$79k $79k
328k 328k
-8.0% -8.0%
3.5/5 3.5/5
Bachelors Bachelors

Computer Programmer Education Requirements

It seems that there are as many roads to becoming a computer programmer as there are actual programmers. Some computer programmers have a bachelors degree in computer information or science, mathematics or engineering. A two-year degree or certificate may be adequate for some jobs.

Though there is not one specific credential that all computer programmers must have, it is certain that having some type of formal education will definitely improve your chances of getting employment in the competitive programming world. Having said that, many programmers are self-taught and are very proficient and successful in programming. In the absence of a degree, substantial specialized experience or expertise may be needed.

In addition to educational achievement, employers value relevant programming skills as well as experience. They will be looking for people familiar with fourth and fifth generation languages that involve graphic user interface and systems programming. Because technology changes so often, programmers must constantly update their knowledge and skills by taking courses sponsored by their employer or offered through local colleges and universities.

When hiring computer programmers, employers look for people with the necessary programming skills who can think logically and pay close attention to detail. Programming calls for patience, persistence, and the ability to perform precise analytical work, especially when under pressure.

Creativity, ingenuity, being able to work with abstract concepts and being able to do technical analysis are all important as well. Because programmers are expected to work in teams and interact directly with users, employers want programmers who are able to communicate with non-technical personnel. Business skills are also important for those wanting to advance to managerial positions.

One thing that is incredibly important is to remember that you will be working with other people. So while it is imperative that you can program well, it is just as imperative that you can work with the people around you. You will need to explain why you can or can't do something, offer solutions, take criticism, take direction, listen to arguments, have arguments, make apologies and accept apologies. Learning the skill of communicating and marrying that with your skill in computer programming will make you stand out from others and accelerate your success.

Education History of Computer Programmers

The most common degree held by computer programmers is Computer Science. 13 percent of computer programmers had a degree in computer science before becoming computer programmers. That is over 5 times the average across all careers. Computer Engineering graduates are the second most common among computer programmers, representing 4 percent of computer programmers in the Sokanu user base, which is 6.8 times the average.

Computer Programmer Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Computer Programmer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of computer programmers % of population Multiple
Computer Science 12.7% 2.4% 5.3×
Computer Engineering 3.6% 0.5% 6.8×
Information Systems 2.6% 0.5% 5.2×
Business Management And Administration 2.1% 5.0% 0.4×
Computer Programming 2.1% 0.3% 8.1×
Electrical Engineering 1.8% 0.8% 2.4×
Mathematics 1.4% 1.4% 1.0×
Economics 1.3% 3.1% 0.4×
Management Information Systems 1.1% 0.4% 3.2×
Physics 1.1% 0.9% 1.2×

Computer Programmer Education Levels

78% of computer programmers have a bachelor's degree. 16% of computer programmers have an associate's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 6%
Associate's degree 16%
Bachelor's degree 78%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Computer Programmer

Think you might be interested in becoming a Computer Programmer? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good computer programmer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education
    Web Development Immersive Get paid to code

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Terry | Dover, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Goldey-Beacom College | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

  • How To Become A Computer Programmer www.wgu.edu

    While most employers require a bachelor's degree, some will hire experienced individuals with an associate's degree or certificate.

  • What Do You Need To Study To Become A Computer Programmer? work.chron.com

    Computer programmers write code, which is a set of instructions to tell computers and their applications what to do to perform specific tasks. You can begin studying computer programming as early as high school.

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