Computer Programming Trade Schools

Becoming a computer programmer offers the unique opportunity to bring ideas to life through code, creating software that can solve problems, enhance lives, and shape the future of technology.

This career path not only promises a blend of creativity and analytical challenges but also opens doors to a wide array of industries, ensuring a dynamic and fulfilling professional journey.

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Educational Requirements

Certifications

One way to ensure a strong resume is to obtain additional certifications. Learning about different development environments and compiling software helps job seekers remain competitive with others looking for work. These opportunities are often available online or through professional associations.

High School Learning

Getting a computer programming degree begins with preparation in high school. Those interested in this career should consider taking additional math courses.

Options to learn after graduation include hands on experience or computer programming classes. Most members of this field have some formal computer programming education.

Degrees vs Certifications

Many employers prefer candidates that have completed a bachelor’s program, but completing a course at a computer programming trade school can be enough for entry level positions.

Some companies require computer programming training specific to their industry. Growth and change are constant in these roles.

Even those who have a degree often also hold a computer programming certificate in a particular skill or language.

What Is Computer Programming?

Those with a computer programming career spend their time inserting certain commands into desktops, laptops, or mainframes. Using techniques learned at computer programming schools, these specialists create the code needed for computers to perform specific functions.

Programmers will test new code and fix bugs to make sure operations run smoothly. They also expand or update existing systems. These experts partner with software developers and assist with designing applications or interfaces for the end user.

Depending on how complex the coding and its purpose, it may take several months or years to complete a project. Even after finishing, occasionally workers must rewrite portions so that the program runs on other platforms. Technicians usually complete simpler items, like games for mobile devices, in much less time.

Salary

Pay for those with this knowledge averages around $84K per year. Starting salaries for new graduates are often less, but candidates with experience can earn upwards of $100K.

Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for each state.

State Hourly wage Annual wage
Alabama $46.64 $97,020.00
Alaska $45.91 $95,490.00
Arizona $46.49 $96,700.00
Arkansas
California $59.93 $124,660.00
Colorado $55.56 $115,550.00
Connecticut $51.92 $108,000.00
Delaware $49.37 $102,700.00
District of Columbia $47.66 $99,140.00
Florida $46.87 $97,480.00
Georgia $45.91 $95,500.00
Hawaii $41.63 $86,590.00
Idaho $48.34 $100,540.00
Illinois $46.55 $96,810.00
Indiana $47.12 $98,000.00
Iowa $40.15 $83,520.00
Kansas $47.05 $97,860.00
Kentucky $46.85 $97,450.00
Louisiana
Maine $46.98 $97,720.00
Maryland $52.65 $109,520.00
Massachusetts $55.02 $114,450.00
Michigan $43.60 $90,700.00
Minnesota $48.65 $101,180.00
Mississippi $33.53 $69,730.00
Missouri $36.06 $75,010.00
Montana $43.70 $90,890.00
Nebraska $45.59 $94,820.00
Nevada $47.55 $98,890.00
New Hampshire $42.53 $88,450.00
New Jersey $59.05 $122,830.00
New Mexico $39.10 $81,330.00
New York $55.88 $116,230.00
North Carolina $49.57 $103,100.00
North Dakota $44.60 $92,760.00
Ohio $40.32 $83,870.00
Oklahoma $54.04 $112,410.00
Oregon $53.38 $111,030.00
Pennsylvania $45.25 $94,120.00
Puerto Rico $24.96 $51,910.00
Rhode Island $46.72 $97,170.00
South Carolina $49.74 $103,460.00
South Dakota $31.41 $65,320.00
Tennessee $56.82 $118,190.00
Texas $48.30 $100,470.00
Utah $48.28 $100,430.00
Vermont $41.54 $86,390.00
Virginia $50.38 $104,790.00
Washington $76.21 $158,520.00
West Virginia $36.26 $75,420.00
Wisconsin $44.12 $91,770.00
Wyoming $37.77 $78,560.00

Occupation: Computer Programmers (SOC Code151251)
source: data.bls.gov

Income is dependent on the industry. Software publishers offer the highest incentives, while roles in manufacturing are on the lower end of the wage scale.

Career Overview

Our modern world relies heavily on technology. Many of our daily tasks involve computers or electronics.

In order for these machines to run properly, there must be instructions built in to the operating system. Computer programmers are responsible for creating and entering the directions that make many of these processes possible.

Computer programming careers involve writing the code that tells computers what to do. Using specialized languages, these professionals help to make programs that people use to accomplish their goals.

From fun puzzles to complex medical equipment, technicians in this field are vital to the process of creating the tools we use every day.

Job Duties

Programmers may review performance of software and resolve issues that they find. They also generate new ideas for products or services.

Associates spend most of their days seated at desks in office buildings typing on laptop or desktop machines.

These roles do not call for much physical exertion, but full-timers need to be able to sit and focus for extended periods.

Other tasks of staff members may involve:

  • Preparing instruction manuals
  • Measuring progress on current projects
  • Assigning jobs to their team
  • Developing flow charts for processes
  • Teaching others to use computer programming equipment
  • Testing systems to ensure proper functioning
  • Designing applications for websites
  • Documenting procedures

What Types of Skills Should Computer Programmers Possess?

Independent Working

One of the most vital computer programming requirements is the ability to work with little or no supervision.

Although computer programmers are frequently in teams and need to be able to communicate with others, most are on their own each day.

Detail Orientation

Another valuable computer programming skill is attention to detail. When writing code, following a particular formatting style is necessary to get the intended results.

For this reason, being able to spot errors is important to avoid creating issues. Being comfortable with multiple languages makes the process easier and faster.

Analysis

Analytical thinking and persistence will be helpful to these recruits. Part of the role is finding and fixing mistakes.

Good Learner

Quick learning and creativity are important when trying to solve problems effectively. Breaking down complex information into smaller parts also keeps large projects from becoming overwhelming.

Communication

Individuals proficient in communication by phone, email, and in person will perform well in these roles.

Knowing how to explain complicated information to various audiences is essential when presenting new ideas. Having a talent for sharing knowledge with others may lead to leadership opportunities for some associates.

Creative Thinking

Many circumstances these staff members face demand innovative solutions. They must be able to apply their knowledge to new and different problems.

To find ways to improve or create systems, they need to use their creativity.

Research

Knowing how to research and adapt information to specific situations takes ingenuity. Sometimes plans will fail or won’t produce the desired results.

In these instances, employees must persevere and try other avenues, not become discouraged by setbacks.

Keeping Up with Technology

To increase their chances at landing good positions, prospects should strive to constantly be improving. As technology evolves, it is important to keep up to date with the newest tools and techniques.

Knowledge of a variety of programming languages makes applicants stronger choices for employment.

Other Useful Skills

  • Problem solving ability
  • Time management
  • Reading comprehension
  • Concentration
  • Troubleshooting proficiency
  • Critical thinking
  • Knowing how to organize, plan, and prioritize
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical mindset
  • Communication skills

Work Environment

Tools of the Trade

Keeping computer programming tools organized is essential. Employees should maintain items like laptops, desktop computers, and monitors so they are ready to use and easy to access.

There are also paper elements to manage, such as flowcharts and manuals, that these professionals use to guide their activities.

Making sure to place these items back where they belong when they are not in use ensures that others can access the information they need.

Without diligently following this practice, it can be difficult for people to answer questions or measure progress.

Hours

The schedule of a computer programmer can vary by company and industry. Most employees work weekdays for eight or more hours per day.

Depending on the needs of a project, some periods involve additional time while others may be slow.

On rare occasions, it might be necessary to complete assignments during moments when components are not in use. This may entail some evening, weekend, or overnight shifts.

Staff members should prepare to be flexible when these situations arise.

Constructive Criticism

Professional challenges occur during the design process or when testing and fixing lines of code. Recruits should know how to accept criticism, deal with setbacks, and be willing to adapt to changing priorities.

Where Do They Work?

Hopefuls can find a computer programming job in places like:

  • Software companies
  • Retailers
  • Banks and insurance organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Government offices

Can You Work Remotely?

Yes, since programming can happen nearly anywhere, many employees in computer programming jobs are remote.

Most complete computer programming work alone, but some instances call for collaboration with a team. When this is the case, it may be necessary to meet in a central location to discuss tasks or share information.

Other Career Options for Computer Programmers

Individuals with computer programming degrees have many other choices when it comes to employment in this field.

DBA

Full- and part-timers will find openings for computer support specialists or database administrators throughout a range of industries.

Security

Those who understand viruses and networks may pursue opportunities as information security analysts.

Web Development

Those with this training may consider becoming web developers. They build, manage, and create content for internet sites.

Most associates report to an office, though many are self-employed. Candidates who pursue web development should prepare themselves for a lower salary than computer programmers receive.

Many still find that the creative aspects of the job make for a rewarding experience.

Career Outlook

Employment opportunities for this position are competitive. Potential hires should prepare a computer programming resume that includes information on education and projects to which they contributed. Also list the languages the individual knows, such as C++ or Java.