this sector could easily allow a coder to earn over $600,000 a year through a combination of salary and bonuses. If you’re able to code complex C++ applications based on specific requirements, this career path is open to you.
When people think of web development, they typically assume that they need a working knowledge of HTML, PHP, and similar web-based languages. While that is the case, having a strong foundation in C++ can make you more desirable as a web developer.
That’s because C++ is often used in the creation of web-based applications. These applications function more like traditional software rather than webpages, which means developers often have to look beyond the traditional web-based languages.
C++ is useful for web applications because it offers complete control over functionality and reduces server loads. In other words, having people who can code in C++ helps companies save time and money, in addition to building more feature-rich web applications.
Real-Time Software Engineer
Real-time systems require efficiency in implementation because of their time-critical nature. A vehicle’s engine control system is a good example. If that system doesn’t work in real time, delayed signals may cause engine failure and internal damage, in addition to creating dangerous driving conditions.
Other real-time systems include medical devices, such as pacemakers, and the process controllers used on assembly lines.
These systems require software that is fast enough to operate in real time and capable of working closely with hardware. C++ provides what many of these devices need to do their jobs properly. As such, a grounding in C++ could open up career opportunities as a software engineer for real-time devices.
Video Game Development
The majority of video games are developed in C++. In fact, most major gaming engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine, are made using the language. C++ is preferred in the gaming industry because it’s flexible enough to allow developers to build physics systems, handle rendering, and process rapid inputs from players.
As a C++ developer, you create multiple job opportunities within the gaming sector. The most obvious is working as a programmer for a major development company. In this capacity, you’ll often be responsible for debugging, programming small portions of the games you work on, and testing.
However, knowing C++ also enables you to build your own game engines and titles. It gives you the knowledge needed to leverage video game engines for independent projects.
Software Development Manager
While senior programmers take their roles because they prefer the technical side of their work, software development managers gravitate toward business-based roles. Most people in this career have a strong understanding of C++ and likely worked as junior or senior developers before ascending to their management positions.
If you combine expertise in C++ with strong communication skills and an understanding of how your decisions impact projects from a business perspective, you may be suited to this role. Many software development managers supplement their C++ training with business degrees and courses so they can learn the additional skills needed for the role.
A World of Opportunity
There isn’t an easy answer to the question of “what jobs can I get knowing C++?”
Thankfully, the reason there isn’t an easy answer is that knowing C++ opens up a vast array of career opportunities. Of course, you can move into a career that requires direct coding, such as software engineering or video games development.
However, knowledge of C++ can also help you in other industries, such as web development and electrical engineering. There are even opportunities within the financial technology sector due to most hedge funds preferring to use systems coded in C++.
Even if you choose not to use your coding skills directly, learning C++ gives you foundational knowledge that you can apply elsewhere. For example, animators working with video game development companies can leverage their understanding of the language to help full-time developers solve complex problems.
Finally, knowing C++ gives you the perfect starting point for learning other languages. That makes it easier to transition onto career paths that require you to understand other types of code.