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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 Software Programmer
Top Careers After Software Programmer
Hispanic or Latino7.0%
Black or African American1.2%
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Texas A&M University7.6%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute7.6%
University of Houston6.8%
University of Texas at Dallas5.9%
University of New Orleans5.1%
Rochester Institute of Technology5.1%
University of Southern California5.1%
University of Texas at Austin5.1%
George Mason University5.1%
University of Phoenix5.1%
Illinois Institute of Technology4.2%
George Washington University4.2%
University of California - Irvine4.2%
Arizona State University4.2%
San Diego State University4.2%
Florida International University3.4%
University of Central Missouri3.4%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Inc.||Princeton, NJ||Jan 22, 2016||$150,000|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Inc.||Princeton, NJ||Oct 12, 2015||$150,000|
|Software Programmer||Pluribus Networks, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Jun 22, 2016||$140,000|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Incorporated||Princeton, NJ||May 17, 2016||$138,994|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Sep 09, 2015||$133,000|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Sep 11, 2015||$133,000|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Inc.||Princeton, NJ||May 23, 2016||$131,481|
|Java Software Programmer||Eastbanc Technologies, LLC||Washington, DC||Jan 10, 2016||$130,000|
|Software Programmer||Data Glove Inc.||Princeton, NJ||Jul 28, 2015||$130,000|
|.NET Software Programmer||Eastbanc Technologies, LLC||Washington, DC||Jan 09, 2016||$125,000|
|Software Programmer||Ubertal Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 18, 2016||$121,046|
|Software Programmer||Kollasoft Inc.||Redmond, WA||Jul 05, 2015||$120,000|
|Application Software Programmer||Intellect Business Solutions, LLC||Greensboro, NC||Jan 01, 2015||$71,000 -
|Software Programmer Architect||BLU Age Corporation||Plano, TX||Sep 22, 2015||$71,000|
|Software Programmer Architect||BLU Age Corporation||Plano, TX||Sep 15, 2015||$71,000|
|Software Programmer||Object Frontier, Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Apr 09, 2016||$71,000|
|Software Programmer||Adroix Corp||Phoenix, AZ||Nov 28, 2016||$71,000|
|Software Programmer||R and S Computers, Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 21, 2016||$70,970|
|Software Programmer||SLIQ Information Technologies Inc.||Edison, NJ||Sep 13, 2016||$70,958|
|Software Programmer||Data Systems Integration Group Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Jul 20, 2015||$63,128|
|Software Programmer II||Ms International, Inc.||Orange, CA||Aug 24, 2015||$63,000|
|Software Programmer||Hylee LLC||Wilmington, DE||Sep 03, 2015||$63,000 -
|Software Programmer||Object Frontier, Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Feb 20, 2015||$63,000|
|Software Programmer||Object Frontier, Inc.||Alpharetta, GA||Mar 24, 2015||$63,000|
|Software Programmer||Zaspar Technologies, Inc.||Beaverton, OR||Sep 15, 2015||$63,000|
|Software Programmer||Sigmasoft LLC||Herndon, VA||Dec 08, 2016||$63,000|
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