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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 Research Programmer
Top Careers After Research Programmer
Hispanic or Latino5.7%
Black or African American0.6%
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Carnegie Mellon University18.2%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign10.0%
University of Illinois University Administration10.0%
University of Southern California5.5%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor4.5%
University of Pittsburgh -4.5%
Georgia Institute of Technology -3.6%
University of California - Los Angeles3.6%
Johns Hopkins University3.6%
University of Texas at Dallas3.6%
University of California - Santa Cruz2.7%
Indiana University Bloomington2.7%
Pennsylvania State University2.7%
University of California - Berkeley2.7%
Illinois Institute of Technology2.7%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Apr 01, 2014||$130,000|
|Research Programmer||FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Jun 09, 2016||$120,000|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Vista, CA||May 23, 2014||$108,347|
|Principal Research Programmer||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||Jan 12, 2015||$108,000|
|Research Programmer I||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 26, 2015||$106,974|
|Lead R&D Programmer||Square Enix, Inc.||El Segundo, CA||Dec 01, 2014||$105,000 -
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Vista, CA||Jan 12, 2016||$101,672|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Marina del Rey, CA||Feb 15, 2015||$99,168|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Marina del Rey, CA||Jan 13, 2013||$99,012|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Jun 17, 2013||$99,012|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Marina del Rey, CA||Jan 01, 2016||$97,008|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Vista, CA||Sep 01, 2013||$94,099|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Dec 01, 2013||$92,700|
|Research Programmer I||University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Nov 14, 2016||$82,014|
|Research Programmer I||The University of Southern California||Vista, CA||Apr 15, 2015||$82,014|
|Research Programmer||W.M. Rice University||Houston, TX||Jan 01, 2015||$81,991|
|Research Programmer II||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Aug 15, 2013||$81,553|
|Research Programmer||Carnegie Learning, Inc., An Apollo Group, Inc. Com||Pittsburgh, PA||Mar 04, 2013||$80,511|
|Research Programmer I||The University of Southern California||Vista, CA||Oct 18, 2013||$80,000|
|Research Programmer||The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Cente||Houston, TX||Aug 25, 2014||$80,000|
|Research Programmer||Boston Medical Center Corporation||Boston, MA||Jan 10, 2016||$70,000|
|Android Research Programmer||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||Jan 07, 2016||$70,000|
|Research Programmer||University of Illinois||Urbana, IL||Aug 17, 2013||$70,000|
|Research Programmer||University of Illinois||Urbana, IL||Jun 07, 2015||$70,000|
|Research Programmer||University of Illinois||Urbana, IL||Mar 25, 2016||$70,000|
|Senior Research Programmer||University of Illinois||Urbana, IL||Jan 05, 2013||$69,216|
|Senior Research Programmer||University of Illinois||Urbana, IL||May 01, 2013||$69,216|
|Visiting Research Programmer||University of Illinois||Urbana, IL||May 10, 2014||$68,682|
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