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Computer programming jobs involve writing and editing code, analyzing data, and maintaining computer systems. Most computer programming careers offer areas of specialization that also require additional skills. Read on to learn more about computer programming jobs and specializations.
Types of Computer Programming Specializations
A school may offer several specializations for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer programming. Universities may also call these specializations “streams” or “concentrations.”
Studying artificial intelligence (AI) teaches you how to use AI applications, which integrate natural language processing and machine learning to identify and interpret spoken words and make recommendations. Learners study algorithms, analytics, and predictive modeling.
Potential courses: Principles of AI, machine learning, natural language processing
Potential careers: AI Architect, AI Researcher, Machine Learning Engineer
Computer and network security
Students majoring in computer and network security focus on all elements of an organization’s security. This includes dealing with vulnerabilities.
Potential courses: Principles of operating systems, wireless network security and computer forensics.
Potential careers: Network security analyst, security engineer, digital crime analyst and firewall administrator.
Students majoring in data science learn how to extract and analyze information from large data sets. Learners also develop essential skills in analytics and predictive modeling.
Potential courses: Applied Statistics, Data Science and Research Practices, Machine Learning
Potential careers: Data scientist, data analyst, database administrator, machine learning engineer
Students majoring in human-computer interfaces learn to evaluate how people interact with computers, smartphones, and websites. Learners use this information to develop interfaces that work on various systems and devices.
Potential courses: Principles of human-computer interaction, visual design and user-centered design.
Potential careers: User Experience (UX) Designer, UX Researcher
A specialization in software engineering prepares students to develop and improve systems for applications. This specialty involves skills in testing, coding, and security assurance.
Potential courses: Computer science, database theory, web applications, programming languages
Potential careers: Application developer, web developer, software engineer, information systems manager, game developer
Computer Programming Career Paths
Computer programmers write and test code for computer software and applications.
Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree is usually required to work as a computer programmer. Schools may require students to declare specialization in a specific area. It is also common for computer programmers to earn certifications in programming languages or platforms.
Skills: Computer programmers must understand algorithms and programming languages.
Salary: The median annual salary for computer programmers was $93,000 from 2021.
Employment growth: The demand for computer programmers is expected to decrease by 10% from 2020 to 2030.
Web developers write code for websites using a variety of computer programming languages. They test applications and integrate navigation menus, graphics, video and audio elements into the sites they create.
Qualifications: Although a degree isn’t always required to be a web developer, it’s common for professionals in this field to hold a bachelor’s degree. Web developers take courses to learn skills in coding, graphic design, and programming languages.
Skills: Web developers should have coding and graphic design skills.
Salary: The median annual salary for web developers was $77,200 from 2020.
Employment growth: The demand for web developers is expected to increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030.
Software developers design, write, test, and maintain software applications and functional systems.
Qualifications: Software developers must have a bachelor’s degree. They can also earn certifications or take additional courses to learn relevant skills, such as programming languages.
Skills: Software developers must have coding, design and analysis skills
Salary: The median annual salary for software developers was $110,140 from 2020.
Employment growth: The demand for software developers is expected to increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030.
IT systems analyst
Computer systems analysts collect and analyze data about their organizations’ computer systems to provide solutions that would improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Qualifications: Computer systems analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree.
Skills: Computer systems analysts must be able to analyze and interpret data, implement or upgrade computer systems, and create instruction manuals.
Salary: The median annual salary for computer systems analysts was $99,270 from 2021.
Employment growth: The demand for computer systems analysts is expected to increase by 7% from 2020 to 2030.
computer network architect
Computer network architects design and build communication networks. They also usually handle hardware and software updates.
Qualifications: Computer network architects need a bachelor’s degree. Some may choose to earn a master’s or MBA in information systems.
Skills: Computer network architects should have excellent analytical skills and practical experience in database design and network security.
Salary: The median annual salary for computer network architects was $120,520 from 2021.
Employment growth: The demand for computer network architects is expected to increase by 5% from 2020 to 2030.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a high demand for computer programming jobs?
Overall demand for computer programmers is expected to decline by 5% from 2010 to 2030. However, jobs are expected to increase for some computer programming roles, such as software developer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this overall decline in demand is due to the availability of remote workers in countries where lower wages are acceptable.
What skills do you need for computer programming jobs?
Computer programmers must know how to analyze data, understand hardware and software, and write code using multiple programming languages. Programmers may need additional skills, depending on the specific responsibilities of a job.
What do I need to become a computer programmer?
To work as a computer programmer, you will need a bachelor’s degree and select a specialization that matches your career goals. You should also spend time working on certifications for relevant subjects while gaining work experience.