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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Computer Programming

Majors Overview January 29, 2014

The role of a computer programmer is to develop, maintain, and create source codes for computer programs. Some computer programmers opt to earn a two-year degree, but most of them have bachelor’s degrees.

A.A.S. Programs in Computer Programming

Students enrolled in a 2-year degree program in computer programming are taught about using programming language to write source code. First, they are given a basic overview of computer science, in addition to the principles and logic that underlie computer operating systems. Thereafter, they learn about the specific programming languages that are most commonly used to maintain and create computer programs.

Coursework in a majority of associate’s degree programs in computer programming is of a practical format, with hands-on training mainly imparted through computer lab sessions. The creation and writing of their computer programs are often expected of Students before they graduate.

Education Requirements

Students should understand the fundamentals of keyboarding and computer operating systems before they enroll in an associate’s degree program in computer programming. In many schools, students are provided access to computer labs, though students are advised to buy their own computer systems.

Coursework

Basic principles of computer science are covered in the coursework related to an Associate’s degree program in computer programming; this is augmented by classes that cover specific, complex programming languages. Coursework includes some topic areas such as:

•Operating systems
•Database programming
•C++ programming
•Linux/Unix
•Principles of networking
•Introduction to computer science
•Java programming
•Introduction to programming and logic
•Information security

Job and Wage Outlook

Computer programmers can seek entry level jobs with corporations, individuals businesses, software publishers, and computer systems design companies. In 2009, there were more than 367,000 computer programmers employed in the United States (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). However, a decline in the number has been predicted during the decade from 2008 to 2018; outsourcing of jobs and the ability of people to perform their own programming needs are the main reasons for the pessimistic projection. In May 2009, computer programmers took home an average annual wage of $74,280.

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree program in computer programming might seek to pursue continued education by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in computer information systems or other related field of computer science. A programming emphasis is offered by some of these programs. Those looking at educating themselves beyond the bachelor’s degree may consider earning a master’s or doctoral degree in computer science.

While computer programmers don’t require certification in order to seek jobs, many recruiters prefer candidates who obtain it. Various software companies and product vendors dealing in programming software offer certifications. Obtaining certification related to a particular product may enhance the job prospects of candidates who are sought by businesses interested in hiring computer programmers with such certification.

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