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How to Become a Computer Programmer

Written by

Beatrice Harrison

Date

August 14, 2014

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Every computer needs programming – from simple start up and shut down operations to sophisticated games – to perform the desired actions to meet the needs of the user. Trained specialists write the instructions in the form of code so computers can operate; this is the job of a computer programmer.

What does a computer programmer do?

Computer programmers are professionals who write, test, resolve problems, and perform maintenance for computer programs and software. Programs are written according to precise specifications provided by systems analysts and computer software engineers. Programmers “code” the instructions in one of several programming languages, depending on the programs purpose. They may also be responsible for designing, creating, and testing scenarios to solve coding problems. Programmers may also be charged with expanding, modifying, or updating existing programs. Tools, such as computer-assisted software engineering (CASE), may be used to write specific areas of a program.

Computer programmers are usually quite familiar with several programming languages, and have may extensive knowledge of one or two. These specialists are often referred to by the language they specialize in, such as database, Java, or Web programmers, and may also be classified as applications or systems programmers.

What kind of training does a computer programmer need?

Many employers require a bachelor degrees in computer science, information systems, or mathematics, but a two-year degree or certification may be sufficient for some jobs. Others have completed specific courses in computer programming to complement a degree in another area. Click here for a list of online information systems degree programs.

For specific disciplines such as in scientific or engineering areas, employers usually prefer applicants who have a computer degree focused on that area. Some jobs require a graduate degree. Related computer programming training or experience and skills is also a favorable attribute to employers.

What are the prospects for a career in computer programming?

Jobs in computer programming are expected to decrease at a slow rate, declining 4% between 2006 to 2016. Even though employment is expected to decline, there will be many openings in computer programming jobs to replace programmers who transfer to another occupation or leave the work force.

Job prospects will be the most favorable for candidates with at least a bachelor degree and related work experience with a variety of training in programming languages. The best candidates will be constantly updating their knowledge and skills to stay competitive in the job market as technology advances.

How much do computer programmers make?

The median computer programmer salary is $68,000. The middle 50% earn between $51,400 and $87,900, with the highest 10% earning over $109,700.

Computer programmer careers are still plentiful, and are great for job seekers who enjoy developing and maintaining computer programs and using problem solving strategies to resolve issues. It is the perfect occupation for people who pay close attention to detail, have a lot of patience, and can work well under pressure.

Becoming a Computer Programmer Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Computer Programmer? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Beatrice Harrison

Educated at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Beatrice Harrison has extensive professional experience in career counseling, having helped a growing number of job seekers find fulfilling and meaningful careers in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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