How to Become a Computer Programmer

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the business and industry you apply at. Those looking for an entry positions are likely to need a bachelors degree from an accredited accounting program. If you are looking for a very junior level programming position, then an associates degree is recommended. Those looking to get into a competitive or advance position may benefit from earning a master’s or Ph.D degree or specific certifications from companies like Oracle can help you stand out in the interview process.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started in computer programming.

How Much Does an Computer Programmer Make?

$74,280 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

+28,400 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
HTML, C, C++, Java, .Net, PHP, Pearl, Python, Ruby on Rails, Javascript… (see a full list here)

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Computer Programming pages) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Computer Programmer

The state of California leads the nation in employment for computer programmers, with 38,750 working in various companies statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $89,450. Texas is second in employment, where 23,040 computer programmers occupy positions on the state, and make an average salary of $79,990 yearly.

In the United States programmers hold approximately 363,100 jobs, and were concentrated in the following industries:

Computer systems design and related services 32%
Information 12%
Finance and insurance 7%
Administrative and support services 6%
Government 5%

Employment and Salary Information by State for Computer Programmers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Computer Programming. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Computer Programming

Why Become a Computer Programmer?

Ever since the outsourcing trend began nearly a decade ago, computer programming work has been shifted to many countries that have a high level of technical education but a lower level of costs of leaving, making doing business there a much better proposition for those wages their company’s bottom line. While this has slowed job growth for programmers there is still sizable demand for programmers in the U.S.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Computer Programmer

  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Database Management
  • Operating System Development Platforms
  • Python and C++
  • Java, HTML, PHP and Perl
  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • ata Structures in C++
  • XML Programming
  • J2EE Application Development
  • Software Development and Program Design
  • Computer Architecture

Degrees to Help You Become a Computer Programmer

Students can jump into the basics in a certificate program that features many different type programming courses. These basics provide important skills necessary in the development of both web and mobile apps.

Bachelor’s Degree
Typically these four-year degrees in computer science offers students a solid background in many programming languages.

Master’s Degree
Developers that have completed an undergraduate degree are eligible for advanced graduate programs that often prepare individuals for work at larger organizations that often require a more sophisticated development skills because of the extensive size and complexities of their systems.