Computer programs and software applications drive a large portion of business, commerce and social interaction in today's tech-heavy world. Training in computer programming can help you land one of the tens of thousands of emerging positions in the software industry.
Earning bachelor's degrees in computer programming
Computer programmers typically earn degrees in information systems, mathematics or computer science. Here are some subjects you can expect:
- Database management systems
- Enterprise software architecture
- Human-computer interaction
- Information systems security
- Object-oriented data structures and algorithms
Bachelor's degrees in computer programming cover advanced mathematics, probability and statistics. Undergraduate general education classes in the humanities and the social sciences can build important skills for communication and collaboration in the workplace. If you plan to work in corporate enterprise environments, it's beneficial to study business, accounting and management information systems alongside your degree requirements.
Computer programming job outlook
With training in computer programming, you can seek a variety of job roles in the IT market. Most positions require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some coding jobs are available to professionals with two-year degrees and job experience. Programmers write code and script to create programs, often following specifications from software developers. Programmers may help developers analyze user needs and design software to meet those needs.
Computer programmers earned a median yearly wage of $71,380 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This field is expected to grow by 12 percent, which is about as fast as average.
Application and system software developers saw median annual salaries of $90,530 in 2010. The BLS projects 2010-2020 employment growth of 30 percent, which is much faster than the U.S. average and should create nearly 300,000 jobs. Developers often work for computer systems design services firms or software publishers, and long hours are common in the profession.
Beyond bachelor's degrees in computer programming
Programmers aiming to join the managerial staff of an enterprise usually take post-graduate work in business or project management. Those who wish to continue a pure tech path might pursue a master's degree in systems administration or database architecture.
Some students earn their computer programming degrees online, allowing them to gain skills in the field without the time and travel commitments of enrollment in a brick-and-mortar university. Web-based studies can help working professionals maintain their current responsibilities while continuing their education.