What is Programming?  Professionals in the computer programming field create efficient and user-friendly computer applications to make organizations more productive.  This can include developing computer code, designing the look and operation of the program, or working with business and IT professionals to design and test an entire system.  Individuals can be employed in a variety of organizations, from large IT companies such as Microsoft or Google to general businesses either developing customized software or adapting retail packages to meet specific needs.  Most positions are full-time, and flexible schedules and telecommuting are often available.  Beginners typically work in an office environment, sitting at a computer for long periods of time.  Advanced programmers usually spend time meeting with others to design new software systems.

Job Opportunities

Careers in programming are some of the most well-paying and in-demand careers in the world, and will only become more so.  There are often opportunities to advance, depending on education, skill level, and other characteristics.  A Certificate or Associate Degree in a programming-related area will help you gain an entry-level position as a computer programmer, developing computer code.  A Bachelor Degree in Computer Science will assist you in gaining a higher-level position as a software engineer, designing software applications.  A Bachelor Degree in Management Information Science combines IT and business knowledge.  Programmers often become database administrators or systems analysts, developing entire computer systems.  Graduate degrees are helpful for more advanced positions, but are not always necessary.

Necessary Skills

Because computer science is one of the fastest evolving fields in the modern era, programmers must be willing to explore and learn new technologies and programming languages that are developed. Advanced math skills are also necessary to write complex algorithms, so this is a good career if you enjoy math. Good communication skills are essential, as you will often have to communicate technical concepts in plain language to a variety of business and IT professionals. It is helpful if you have a basic understanding of how a business functions in order to meet industry needs. Meeting deadlines, working well with a team, and balancing multiple tasks are also necessary skills.

Pathways to Completion

Check out the different degree and certificate options below. Get an idea of what major-related courses you'd need to take each semester to graduate in two years. Meet with a counselor or chat with your professor to find out what the best option is for you.

  • Computer Science

    The Computer Science program is designed for students preparing for careers in computer programming and systems analysis. It provides a foundation in currently used and advanced programming languages, databases… MORE >>

  • Management Information Science

    The Management Information Science program is designed for students preparing for careers in business to effectively use and manage computers. The focus of the program is to develop student… MORE >>

  • Programming

    The Programming Certificate provides the basic proficiencies required of computer programmers for entry-level software technician positions or further study in Computer Science.

    Although programmer and programmer-analyst opportunities will decrease by… MORE >>