Software programmers create, implement and repair programs for businesses and large companies. If you are a natural problem solver and enjoy working with computers, this career may be right for you. Read on for more information.
Software programming involves the use of computer programming languages to create new applications and to fix issues with existing applications. As a software programmer, you are responsible for taking a software design and converting it into a language that the computer can understand. There are many different computer languages, and you will generally pick one or a few to learn, depending on the industry or field you wish to enter. A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum education requirement for an entry-level position. However, higher positions may require a graduate degree.
Demand for computer programmers remains steady and may increase much faster than average for software developers, as the internet and computers assume an ever greater role in society. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer programmers can expect to see an average 8% employment increase from 2012 to 2022, while software developers looked forward to 22% growth, which is much faster than average (www.bls.gov). Constantly emerging and evolving technologies are generally responsible for growth. Job prospects are best for those with graduate degrees or certification. Certification is available from software vendors and professional societies.
A software programming degree program can teach you how to use the most popular computer programming languages such as C++, Java and HTML. You will learn to create software that can stand on its own, to create web pages and to design programs that can be integrated into the internet. Many colleges offer degree programs in computer science or computer engineering with a specialization in software programming or application programming.
Graduate degree programs expand on the foundational knowledge that is taught in an undergraduate program. Typically, core courses are offered along with electives that allow you to further specialize. Core courses can include research methods, software engineering and software systems. Certificate programs generally require a mandated number of coursework credits or completion of an exam.