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Schools with Software Programming Courses

Read about associate's and bachelor's degree programs in software programming, and explore some of the courses you could take as a student. Get info on choosing a school for your studies, and check the availability of online programs and courses in software programming. Review certification options for software programmers.

Courses in software programming are offered through associate's and bachelor's programs in computer science or other related subjects. Both degree levels offer courses in subjects like java and Web programming. Many of these degrees are available through online or hybrid pathways.

How Do I Find Schools Offering Courses in Software Programming?

Most postsecondary institutions have colleges, schools or departments of computer science, information technology, technology and design or business technology. These are the areas in which you'll generally find courses dealing with software programming.

The National Center for Education Statistics has a large, searchable online database of colleges, universities and technical schools that offer degree programs related to software programming. It might also be helpful for you to consult the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET). The NWCET website has a downloadable information booklet about various computer programming curricula and competencies.

What Degrees are Available?

Schools may give you the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science or Computer Programming. Programs may consist of 60-76 credits and take you about two years to complete. Many schools will allow you to transfer credits earned through an associate's program into a 4-year bachelor's degree program.

Typical courses in an associate's program include concepts of programming, C++ programming, Java programming, concepts of operating systems, computer theory and Web programming. Schools may also require you to complete a work-study or internship course.

Depending on the school, you may be able to earn a Bachelor of Science in Internet Technology or Computer Science with a concentration in programming or software application programming. A bachelor's program can take 3-4 years to complete and may consist of 126-180 credits. However, there are schools that offer degree completion programs; if you've already earned an associate's degree in a related area, you might qualify for a program made up of the last two years of bachelor's degree requirements.

Bachelor's programs often include some of the same courses that are offered through associate's programs, like Web or Java programming. Additional topics in a bachelor's program might include client- and server-side scripting, Linux/UNIX programming, .NET architecture, software requirements engineering, business ethics and project management. Some schools may require you to complete an internship in an approved business setting.

Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees for Software Programming?

Here are some schools to consider in your search for an associate's degree program that works for you. The latter two programs are offered in online, hybrid and traditional formats.

  • Gateway Technical College offers a Software Developer associate's degree program
  • Rasmussen College offers an Software Application Development associate's degree program
  • Northcentral Technical College offers an IT - Software Developer associate's degree program

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees for Software Programming?

These 4-year colleges and technical schools offer bachelor's programs for aspiring software programmers. Many options exist for online degrees.

  • Colorado Technical University offers an online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information Technology - Software Application Programming
  • Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information Technologies with a concentration in Software Development
  • Champlain College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Software Development

Are There Online Programs?

There are opportunities for you to earn your degree entirely online. In other cases, a school may present a program in hybrid format; in this type of program, you'll be expected to complete a portion of your courses in an on-campus setting. Some schools offer continuing education courses online.

Does Graduation Mean I'm Certified?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may be eligible to sit for a voluntary certification examination after completing a degree program. Certifications are offered by professional societies or organizations; they can be used to prove competency in a particular skill.

For instance, you could earn the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential offered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society. While this certification doesn't have specific eligibility requirements, you'll be expected to take an exam that assesses your ability.

In some cases, a company may require you to be certified on specific software products. These certification examinations may be offered by product vendors or software companies, as reported by the BLS.

You can study to become a software programmer through a variety of associate's and bachelor's programs, many of which are offered fully or partially online. Some schools allow associate's degree credits to be transferred to a bachelor's degree completion program, and many programs serve as preparation for certification exams.