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Computer Programmer

Computer programmers create the instructions that tell computers what to do. They write, test, and maintain programs, and also conceive, design, and test logical, computer-based problem-solving structures. The specific roles of programmers vary as widely as the programs themselves. However, they are usually grouped into two categories: applications programmers and systems programmers. Applications programmers write programs that perform a specific function, or revise existing packages software. Systems programmers focus on an entire computer system, creating programs that control how the network, workstations, and central processing unit of the system handle their various tasks. In some smaller organizations, programmer-analysts may fill the roles of both applications programmer and systems programmer.

Computer Programming Software Development

Job Skills

Computer programmers should be logical, detail-oriented thinkers. They need to possess patience, persistence, the ability to work under pressure, ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. They should be familiar with abstract concepts and technical analysis, and should be comfortable communicating with other team members and with users.

Income

In 2002, computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $60,290. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $35,080, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $96,860. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of computer programmers:

  • Professional/commercial equipment and supplies wholesalers - $70,440
  • Software publishers - 66,870
  • Computer systems design and related services - 65,640
  • Management of companies and enterprises - 59,850
  • Data processing, hosting, and related services - 59,300

Training and Education

Because of the growing pool of qualified applicants, the educational standards for computer programmers have been rising. Employers usually require bachelor's degrees in computer or information science, mathematics, engineering, or the physical sciences, although certain positions may only require a 2-year degree or certificate. Associate degrees offered by community colleges and technical institutes are an increasingly popular option. Some computer programmers who are college graduates and wish to change careers or advance in their current careers may choose to return to a 2-year program for additional training. It is important for computer programmers to be familiar with traditional languages. However, employers are increasingly seeking candidates with knowledge of C++ and Java, as well as fourth- and fifth-generation languages that involve graphic user interface and systems programming.

Employment

In 2002, computer programmers held about 499,000 jobs. The largest numbers of jobs are found in computer systems design and related services and in software publishers, and large numbers can also be found in management of companies and enterprises, telecommunications companies, manufacturers of computer and electronic equipment, financial institutions, insurance carriers, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of computer programmers is expected to increase about as fast as the average. Data processing service firms, software houses, and computer consulting businesses will generate the most demand. Changing technology will create jobs for computer programmers because businesses will need to convert to new computer languages and systems. Employers will look for candidates who can work with client/server, Web-based, and wireless environments, and who have strong object-oriented programming capabilities.

Directory of Computer Programming Schools

Computer Programmer Training

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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
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            • Accelerated Programs
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
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            UEI College , San Marcos
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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            • Accredited
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            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
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            Platt College , Anaheim
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Transferable Credits