Computer Programming Degree

By Henry R. Steele - July 30, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As a computer programmer, you will write and test the code that allows a computer application or software program to function as intended. Computer programmers turn program designs that are created by software developers and engineers into instructions that the computer can follow. Programmers also need to test newly created programs and applications to make sure that they can produce the results that are expected.

What Is Computer Programming?

Computer programming is the process of developing and implementing computer and programming instructions that allow the computer to do certain tasks. These instructions drive computer programs and assist the computer to operate properly and to do what it is intended to do. Languages that are used to program computers are complex and are not understood by the layman. Computer programs are becoming more important than ever as Internet technology continues to expand and electronic devices take over bigger parts of our lives.

Opportunity

As technology becomes more advanced and is more part of our lives and society, the demand for all types of computer and technical professionals is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports employment for computer and information technology occupations will grow by 13% through 2016, which is faster than average. In all, it is estimated that these professions with see an increase of 557,000 new jobs in this time period. Computer programming professionals with a master’s degree should see even more demand.

Career Path

The most common profession for a professional with a computer programming degree is computer programmer. As of 2017, there were 294,900 computer programmers in the US in the following occupations:

  • Computer systems design and related services: 38%
  • Finance and insurance: 7%
  • Software publishers: 7%
  • Manufacturing: 5%
  • Self employed: 5%

While technology professionals related to computers and the Internet are on the rise overall, it is likely that the job demand for computer programmers in the United States will decline by up to 7% in the next decade. This is because computer programming can generally be done anywhere, so many of these jobs are being done overseas where costs are lower.

Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary for computer programmers is $82,200, with the top 10% earning more than $132,000 per year. Salaries in various industries are as follows:

  • Software publishers: $97,300
  • Finance and insurance: $88,300
  • Manufacturing: $81,700
  • Computer systems design and related services: $81,200

If you want to find the best computer programming and software development jobs in the US, these are the cities to consider:

  • San Jose CA
  • Huntsville AL
  • Seattle WA
  • Lexington Park MD
  • Chapel Hill NC
  • Raleigh NC
  • Washington DC
  • Boulder CO
  • Austin TX
  • San Francisco CA

Online Degree Programs

University of Florida Online

A major advantage of getting a computer programming degree today is that you can get your degree online and possibly not visit a college campus. For example, you can earn an online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Programming from the University of Florida. This program is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and it encourages each student to learn about the theoretical foundations of computation and information that are so important to information technology today.

In addition to learning computer programming and computer science, students in this bachelor’s degree program also will get a strong liberal arts education with classes in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences.

Bachelor’s Degree

For students who want to enjoy a productive career as a computer programmer and software developer, the best choice to get started is to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or a related degree. Western Governor University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Software Development that can enhance your earning potential as well as opportunities for advancement in your organization. This bachelor’s degree program provides each student with a good foundation in computer programming, web development and the development of computer applications. Students also will earn several valuable technical certifications during the program from CIW and CompTIA that will boost your hiring potential. You can choose a concentration in Java or C#, with the following required courses:

  • Critical Thinking and Logic
  • Introduction to IT
  • IT Foundations
  • IT Applications
  • Web Development Foundations
  • Web Development Applications

Master’s Degree

If you want to move into higher level computer science and computer programming positions, earning your master’s degree in computer science and computer programming is the logical choice. Today you can earn a master’s degree online in computer science and never leave your home. One option worthy of consideration is the Master of Science in Computer Science from Georgia Tech, who is working with Udacity and AT&T to provide an accredited degree program that you can learn in a ‘massive online’ format that costs you a fraction of the normal price of a master’s degree.

Admission Requirements

All universities have different requirements for admission. For a master’s degree program in computer programming, you may have these types of requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree in computer science
  • College transcripts
  • Three recommendations
  • 0 or higher GPA
  • Current resume
  • Writing samples
  • GRE scores may be required

Curriculum

Each university and program will have its own computer programming degree courses. The master of science in computer science program at Georgia Tech has the following courses required:

  • Introduction to Operating Systems
  • Introduction to Information Security
  • Data and Visual Analytics
  • Computer Networks
  • Network Security
  • High Performance Computer Architecture
  • Embedded Systems Optimization
  • Software Development Process
  • Software Analysis and Test

Financial Assistance

There is great demand for computer science professionals in all industries in America today. To help you earn a degree in this field, you can find scholarships and grants to assist you with the costs:

  • AACE International Competitive Scholarships
  • ExCel Computing Scholarships
  • Cybercorps Scholarship for Service Program
  • Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship
  • Sarder Scholarship
  • Smart Scholarship
  • AFCEA Cybersecurity Scholarship
  • Electronic Document Systems Foundation Scholarship
  • Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
  • EDSF Board of Directors Scholarship
  • Ford Motor Company Tribal Scholarship
  • Catching the Dream Scholarship
  • ESA Foundation Scholarship
  • Dell Computer Corporation Scholarship
  • National Security Agency Mathematics and Computer Science Student Scholarship
  • Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship

Certifications

Some of the best certifications that you can earn in the computer science and programming fields are:

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
  • Security+
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • Project Management Professional
  • Microsoft Certified Professional Developer

Associations

Students and professionals who desire a better career in computer programming and computer science may want to belong to the following associations and groups:

  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Computing Research Association
  • Electric Power Research Institute
  • IEEE Computer Society
  • Association for Women in Computing

Earning your bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer programming is a smart move for your future, as you can earn a good salary and have a lot of job demand in many computer science-related positions for years to come.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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