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Bachelors Degree in Computer Programming: Program Overview

Computer programmers are responsible for designing, building, testing and fixing websites, information management systems and software programs. Colleges do not offer bachelor's degrees in computer programming. Individuals looking to specialize in computer programming typically earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

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Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Computer science studies combine principles in advanced mathematics, science, computers and engineering. Majors learn probability factors and learn to apply logic principles to develop and encode computer systems and programs. By encountering and repairing programming mishaps, they also gain critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Aspiring computer programmers working toward a computer science degree may be able to pursue specialized tracks, such as game design or artificial intelligence. Although almost all computer science bachelor's degree programs comprise programming lessons--through the core curriculum, electives or both--individuals most often specialize in this field through advanced schooling, independent study or professional pursuits upon graduation.

Education Prerequisites

Some schools may require aspiring computer science majors to complete prerequisite courses in introductory programming, discrete mathematics and calculus. Department approval may be dependent on the final grades received in prerequisite classes. An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.0 or higher may also be required.

Program Coursework

Those seeking bachelor's degrees in computer science are typically required to complete a senior project and may also take part in a professional computer programming internship or co-op experience. Aspiring computer programmers take foundational classes in physics and statistics. They also study:

  • Structural components of computer systems
  • System organization principles
  • Development and analysis of algorithms
  • Database management concepts
  • Software engineering principles
  • Computer programming languages
  • Technical documentation for computer programmers
  • Operating system essentials

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Many United States computer programming jobs have been cut back due to global outsourcing. However, employment of computer programmers is expected to grow 12% from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2012, computer programmers made a median salary of $74,280 annually (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Because of competitiveness in the computer programming field, it is imperative for job candidates to stay up-to-date on usable languages and technologies. Consequently, these individuals may decide to pursue a Master of Science in Computer Science. Another advanced degree option for a computer programmer may is the Master of Science in Management Information Systems. However, continuing education classes, professional seminars and organization memberships may help programmers stay on their game.

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