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Career Information for a Degree in Applications Computer Programming

Degrees in computer applications programming typically cover applications development and programming. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for applications programming graduates.

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By completing a degree in applications computer programming, it's possible to become a computer programmer or an applications software developer. Although it's sometimes possible to become a computer programmer with an associate's degree, most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree, and a bachelor's degree is required to become an applications software developer.

Essential Information

Individuals who have studied applications computer programming can make computer programs for specific tasks, such as word processing, accounting, photo editing or inventory counting. Students may study database design, application programming, scripting, Java and Visual Basic programming and Web design. Professional certifications are available from software vendors and, while not mandatory, they can prove competency in that product.

Career Computer Programmer Applications Software Developer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree; some employers accept an associate's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Optional requirements available N/A
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -8% 19%
Median Salary (2015)* $79,530 $98,260

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

A degree in computer programming can prepare students to work as applications programmers, applications software developers or software engineers. Most positions call for at least an associate's degree, and many employers prefer someone with a bachelor's degree.

Computer Programmer

Many applications computer programmers work to modify the generic programs and applications that are purchased on large scales by companies and firms. They also assist software engineers in their work. They usually need a bachelor's degree, but some employers will hire a talented individual with an associate's degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer programmers are expected to see their occupation decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS stated that the reason for the decline in this field is companies hiring programmers overseas who they can pay lower salaries. The median salary for all types of computer programmers as of May 2015 was $79,530 per year, as stated by the BLS.

Applications Software Developer

Applications software developers look at the needs of the user and design software applications that fulfill those objectives. These applications may be used internally by an organization or sold to the public. Applications software developers are involved with development from inception to finished product and must be proficient in programming and informed about the industry in which they are working. A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is usually required.

The BLS reports that job growth for applications software developers should be 19% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than for other occupations. The median salary in May 2015 was $98,260.

The people who make word processing software and other computer programs can begin working towards their career by completing a degree in applications computer programming. Computer programmers and applications software developers are professionals who develop and maintain computer programs or create programs that are tailored to meet specific user needs. Job prospects for applications software developers are expected to be strong from 2014 to 2024, while opportunities for computer programmers are expected to decline during the same decade.

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