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Computer Programming Associate's Degree

An associate's degree in computer programming will teach you various computer programming languages, such as C++ and Java. Learn about courses in this field, admission requirements, and job prospects.

What Is a Computer Programmer?

Computer programmers write computer applications based on plans created by software developers. In this position, you could work with a number of different programming languages, including C++, Java and Python. You could also maintain, update or fix existing programs; this could include running diagnostic tests, repairing code or troubleshooting devices. Some of your daily responsibilities may include the following:

  • Analyzing workflow
  • Developing data tables
  • Designing computer programs
  • Using programming tools
  • Consulting with managers or supervisors
  • Maintaining computer equipment
  • Monitoring computer operation
  • Providing training for new programs

Common Courses Programming languages, hardware engineering, web scripting
Admissions Requirements High school diploma or GED, classes in math and computer science help prepare students
Median Salary (2018) $84,280 (for all computer programmers
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -7% decline (for all computer programmers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is in the Curriculum?

Coursework in associate's degree programs in computer programming combine general education courses with training in computer programming. You could learn about programming languages, industry-standard programming software, as well as about other fields of computer science, such as hardware engineering, networking or information security. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Visual C++
  • Systems development
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Database management
  • Computer literacy
  • LAN configuration
  • Web scripting
  • Digital image editing

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

The minimum requirement for admission into associate's degree programs in computer programming is a high school diploma or GED. You might also need to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and high school transcripts. If you want to prepare for this program in high school, consider taking classes in mathematics and computer science.

How Much Money Can I Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $84,280 as of May 2018; the top ten percent of professionals in this field earned upwards of $134,630, while the bottom ten percent made $48,790 or less (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reported an expected employment declination rate of seven percent between 2018 and 2028.