Computer Programming Course
Computer programmers are responsible for writing code to create software programs for the employer or client. As a computer programmer, you would work closely with software developers to ensure that computers can understand the new program. To do this, you need to write it in a language that the computer can understand and follow. Before a software program is released to the public or a client, you must be certain there are no issues with the program that would affect its quality. It is your responsibility to identify any bugs in the software program and remove them.
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As a computer programmer, you will work with a variety of computer languages, such as Java and C++. The more programming languages you learn, the more valuable you will be to a potential employer. A broad range of programming languages also allows you to set higher rates if you decide to become self-employed. You will have the most success as a computer programmer if you stay current with the latest developments and offer them to your employer or customers. An example of this is SaaS, or Software as a Service, which is software developed through the Internet. As society becomes increasingly connected through the Internet, such a skill is a valuable one to possess.
Educational Requirements Needed to Become a Computer Programmer
There are several different levels of education available to you if you wish to become a computer programmer. These include an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and completing specific computer language certification programs. With a starting salary of over $40,000 a year at only the two-year college degree level, computer programming can be a lucrative career.
Most community and technical colleges offer students the opportunity to earn an Associate in Computer Science. You may also be able to earn an associate's degree in information technology (IT). At this educational level, you can expect to complete courses in introductory programming, desktop publishing, data structure and web-based publishing. If you plan to enter the job market directly after earning your associate degree, look for a program that offers you the opportunity to complete an internship. This experience will be valuable career training that you can put to use right away.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that two-thirds of computer programmers held a bachelor's degree or higher in 2010. In a bachelor or master's degree program, you will focus on information systems, engineering, math, database management and other higher-level computer courses. You should also plan to take a few courses in business communication skills. As with an associate degree, an internship at the end of your formal studies is an important part of your overall learning experience.
Once you have obtained a college degree in computer programming, you can set yourself apart from other job applicants by becoming certified in specific computer languages. There are national certification programs available for C++, XML, Java and other major computer programming languages.
Job and Salary Outlook for Computer Programmers
From now until 2020, the annual projected job growth for all computer programmers is 12 percent. One thing that threatens the growth of this career field is outsourcing programming work to countries where labor is cheaper. To counteract this trend, plan to make yourself as valuable as possible with your educational and work credentials.
Computer programmers with all levels of education and experience earned an average annual salary of slightly more than $70,000 in 2010, according to the BLS. The high and low ends of the salary range were reported at $40,000 and more than $115,000, respectively.