The most basic form of computer programming is binary code.
Computer programmers write code, which is a set of instructions to tell computers and their applications what to do to perform specific tasks. They use languages such as Java and C++, tools such as computer-assisted software engineering programs, and libraries that maintain lines of code commonly used in computer programs and applications. You can begin studying computer programming as early as high school.
Many high schools offer computer science classes to prepare students for future college studies. Other coursework such as algebra and calculus helps students understand the basics of computers and how they operate by using mathematical equations. Some high schools also offer vocational training programs to prepare students to work as computer programmers after completing high school or to enter undergraduate programs.
Most employers require at least an associate’s degree for computer programming jobs. Colleges and universities offer a variety of degrees related to computer programming, such as computer science. Coursework includes general academic studies such as English and history, as well as computer science coursework, which includes data structures and algorithms, programming languages and software engineering design processes.
Related Reading: How do I Become a Computer Programmer in 10 Years?
Continuing Education and Certification
Computer programmers often continue their education or obtain certification to prove their skills to employers. As technology advances, computer programming languages advance. Programmers who learn the latest technologies through continuing education and obtain credentials related to new programming languages, tools and technologies can improve their employment opportunities.
Careers and Salaries
Approximately 320, 100 computer programmers were employed in the United States in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest levels of employment were in industries including computer systems software services, software publishers, management companies, employment services firms and insurance carriers. The Bureau estimated an average annual salary of $76, 010 in 2011 for this occupation.