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 Lead Programmer
Top Careers After Lead Programmer
Hispanic or Latino7.6%
Black or African American1.0%
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University of Phoenix8.6%
University of Washington7.8%
Full Sail University7.0%
Georgia Institute of Technology -6.3%
Rochester Institute of Technology5.5%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute5.5%
University of Alabama4.7%
New York University4.7%
Pennsylvania State University4.7%
University of Utah4.7%
University of Pittsburgh -4.7%
University of Arizona4.7%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute3.9%
Illinois Institute of Technology3.9%
George Washington University3.9%
Pace University - New York3.9%
University of Texas at Dallas3.9%
University of Southern California3.9%
Texas A&M University3.9%
Old Dominion University3.9%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Director; Programmer Lead Mkts (MGR)||Merrill Lynch||Houston, TX||Dec 29, 2014||$180,000 -
|Director; Programmer Lead Mkts (MGR)||Bank of America||Jersey City, NJ||Feb 19, 2016||$175,000|
|Lead Backend Programmer||Sparkypants Studios, LLC||Baltimore, MD||Dec 14, 2015||$160,000|
|Director; Programmer Lead Mkts||Bank of America||New York, NY||Sep 01, 2015||$155,126|
|Director; Programmer Lead Mkts||Bank of America N.A.||New York, NY||Jun 17, 2014||$150,000 -
|Director; Programmer Lead Mkts (MGR)||Bank of America N.A.||Jersey City, NJ||Jun 30, 2016||$150,000 -
|Lead Analyst/Programmer||Idea Integration Corp.||Jacksonville, FL||Sep 06, 2013||$145,000|
|Director; Programmer Lead Mtks||Merrill Lynch||New York, NY||Aug 19, 2014||$140,000 -
|Lead Programmer||Arenanet, LLC||Bellevue, WA||Mar 09, 2015||$138,550|
|Lead Programmer||Arenanet, LLC||Bellevue, WA||Sep 03, 2015||$138,550|
|Lead Programmer||Arenanet, LLC||Bellevue, WA||Dec 19, 2013||$132,496|
|Lead Gameplay Programmer||Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.||Novato, CA||Oct 01, 2013||$131,000|
|Programmer/Developer Lead||Capgemini America, Inc.||Burbank, CA||Sep 01, 2014||$107,973 -
|Lead Statistical Programmer||Acceleron Pharma, Inc.||Cambridge, MA||Nov 18, 2014||$106,200|
|Lead Programmer||Carbo Ceramics Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 10, 2014||$105,107|
|Lead Analyst Programmer||New York Power Authority||White Plains, NY||Sep 21, 2015||$105,000|
|Lead Analyst Programmer||New York Power Authority||White Plains, NY||Jun 22, 2015||$104,500|
|Senior Web Services Lead Programmer||Open Solutions, LLC (A Fiserv Company)||Lindon, UT||Apr 15, 2013||$104,000|
|Lead Programmer Ananyst||American Express TRS Co., Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Oct 24, 2013||$102,752|
|Lead Biostatistical Programmer II||Incyte Corporation||Wilmington, DE||Sep 01, 2015||$102,250|
|Lead Programmer||Iberdrola USA Management Corporation||Augusta, ME||Aug 26, 2015||$89,651|
|Lead Programmer||Orion Systems Integrators LLC||Monmouth Junction, NJ||Jul 01, 2015||$89,000|
|Programmer/Developer Lead||Capgemini America, Inc.||Atlanta, GA||Sep 23, 2016||$89,000|
|Lead Programmer||Yaobid Inc.||San Jose, CA||Jan 04, 2013||$85,296|
|Lead Programmer||Yaobid Inc.||San Jose, CA||Apr 01, 2013||$85,296|
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