Computer Programmer Certification

You can start your education as a computer programmer by earning a certificate or a diploma. You can learn multiple computer languages in some programs, and others even let you complete your studies online. After familiarizing yourself with a computer language or proprietary product, you can pursue computer programmer certification. Read on to learn more about the certification process, and check the job outlook and salary info for this field. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Certification Can I Earn as a Computer Programmer?

Most certifications are specific to a computer language or a proprietary product. For example, Oracle and Sun Microsystems offer Java programming certification. You can also become a Microsoft Certified Applications Developer if you want to work with Microsoft Visual Studio and .NET services. Most programmer certifications are meant for IT professionals and those with programming experience.

Certification is usually earned by passing an exam that tests your proficiency in the applicable programming language or product. Some certifications have prerequisites such as employment or education in the field. Current enrollment in a computer programming education program is often acceptable.

The amount of formal training varies depending on the certification. Many times, a certificate or diploma is enough. As you earn a certificate or a diploma, you can prepare for computer programming certification.

You can also earn a certificate or diploma as an online student. Some schools allow you to complete all your courses online. Others require that you complete a certain amount of coursework on campus. If you enroll in an online program, you can expect to access instructors and course materials over the Internet. You can also complete computer programming labs at home using software provided by your school.

Why Should I Complete Formal Training?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most computer programming positions require a 4-year degree ( However, you may be able to find employment after you've earned a diploma, certificate or certification. You'll need to make sure that you have the most specific training to the position you're looking for. If you already have a college education, certification can demonstrate that you have the latest computer programming skills and knowledge.

What Can I Learn?

In a certificate program, you can learn about Java, C++ and other computer programming languages. You'll also learn about web development, scripting, structured query language and operating systems. Some programs require coursework in statistics.

If you're earning a diploma, you can also expect to learn one or more computer programming languages, such as COBOL, Java, Visual Basic or C++. Coursework specific to programming may involve learning how to use flow charts to diagram a computer application's function and how to develop programs for different types of users or systems. Other courses will cover computer networking, databases and XML. Other potential course topics include:

  • Professional development
  • Human relations
  • Communications
  • Algebra
  • Accounting
  • Writing

What Are the Industry Trends?

The BLS reports that demand for computer programmers will fall by three percent between 2008 and 2018. This will be the result of offshoring and new software tools that allow more users to write their own programs. However, you can still find positions helping software engineers troubleshoot or maintain existing computer programs for large organizations. Industry trends still indicate that you'll need to continually update your skills through certification and continuing education. In 2009, BLS data indicated that computer programmers earned median annual wages of $70,940.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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