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Computer Programming - Detailed overview

Occupation Training Program: Computer Programming
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Main description

Overview

Programs in computer programming prepare people to write and design computer software. They learn to design programs to perform specific tasks. They learn various computer languages. They also learn software installation and maintenance.

Okay, there's no other way to say it: Programs in computer programming teach you how to write, test, monitor, and maintain computer programs. This usually means programs related to businesses. For instance, you can be hired to write a program that helps a business track the sales of certain types of products. In general, you write the "code" that tells computers what to do. Sounds a bit like a "yawner."

But wait! The world of computer programming can be very exciting. You can use your knowledge and creativity to write new video games, unique web sites, and exciting computer animation! Not to mention the challenge of creating original software for businesses and other organizations. After all, software that began with limited applications can explode to have much wider uses (think the World Wide Web, which originally started out for defense purposes).

Programs in computer programming usually require you to take several computer science courses. It's no surprise that you'll learn several different types of programming languages, such as Java and Javascript, COBOL, Perl, Visual Basic, and C++. You also learn about different operating systems, such as Mac OS X and Windows. In addition, you learn about database management and computer networks. You also learn how to "debug" your programs, meaning that you learn how to test them for errors before they go live.

Community colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools offer programs ranging from one to two years. They are designed to prepare students for jobs as entry-level computer programmers. Some colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs that focus on programming methods for collecting, organizing, processing, and disseminating information. Graduates of these programs have a broad base of knowledge in computer languages that they can apply to business activities.

You can also become certified in a specific programming language. The difference between this and general computer programming is that here, you focus on one type of programming language or a group of related languages. There are computer languages specifically for the Internet, networks, businesses, and engineering, to name a few. In addition, some languages can be used for multiple purposes. With the continual explosion in technology, new languages are constantly being developed or updated. Many people choose to become specialized because of this. Otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to keep up with all the changes in computer software.

Specialized certificate programs in computer programming are usually offered through community colleges, technical institutes, or vocational schools. Some programs are offered through online courses or proprietary schools. These programs vary in length from a few weeks to a year or more. Typically you must already have a degree in computer programming to be admitted. This can mean an associate's degree or a bachelor's. Certifications vary widely, so be sure to check out program offerings thoroughly.

In general, most two-year degrees can be transferred to four-year colleges and universities.

Graduate study is possible through programs in computer science or management information systems. Check out these programs of study for further information on a master's or doctorate degree.


 

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