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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 require additional skills as well. Read on to learn more about computer programming jobs and specializations.
Types of Computer Programming Specializations
A school may offer several specializations to students pursuing a computer programming bachelor’s degree. Universities may also call these specializations “tracks” or “concentrations”.
Studying artificial intelligence (AI) teaches you to use AI applications, which incorporate natural language processing and machine learning to identify and interpret spoken words and make recommendations. Learners study algorithms, analysis and predictive modeling.
Potential Courses: AI principles, machine learning, natural language processing
Potential Careers: AI architect, AI researcher, machine learning engineer
Computer and Network Security
Students specializing in computer and network security focus on all elements of an organization’s security. This includes addressing vulnerabilities.
Potential courses: Operating systems principles, wireless networks security and computer forensics.
Potential Careers: Network security analyst, security engineer, digital crime analyst and firewall administrator.
Students who specialize in data science learn 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 practice, machine learning
Potential Careers: Data scientist, data analyst, database administrator, machine learning engineer
Students who specialize in computer-human interfaces learn to evaluate how people interact with computers, smartphones and websites. Learners use this information to develop interfaces that function across 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 ensuring security.
Potential Courses: Computer science, database theory, web applications, programming languages
Potential Careers: Applications developer, web developer, software engineer, information systems manager, game developer
Career Paths in Computer Programming
Computer programmers write and test code for computer software and applications.
Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree is typically necessary to work as a computer programmer. Schools may require students to declare a specialization in a specific area. It’s also common for computer programmers to earn certifications in programming languages or platforms.
Skills: Computer programmers need to understand algorithms and programming languages.
Salary: The median annual salary for computer programmers was $93,000 as of 2021.
Job Growth: The demand for computer programmers is expected to decrease 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: While a degree is not always required to be a web developer, it is common for professionals in this field to have bachelor’s degrees. Web developers take courses to learn skills in coding, graphic design and programming languages.
Skills: Web developers need to have coding and graphic design skills.
Salary: The median annual salary for web developers was $77,200 as of 2020.
Job Growth: The demand for web developers is expected to increase 13% from 2020 to 2030.
Software developers design, write, test and maintain functional software applications and systems.
Qualifications: Software developers need to have a bachelor’s degree. They may also earn certifications or take additional courses to learn relevant skills, such as programming languages.
Skills: Software developers need to have coding, design and analytical skills
Salary: The median annual salary for software developers was $110,140 as of 2020.
Job Growth: The demand for software developers is expected to increase 22% from 2020 to 2030.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts collect and analyze data on their organizations’ computer systems to provide solutions that would improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Qualifications: Computer systems analysts typically have bachelor’s degrees.
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 as of 2021.
Job Growth: The demand for computer systems analysts is expected to increase 7% from 2020 to 2030.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects design and build communication networks. They also typically handle hardware and software updates.
Qualifications: Computer network architects need a bachelor’s degree. Some may choose to earn a master’s degree or an MBA in information systems.
Skills: Computer network architects should have excellent analytical skills and hands-on experience with database design and network security.
Salary: The median annual salary for computer network architects was $120,520 as of 2021.
Job Growth: The demand for computer network architects is expected to increase 5% from 2020 to 2030.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a high demand for computer programming jobs?
The demand for computer programmers overall is expected to decrease by 5 percent from 2010 to 2030. However, jobs are projected to increase for some computer programming roles, such as software developer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this overall decrease in demand is due to the availability of remote workers in countries where lower salaries are acceptable.
What skills do you need for computer programming jobs?
Computer programmers should 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 to select a specialization that aligns with your career goals. You should also spend some time working on certifications for relevant subjects while you gain work experience.