Computer Programmer Job Description & Career Opportunities

Computer programmers are responsible for creating the programs essential for computer operation. They take the software programs and change them into a format that the machine can recognize. To do this, the programmer has to use a special language, such as Python and C++, which are some of the most used in the industry. Once the software is recoded into the new language, the computer is able to use the software. These individuals also perform a number of other critical functions within this job category. They deal with programs when they need to be repaired, changed, or added to another program already in place. In addition, the programmer may have to aid in identifying a customer’s needs when using the software.

Most computer programming jobs require a degree in programming or a related field. Check out the programs below which offer free information:

Computer Programmer Job Responsibilities

Working on large or small projects with other programmers and software engineers. In this capacity, they may help to troubleshoot potential problems and in the design phase of many software programs. Aided by programs that help to change software into the computer’s language, programmers can now write more specific parts of the program. Their work helps computers and systems work more smoothly without problems and at a more efficient level. In addition, programmers also write programs for educational software, desktop publishing, business and personnel finances and computer games.

The computer programmer has to have excellent technical skills and knowledge, ability to work well with others, and be willing to work on the international scene. Increasing focus is given to those who are able to work with programs that deal with the Internet and applications for the web. These individuals also must be willing to keep learning on a continual basis, as the changes in technology and software happens on a rapid basis. This is also critical as newer computer systems continue to reach higher levels of complexity. When a large project is involved, being able to work well on a team is required. A number of professionals from within the industry may be needed to handle the tasks and logistics of a large project for an extended period of time. Being able to brainstorm, troubleshoot and collaborate with others can make project completion run smoother.

Computer Programmer Training and Education Requirements

Those wanting to enter the field of computer programming can receive training in a variety of levels. Some schools offer a two-year associate’s degree or a certificate program. This may be adequate training to enter some positions within the field, but many choose to pursue a four year bachelors degree. In some cases, the individual may be required to have achieved a graduate level degree in programming to be eligible for the position. Many who have a degree in areas such as accounting, business and finance may study courses related to computer programming. Computer programmers will usually graduate from a bachelor degree program with a major in math, computer science or information systems. Internships and other hands-on experience opportunities provided needed experience in the field. And attending seminars and continuing education programs also help the computer programmer to keep up with the latest changes and new advancements in technology.

Computer Programmer Salary and Wages

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 32% of computer programmers are employed in fields connected to computer systems design and connected services. Other fields but they’re often found in include financial institutions, computer manufacturers, insurance companies and publishing companies of software. Jobs in this field has the potential to grow by 21% by 2018. The average salary for computer programmer is around $69,620, with the lowest salary being at or below $40,080 and the highest at over $111,450. A computer science major graduating with a bachelor’s degree came into the field starting at an average salary of $61,407.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Computer Programmer Certifications

Programmers can show proof of knowledge and training by a getting certification through various programs offered by companies that make software. The certificate is obtained after the programmer has attended a set number of classes or hours in the program working with and learning about the software being presented. Many private organizations involved in the field also offer numerous opportunities for certifications. These are very beneficial to a prospective employer who requires an employee diversified in content knowledge. Programmers can also pursue graduate level study beyond their bachelors degree in order to be eligible for higher paying and more challenging positions.

Computer Programmer Professional Associations

The IEEE Computer Society is a professional organization that computer programmers can join and was founded in 1948. It offers its members opportunities to receive numerous professional certifications, conferences, and publications along with continuing education opportunities. Another organization that offers its members a number of benefits is the ICCP, or Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals. This organization provides information for a number of career paths, certification opportunities and continued training.

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