Online Computer Programming Degree Programs
Computer programming is much more than just a hot job of the moment. The modern world relies on well-crafted, user-friendly software, so a computer programming degree can offer a valuable set of job skills for life.
Duties of a computer programmer vary depending on the project, but common responsibilities include:
- Using computer languages such as Java, Perl and C++ to write software
- Building tools to help automate portions of the programming process
- Creating or utilizing code libraries to simplify the process of writing or editing software code
- Updating or expanding existing programs to align with shifting user demand
- Testing programs for bugs
A small percentage of computer programmers have broken into the industry without much formal education, but employers typically prefer to hire candidates who have graduated with at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related discipline.
Coursework in Computer Programming Degree Programs
While specific course and curriculum details vary by school, some topics students can expect to study include:
- Computer and application security
- Languages such as Python, C++ and C#
- Database programming and administration
- Basic signal processing
- Multiplatform application development
- Open-source operating systems
Computer programming degree programs start at the associate level, where fundamental concepts take center stage. Advanced education includes master's degrees in computer programming that can be individually tailored to suit each learner's chosen specialization.
Career Outlook for Computer Programming Professionals
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that most jobs in information technology are on the rise, and opportunities for computer programmers are no exception.
The IT field is expected to add 28,400 careers in computer programming nationwide between 2012 and 2022. That's an increase of eight percent, about as fast as the average for all careers. According to the BLS, computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $74,280 in 2012.
Computer programming careers are often accessible to applicants with bachelor's degrees, but managers hiring for more competitive positions may prefer candidates with additional education. Depending on their specialization, graduates might also find work as:
- Software developers, who earned a median annual salary of $93,350 in 2012
- Network and computer systems administrators, who earned a median annual salary of $72,560 in 2012
- Information security analysts, who earned a national median wage of $86,170 in 2012
"Computer Programmers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm
"Software Developers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm