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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 Senior Programmer
Top Careers After Senior Programmer
Hispanic or Latino7.7%
Black or African American0.9%
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University of Phoenix9.9%
University of Texas at Arlington6.6%
Texas A&M University6.6%
More Tech Institute6.6%
New York University5.9%
Pennsylvania State University5.9%
Northern Illinois University4.8%
Johns Hopkins University4.4%
Wayne State University4.0%
Illinois Institute of Technology4.0%
Michigan State University4.0%
University of Maryland - College Park4.0%
George Mason University4.0%
University of Houston4.0%
Pace University - New York3.7%
West Virginia University3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Senior Programme Director||Axon Solutions, Inc.||Savannah, GA||Apr 12, 2015||$235,909|
|Senior Knit Programmer||NIKE, Inc.||Beaverton, OR||Nov 30, 2015||$160,000|
|SR Graphics Programmer||Magic Leap, Inc.||Dania Beach, FL||Jun 20, 2016||$160,000|
|SR. Graphics Programmer||Magic Leap, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jun 28, 2016||$160,000|
|Senior Graphics Programmer||Magic Leap, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Oct 24, 2016||$150,000|
|Senior Programmer||MacRosoft Inc.||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Mar 18, 2015||$146,827|
|Senior Programmer||Contech Systems, Inc.||Ridgefield, NJ||Sep 19, 2016||$146,090|
|SR. Oracle Clinical Programmer & Global Librarian .02||Advanced Clinical Holdings LLC||Cambridge, MA||Sep 09, 2016||$145,600|
|SR. Oracle Clinical Programmer & Global Librarian .02||Advanced Clinical Holdings LLC||Cambridge, MA||Jun 20, 2016||$145,600|
|SR. .NET Programmer||Modis, Inc.||Jacksonville, FL||Jan 09, 2016||$142,064|
|Senior Programmer Anayst||Genomic Health, Inc.||Redwood City, CA||Jul 25, 2016||$140,000|
|Senior Programmer||Rockstar San Diego, Inc.||Carlsbad, CA||Jul 15, 2015||$138,000|
|Senior Statistical Programmer I||Chiltern International, Inc.||Libertyville, IL||Jun 13, 2015||$137,944|
|SR. Programmer||Softech International Resource, Inc.||Norcross, GA||Jun 16, 2015||$102,400|
|Senior Statistical Programmer||Parexel International||Billerica, MA||Oct 20, 2016||$102,274|
|Senior Statistical Programmer||Inventiv Health Clinical LLC||Austin, TX||Oct 19, 2015||$102,000|
|Senior Statistical Programmer 2||Chiltern International, Inc.||Laredo, TX||Oct 28, 2016||$101,977|
|Senior Programmer Anaylst||R3 Technology, Inc.||Austin, TX||Apr 27, 2015||$101,920|
|Senior Statistical Programmer||Inventiv Health Clinical LLC||Princeton, NJ||Dec 17, 2015||$101,430|
|Senior Statistical Programmer||Quintiles, Inc.||Morrisville, NC||Jul 09, 2016||$89,922|
|Senior Programmer Lead||IBM India Private Limited||Mahwah, NJ||Aug 30, 2016||$89,901|
|Senior Programmer Lead||IBM India Private Limited||Mahwah, NJ||Dec 08, 2016||$89,901|
|Senior Programmer Lead||IBM India Private Limited||Mahwah, NJ||Jun 07, 2016||$89,901|
|Senior Statistical Programmer||Inventiv Health Clinical LLC||Princeton, NJ||Jun 23, 2015||$89,445|
|SR. Statistical Programmer||Experis Us, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Jan 08, 2015||$89,378 -
|Senior SAP Programmer||Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.||Middleton, WI||Mar 09, 2015||$89,300|
|SR. Programmer||Softech International Resource, Inc.||Norcross, GA||Aug 05, 2015||$88,941|
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