Computer Programming Majors: A Challenging and Highly Sought-After Degree

Computers are everywhere. Information technology has become the backbone of virtually every business out there. We’re not just talking about PCs and Laptops. Computers are found in our cell phones, watches, cars, refrigerators, washing machines, and a million other products we interact with every day. Every day, as millions and millions of Americans head to work – in the office, on the road, out in nature, in the warehouse, or even on the farm, they use some sort of computer in one way or another. Every year, we find ourselves interacting with computers in new ways.

With this expanding technology, comes expanding career opportunities. Someone, after all, needs to tell all these computers what to do and how to do it. Someone needs to provide the code that outlines the behavior of these systems, troubleshoot and improve upon the code so that the software that runs these computers operates efficiently. That is the job of a computer programmer. As you can imagine, this field is constantly expanding. There currently is a high demand for programmers in the workforce, and there will likely continue to be a high demand in the foreseeable future.

Types of Programmers:

There are two main categories of programmers; system programmers and application programmers.

  • System programmers: These programmers work on programs that talks directly to hardware, telling the computer the basics on how to operate. These programmers will create things like Device drivers and other key components that make the hardware of a computer operate properly. The programs written often are the bridge that helps an operating system work with the hardware of the computer.
  • Application programmers: Application software is the software that the user typically interacts with. So while system programmers help the operating system interact with the machinery of the computer, application programmers provide software that helps the user interact with the operating system. If you play a video game, use a spreadsheet, or open a browser, you are interacting with an application – something written by this type of programmer.

What You Can Expect to Study in a Computer Programing Degree:

  • Computer Science: You can expect to gain an understanding of computers and how they work through several computer science classes. You’ll learn the basic principles of computing, information management, database and spreadsheet design, as well as other classes.
  • Programming Classes: You will take some basic programming classes, and you will likely also choose a focus and take specific programming classes relating to that focus. For example, you will take different classes depending on whether you want to be a system programmer or application programmer. You also might specialize in specific programing languages and applications.
  • Math, math, and more math: Computers speak the language of math. In order to really understand how a computer works, you have to be able to apply mathematic and algebraic logic when you are writing programs. Expect to take some advanced math courses.
  • Other Courses relating to a Bachelor degree: A bachelor degree is designed to help you get a well-rounded education. Expect to take some prerequisite classes that will include English, History, writing and composition, as well as elective classes you’ll choose.
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