Enrollment in computer programming schools has dropped in recent years, partly in fear of labor outsourcing and partly in response to waning student interest in math and science. While the computer programming profession continues to hold its ground, competition for available jobs with average starting salaries of $52,500 to $83,250 is high. However, technical, detail-oriented students who are able to communicate simply with others may be in a prime position to compete for desirable positions within the field.
What is a Computer Programmer?
As implied by the title, professionals who have attended a computer programming college work with computer programs. Computer programmers create, test, and maintain the programs that tell computers what to do. Professionals attend computer programming schools to learn how to create instructions for everything from financial records programs to flight simulator training programs. Computer programmers usually work alongside computer engineers and analysts. After the computer engineers or analysts complete the design process, the computer programmer translates the design into logical steps that the computer can comprehend.
Available Jobs for Computer Programmers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of professionals who have attended a computer programming college work in computer design industries. Of the 455,000 jobs held in 2017, many were also in industries such as telecommunications, software publishing, insurance, education, and government. Computer programmers typically work in comfortable office settings, but may work long hours to meet deadlines or fix problems that occur outside of normal business hours. Some professionals who have attended computer programming schools are also taking advantage of telecommuting opportunities in computer programming.
Required Education for Computer Programmers
In 2017, more than two-thirds of computer programmers held a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related discipline. As the number of qualified computer programmers rises, employers are increasingly requiring formal education. Online computer programming schools, such as Westwood College, are now offering an entire online computer programming degree at the undergraduate level. A computer programming course online can be completed from the comfort of students’ homes while maintaining work and possibly family responsibilities. Students interested in signing up for an online computer programming class may contact Westwood College for more information or visit College-Pages.com for an extensive list of available programs.
Job Outlook for Computer Programmers
The official prediction from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for job growth in the computer programming industry is 0-8% through the year 2018. The highest number of new positions is expected to be in data–processing service firms, software houses, and computer consulting businesses. Applicants with the best prospects will be those who obtain formal bachelor’s degrees from computer programming schools combined with practical work experience. Students may also complete an online programming class to become certified in a particular programming language. One of the growing areas of emphasis in the field will be cyber–security, which will increase the demand for computer programmers who are knowledgeable in digital security issues and technology.