Where do you want to work?
Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers hire workers with an associate’s degree. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages.Education
Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate’s degree. Most programmers get a degree in computer science or a related subject. Programmers who work in specific fields, such as healthcare or accounting, may take classes in that field to supplement their degree in computer programming. In addition, employers value experience, which many students gain through internships.
Most programmers learn a few computer languages while in school. However, a computer science degree gives students the skills needed to learn new computer languages easily. During their classes, students receive hands-on experience writing code, testing programs, fixing errors, and doing many other tasks that they will perform on the job.
To keep up with changing technology, computer programmers may take continuing education and professional development seminars to learn new programming languages or about upgrades to programming languages they already know.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Programmers can become certified in specific programming languages or for vendor-specific programming products. Some companies require their computer programmers to be certified in the products they use.Other Experience
Many students gain experience in computer programming by completing an internship at a software company while in college.Advancement
Programmers who have general business experience may become computer systems analysts. With experience, some programmers may become software developers. They may also be promoted to managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Computer programmers must understand complex instructions in order to create computer code.
Concentration. Programmers must be able to work at a computer, writing lines of code for long periods.
Detail oriented. Computer programmers must closely examine the code they write because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.
Troubleshooting skills. An important part of a programmer’s job is to check the code for errors and fix any they find.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Applications Programmer
Top Careers After Applications Programmer
Hispanic or Latino8.1%
Black or African American1.0%
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University of Phoenix10.5%
New York University7.4%
Texas Tech University6.8%
University of Texas at Dallas6.2%
University of Houston6.2%
University of Georgia5.6%
Rochester Institute of Technology4.9%
University of Southern Mississippi4.9%
Johns Hopkins University4.9%
University of North Texas4.3%
University of Maryland - College Park4.3%
Florida State University4.3%
Wayne State University3.7%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro3.7%
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis3.7%
University of Massachusetts - Lowell3.7%
George Mason University3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Application Programmer||Norgate Technology||Jersey City, NJ||Aug 17, 2015||$177,395|
|Application Programmer||Norgate Technology||Warren, NJ||Aug 28, 2015||$177,395|
|Application Programmer V||Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC||Charlotte, NC||Dec 12, 2016||$166,960|
|Application Programmer/Developer||Ciber, Inc.||Greenwood Village, CO||Jun 30, 2016||$156,000|
|Principle, Applications Programmer||PICS Auditing, LLC||Irvine, CA||Dec 15, 2015||$150,000|
|Application Programmer-Senior||TSR Consulting Services, Inc.||Irving, TX||Dec 12, 2016||$147,060|
|GIS Specialist/Applications Programmer||Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.||Redlands, CA||Sep 04, 2015||$143,000|
|GIS Specialist/Applications Programmer||Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.||Redlands, CA||Aug 18, 2016||$143,000|
|Applications Programmer||Apex It Services, LLC||Columbia, MD||Dec 12, 2016||$136,635|
|Applications Programmer, Principal||Broadcom Corporation||Irvine, CA||Apr 10, 2015||$135,000|
|Applications Programmer||IBG LLC||Greenwich, CT||Jul 29, 2016||$135,000 -
|Applications Programmer/Developer||Spectrum Systems, Inc.||Manassas, VA||Jun 17, 2016||$134,000|
|Applications Programmer/Developer||Spectrum Systems, Inc.||Manassas, VA||Apr 06, 2015||$134,000|
|Application Programmer V||Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC||Charlotte, NC||Dec 19, 2016||$132,378|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Bentonville, AR||Sep 07, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Bentonville, AR||Oct 06, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Indianapolis, IN||Sep 12, 2015||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Monroe, LA||Oct 05, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Lake Mary, FL||Jan 03, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Monroe, LA||Mar 06, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Monroe, LA||May 23, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Fort Wayne, IN||Jan 01, 2016||$77,997|
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Dallas, TX||Jan 07, 2016||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||West Sacramento, CA||Jan 05, 2016||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Dallas, TX||Sep 13, 2015||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Durham, NC||Jul 21, 2015||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Dallas, TX||Nov 25, 2015||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Chicago, IL||May 23, 2016||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Coppell, TX||Jul 12, 2015||$70,658 -
|Application Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Chicago, IL||May 25, 2016||$70,658 -
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