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 Systems Programmer
Top Careers After Systems Programmer
Hispanic or Latino7.9%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix16.6%
Pennsylvania State University7.0%
University of Maryland - University College5.6%
University of Maryland - College Park5.6%
Florida State University5.6%
Northern Illinois University5.6%
George Mason University5.0%
University of Pittsburgh -4.7%
University of Houston4.3%
University of Kansas4.3%
University of South Florida3.7%
Iowa State University3.7%
University of Arizona3.7%
New York University3.3%
University of Tennessee - Knoxville3.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Systems Programmer II||PDT Partners LLC||New York, NY||Jul 29, 2016||$185,000|
|Systems Programmer||PDT Partners, LLC||New York, NY||Feb 14, 2015||$185,000|
|Systems Programmer||PDT Partners, LLC||New York, NY||Jul 31, 2015||$185,000|
|Systems Programmer II||PDT Partners, LLC||New York, NY||Feb 23, 2016||$175,000|
|Systems Programmer||Infinera Corporation||Sunnyvale, CA||Dec 13, 2016||$164,382 -
|Staff Systems Programmer||Infinera Corporation||Sunnyvale, CA||Nov 14, 2016||$157,477 -
|Senior, Systems Programmer||Infinera Corporation||Sunnyvale, CA||May 13, 2015||$134,534 -
|Principal Computer Systems Programmer||New York State Unified Court System||New York, NY||Oct 20, 2016||$131,572|
|Systems Programmer||Apple Inc.||Newark, CA||Jul 01, 2016||$130,000 -
|Systems Programmer||PDT Partners, LLC||New York, NY||Feb 14, 2015||$129,000|
|System Programmer||Radiant Logic, Inc.||Novato, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$128,544|
|System Programmer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Jan 28, 2015||$125,000 -
|Systems Programmer||Apple Inc.||Newark, CA||May 11, 2016||$122,949 -
|SR. Systems Programmer||Illumina||San Diego, CA||Apr 13, 2016||$122,803 -
|SR. Systems Programmer||Illumina||San Diego, CA||Nov 05, 2016||$92,768 -
|SR. Systems Programmer||Illumina, Inc.||San Diego, CA||Jun 15, 2016||$91,749 -
|Senior Systems Programmer||Eloyalty LLC||Franklin, TN||Mar 25, 2015||$90,000|
|Systems Programmer||V-Soft Consulting Group, Inc.||Westbury, NY||Jan 02, 2016||$90,000|
|Advanced Systems Programmer/Administrator||Zebra Technologies Corporation||Lincolnshire, IL||Jun 27, 2016||$88,858 -
|Systems Programmer||Infinera Corporation||Sunnyvale, CA||Sep 04, 2015||$88,594 -
|System Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Charlotte, NC||Dec 07, 2016||$69,826|
|System Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Charlotte, NC||Jan 07, 2016||$69,826|
|System Programmer||IBM India Private Limited||Charlotte, NC||Jul 06, 2016||$69,826|
|System Programmer||Cvent, Inc.||McLean, VA||Aug 21, 2016||$69,638|
|Senior Systems Programmer, Business Intelligence||Compass Bank||Birmingham, AL||Feb 01, 2015||$69,200|
|Applications Systems Programmer||AVCO Consulting Inc.||Worcester, MA||Apr 14, 2016||$69,160|
|Systems Programmer||Aplomb Technologies, Inc.||Bellevue, WA||Jan 09, 2016||$69,000|
|Systems Programmer||Aplomb Technologies, Inc.||Redmond, WA||Jan 09, 2016||$69,000|
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