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Computer programming involves knowing how to write code—a handy skill for a variety of technology jobs. In everything from creating websites to developing software programs, strong computer programming knowledge can set you apart from the pack. A computer programming bachelor’s degree provides a solid foundation in this subject.
In this article, we discuss computer programming degrees in detail, including typical admission requirements, required coursework and popular career options for graduates. Keep reading to learn more about bachelor’s degrees in computer programming.
What Is a Computer Programming Bachelor’s Degree?
A computer programming bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree that covers various computer programming languages, programming skills, application development, web scripting and other valuable competencies that can help you qualify for high-paying tech jobs.
Colleges and universities often offer computer programming as a concentration within a broader computer science bachelor’s program. A bachelor’s in computer science provides foundational knowledge of many computer science-related topics, such as data structures and algorithms, artificial intelligence and application security.
As a computer programming bachelor’s student, expect to earn around 120 credits to graduate, which takes most learners four years. You may need longer if you study part time, and if you pursue an accelerated online program, you might be able to complete your degree in under three years.
Computer programming degree programs may also require a capstone project or an internship during your last semester.
Admission Requirements for a Bachelor’s in Computer Programming
Below are common admission requirements for computer programming undergraduate degrees, but these vary, so you should check with your school for more information.
- High school diploma, GED certificate or the equivalent
- Transcripts from previous educational institutions
- Personal statement
If you performed well on the ACT or SAT, you might also submit your test scores, even if you’re applying to a test-optional program. And if standardized tests are not your forte, check out our list of the best test-optional colleges.
Common Courses in a Computer Programming Degree Program
Course offerings for computer programming degrees vary among programs, but below we list some common courses for computer programming majors.
A programming logic course introduces object-oriented programming principles, such as programming standards, algorithm development, data types, software testing, debugging, problem-solving, repetitive statements, operators, arrays and other concepts relevant to an object-oriented framework.
This course uses the open systems interconnection model to cover network design fundamentals and technologies. Learners study operating systems, network installation, upgrades, configuration of remote access, disaster recovery protocol and network troubleshooting methods.
Emerging Programming Languages
This course focuses on emerging computer programming languages, including their design, implementation and key features. It covers subjects such as API design and patterns, supporting software services, language paradigms, run-time systems and various approaches to execution.
Learners in an artificial intelligence (AI) course explore the basics of AI. The curriculum covers search algorithms, machine learning, logic, intelligent agents, knowledge representation and other concepts related to AI techniques.
Mobile Applications development
This course teaches essential skills for mobile application development. Students learn about designing and developing applications, testing and debugging, creating user interfaces, addressing cross-platform issues and working with cross-platform environments.
Accreditation for Computer Programming Degrees
Programmatic accreditation assures the quality of a department or degree program; graduating from an accredited program can deliver you a leg up in the job market. ABET handles accreditation for many computer, engineering and technology degree programs, including computer science programs.
As you narrow down your college search, consider schools with ABET-accredited degree programs. You can search ABET’s database to find out your prospective program’s accreditation status.
What Can You Do With a Computer Programming Degree?
Below we list several popular computer programming jobs you might pursue with a computer programming degree. We sourced salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale.
Median Annual Salary: $97,800
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, less education sometimes sufficient with significant professional experience
Quality Assurance Analyst
Median Annual Salary: $99,620
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree sometimes preferred
Job Overview: Quality assurance analysts design and test software. They also troubleshoot problems and provide solutions. These professionals develop test plans and procedures, conduct software testing manually or with automated programs, write documentation describing problems or issues that need to be addressed, and recommend methods to minimize project risks.
Software developers and other stakeholders rely on quality assurance analysts’ feedback to Improve software functionality.
Median Annual Salary: $127,260
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree sometimes preferred
Job Overview: Software developers design and develop computer applications and systems. They identify users’ needs, write plans to execute software development, and create diagrams and models for programmers. Software developers ensure that programs and applications function properly, which involves making recommendations for software upgrades and maintenance.
Median Annual Salary: $78,580
Minimum Required Education: High school education with programming knowledge, bachelor’s degree sometimes preferred
Job Overview: Web developers design, create, test, maintain and ensure the functionality of websites. Their responsibilities include using popular computer programming languages to write code, developing mockups or prototypes, handling back-end or front-end development, and incorporating payment-processing options into e-commerce websites.
Web and Digital Interface Designer
Median Annual Salary: $83,240
Minimum Required Education: High school education with relevant knowledge and work experience, bachelor’s degree sometimes preferred
Job Overview: Digital interface designers design and create websites and digital interfaces. These professionals test and adjust designs and layouts to make sure a website meets accessibility standards, ensuring interfaces and navigation menus function properly and are user-friendly across multiple devices and browsers. Digital interface designers may also modify websites to Improve search engine rankings.
Video Game Designer
Average Annual Salary: Around $68,100
Minimum Required Education: High school education with relevant experience and programming knowledge, game design degree sometimes preferred
Job Overview: Video game designers use programming languages and other technologies to plan, design and create video games for various platforms, such as gaming systems and computers. They may collaborate with other team members to create storyboards and flowcharts for games. Some video game designers focus on specific parts of a game, such as developing a rule system or creating environments.
Mobile Applications Developer
Average Annual Salary: Around $78,300
Minimum Required Education: Relevant experience and programming language knowledge
Job Overview: Mobile applications developers design and create mobile applications for various platforms, such as smartphones and tablets. They use common programming languages to control the look, feel and functionality of applications. App developers also test and troubleshoot applications to eliminate bugs and glitches, sometimes collaborating with other developers as well.
To learn more, see our guide on how to become an app developer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Computer Programming Bachelor’s Degrees
Is it good to major in computer programming?
Majoring in computer programming can provide you with relevant knowledge for a variety of jobs in tech. Potential careers for computer programming majors include programmer, web developer and quality assurance analyst. If your goal is to work in the tech field, a computer programming major may serve you well.
What is a computer programmer’s salary?
Computer programmers as a whole earn a median annual salary of $97,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but salaries vary by employer, position and industry. For example, computer programmers who work in scientific research and development services earn an average of $137,020, while those working in academia earn an average of $87,530.