What Are Typical Entry-Level Jobs in Computer Programming?

Computer programmers are responsible for writing the instructions that make computers work. Read on to find out more about typical entry-level jobs in computer programming. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Entry-Level Computer Programming Job Options

Entry-level jobs in computer programming are available in many different industries, including government, insurance, software publishing and education. Some possible job titles include:

  • Web and Internet programmer
  • Software and applications developer
  • Programming analyst
  • Database programmer

There are several different options for starting a career in computer programming. You may work with a specific programming language, such as Java or C++, or use several different languages during your employment. Employers may begin by giving you small assignments with thorough instruction or have you work on a team with other, more knowledgeable programmers. In addition, company- or industry-specific training may be provided before the job begins.

Important Facts About Computer Programmers

Median Salary (2018) $84,280*
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -7% (decline)*
Key Skills Analytical skills, concentration, detail oriented, troubleshooting skills

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

A computer programming job includes a variety of work activities and responsibilities. You may first gather information from software designers about the program you have been assigned to develop and then analyze the needs of the end user, company and system. Then, you identify, categorize, prioritize and design the program-specific requirements. A timeline for each stage of completion is usually designed to meet certain goals and objectives and to evaluate progress.

Once the program is developed, you must test and evaluate the program, as well as make any changes needed to ensure smooth processing of data for the customer. Ongoing maintenance and updating system changes may also be the responsibility of a computer programmer.

Education Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most entry-level computer programming positions require a bachelor's degree, but some are available to those with an associate's degree or a certificate (www.bls.gov). Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available in computer programming and typically cover several languages used in the industry, such as SQL and Visual Basic. A 2-year degree focuses on industry-wide skills needed for entry-level positions.

Advancement Options

As you gain experience in computer programming, you may be asked to manage projects and oversee people with less experience. It is helpful to continue your education to stay on top of industry changes and advancements in programming languages. Certification is also available through associations like the National Association of Programmers (NAP). Some advanced positions you may aspire to become are:

  • Computer system analyst
  • Information systems manager
  • Research analyst

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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