What Are Computer Programming Languages?

Computer programming languages are used to create operating systems, applications software and websites. Some examples include Java and C++. Read on to learn about languages that are used and to find out what careers are available in the field of programming. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Computer Programming Languages

Computers and similar machines complete tasks by receiving instructions from a programming language. In the most basic terms, programming languages are chains of commands that are issued and followed. Each language is a series of computations and algorithms that help create and control the behavior of machines. There are thousands of different computer programming languages out there, and more are being created each year.

Computer programming languages normally have two components: semantics and syntax. Semantics is the meaning of the language, while syntax is the form in which it is presented. If you're interested in learning about computer programming languages, you can do so in a computer science or other computer-oriented program at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Some popular languages include C++, Java, Python and PHP.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Online Availability Fully online programs available
Prerequisites Completed relevant college coursework or work experience recommended for a bachelor's program
Professional Certification Certification in specific programming languages available
Key Skills Analytical, troubleshooting, detail oriented

C++

C++, which is an enhancement to the C programming language, is one of the most popular programming languages used by programmers. It sees uses in drivers, hardware design, embedded software, systems software, application software, client applications, server applications and video games. In C++, a mixture of high-level and low-level programming features is used.

Java

This programming language was released in 1995 and is used in the Java platform. It has ties to the programming languages C and C++, but it is generally regarded as having simpler and lower-level facilities. Overall, Java is a general-purpose and object-oriented language geared towards having few dependencies.

Python

One of the higher-level programming languages, Python is designed to have a clear and easy-to-read syntax while providing good power. It is unique compared to other languages in that it blocks information sequences with indentations. It is primarily a scripting language, although it has non-scripting uses.

PHP

This hypertext preprocessor scripting language is normally used for Web pages and Web development. PHP helps with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Most modern Web servers use PHP as a processor and an interpreter for the majority of computing platforms and operating systems.

Career Options

If you decide to learn some computer programming languages, you can choose to become a computer programmer, software developer or Web developer.

Computer Programmer

Rather than actually planning and designing programs like software developers do, computer programmers use their knowledge of programming languages to write code and do testing. In addition to coding new programs, they might make changes to existing ones. To work in this career, an associate's or bachelor's degree will likely be necessary, and you'll need to know at least a few languages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates an 8 percent decline in job growth for this occupation between 2014 and 2024, and programmers made a median salary of $77,550 as of May 2014.

Software Developer

Software developers are responsible for planning and designing software and may specialize in either applications or systems software. Although they might do some coding, that duty is often given to computer programmers. A bachelor's degree is the entry-level education requirement for software developers, and possible majors include mathematics, computer software engineering and computer science. The BLS expects 19 percent employment growth for developers of applications software and 13 percent employment growth for developers of systems software between 2014 and 2024. Median earnings in May 2014 were $95,510 for applications developers and $102,880 for systems software developers.

Web Developers

As a Web developer, you would make websites and Web applications. Some common languages used include HTML, JavaScript and XML. Other duties may include adding multimedia content to websites, creating layouts and debugging website applications. Some specific roles include Web programmer, Web designer and webmaster. At least an associate's degree is typically required to become a Web developer. The BLS expects 27 percent growth for this occupation between 2014 and 2024, and it reported a median wage of $63,490 as of May 2014.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Louisiana State University Shreveport responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Louisiana State University Shreveport:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »