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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.

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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            B.S. in Computer Programming
            • Turn your love of technology into a career in a high-demand, fast-growing field! Why earn your tech degree from GCU?
            • Since 1949, GCU has been a premier private Christian university in Arizona, helping students find their purpose and achieve their potential.
            • Many graduate and undergraduate degree focuses such as: IT, cybersecurity, business analytics, IT management & more.
            • Acquire skills for entry-level positions, learn new skills with the goal to re-career or develop a portfolio of projects to strengthen job candidacy.
            • Courses are available online, evenings and on campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Talk to us to learn about financial aid, start dates and more!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Web Development Programming Diploma Program
            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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            • Accredited
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            Programming
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            Good for Working Adults
            • 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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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Software Development - Bachelor's Degree

            The goal of Coleman University is to provide a program of superior undergraduate and graduate education for IT professionals.

            Web Design and Development, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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            Web Design and Development (BS)
            • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
            • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
            • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2010.

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

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            Certificate - Computer Technician

            You can advance your career with a degree from Charter College Online. We offer several Associates and Bachelors degrees in the business, health care, accounting and legal fields. Our accelerated programs are designed to help you complete your degree as quickly as possible. We offer year-round classes and flexible scheduling - study anytime from anywhere. We help students get not only with the technical skills necessary for success, but also job search and placement assistance so you can find new opportunities after graduation.

            • Online Courses
            B.S. in Computer Information Systems / Computer Networking
            • 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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            • Online Courses
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            Computer Systems Technician (10-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Stockton
            • 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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            Associate of Science in Information Technology
            • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
            • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
            • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
            • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
            • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
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