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Are you interested in a career in tech, and you’re wondering, “What is computer programming?” In this article, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about this dynamic career path. Let’s explore job prospects, how to get into the field of computer programming and potential income for computer programmers.
What is Computer Programming?
Computer programming is a high-tech field that is growing in popularity. Programmers work on code to find and fix issues. They develop strategies for improving and streamlining code, and they use code to implement company initiatives.
While computer programmers come from different educational and professional backgrounds, all computer programmers must have knowledge of various programming languages.
The more popular programming languages today include C++, Java, Python and Go. Programmers should be familiar with several coding languages, especially this one.
What Does a Computer Programmer Do?
The primary task of computer programmers is to write code. Code provides instructions to a computer, written in a language that the computer can understand. Many programming languages exist, and computer programmers usually know several coding languages.
Computer programmers can also:
- Write and test code for programs and apps
- Update existing software programs to fix bugs or patch security vulnerabilities
- Test and troubleshoot existing code for errors
- Rewrite existing code to transfer it from one programming language to another
Computer Programmer Job Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% decline in the number of computer programmers from 2020 to 2030. However, the skills for computer programmers—especially coding—are different. -different languages-can also be translated into many other positions, most of which have better growth rates. For example, the BLS projects software developers to grow by 22% and information security analysts to grow by 33%.
The BLS lists the median annual salary for computer programmers as $93,000. Workers in this role often enjoy other corporate benefits such as an annual bonus and a 401K package.
Degree Options in Computer Programming
Regardless of the job and industry, many employers prefer candidates with college degrees. The field of computer programming is no different. Aspiring programmers can pursue various degrees in both computer programming and related fields. Below, we’ll look at just a few degree options for computer programmers.
Associate in Computer Programming
You can earn an associate degree in computer programming at a community college. Associate programs tend to be shorter than bachelor’s programs, lasting only two years versus four, respectively. They also have lower costs: Two-year programs cost an average of $3,900 per year, compared to $9,400 for four-year programs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Additionally, many community colleges offer programs that expose students to a variety of programming languages. Associate programs also include fewer non-technical courses.
Bachelor’s in Computer Programming
A bachelor’s degree in computer programming usually takes four years of full-time study to complete. This degree includes general education courses and programming-related courses, which prepare students to work as computer programmers.
Degrees that may qualify you to work in computer programming include information technology, computer science and information systems.
Master in Computer Programming
Most master’s programs require two or three more years of study after you complete your bachelor’s degree. Master’s students can usually study either part-time or full-time.
Master’s programs are a great option for those hoping to change careers or improve their skills as software engineers or computer programmers.
Computer Programming Bootcamp
If you want to pursue a job as a computer programmer without attending a college or university, your best bet is to attend a computer programming bootcamp.
A bootcamp gives you an immersive learning experience on a short schedule. Most bootcamps require four to 20 weeks of full-time study to complete, or up to 12 months for part-time students.
Bootcamps cost $11,900 on average, according to a report by RTI International. If you’re wondering how to pay for a coding bootcamp, consider scholarships and payment plans. In some cases, your employer may be willing to subsidize the cost of your bootcamp. Talk to your boss or HR manager for more information.
If you’re wondering if you can find a job after completing a bootcamp, the answer is probably yes. Most computer programming bootcamps have a high rate of job placement afterwards, according to a report by RTI International. Some bootcamps even offer job guarantees.
Most bootcamps structure their learning modules specifically to prepare students for their future careers. They can assign portfolio building projects, teach interview skills and provide networking opportunities.
Once you complete the computer programming bootcamp, you will be eligible for computer programming roles and similar job titles such as web developer, data analyst, technical support specialist and web designer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Computer Programming
What do I need to become a computer programmer?
Most employers prefer computer programming candidates to hold bachelor’s degrees, but you can qualify to work as a computer programmer by completing a coding bootcamp.
How much money does a computer programmer make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for computer programmers is $93,000. However, salaries may vary based on experience level, location and other factors.