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Computer Programming Degree Program Overviews by Level

A 2-year associate's degree in computer programming will prepare a student to write a sequence of logical instructions that control a computer and enable it to follow the commands of a human user. Topics include programming languages as well as coding, compiling, and debugging programs.

Essential Information

Degree programs devoted strictly to computer programming take two years to complete. A high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in an associate's degree program. Some programs may also expect applicants to meet minimum standardized test scores in English, math and reading. Students will learn several programming concepts and languages, operating systems and how to program databases.


Associate's Degree in Computer Programming

Students learn programming languages like C++, Visual BASIC and Java. Other topics covered include computer hardware, networking and security. Liberal arts courses in composition, humanities, the social sciences or natural sciences are often required in associate's degree programs as well. Coursework may include the following:

  • Introduction to computers
  • Programming concepts
  • Visual BASIC
  • Java programming
  • C++ programming
  • Web programming

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Earning an associate's degree in computer programming qualifies graduates for a limited number of entry-level positions as computer programmers. These professionals work primarily in business offices and labs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer programmers is expected to decline by 8% from 2014-2024. In May 2015, the BLS reported that programmers made median annual earnings of $79,530.

Continuing Education Information

Programmers who earn a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer information systems are more likely to find employment in their disciplines, possibly as software engineers. Many schools host transfer programs that allow candidates to apply their associate's degree credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Students who wish to learn how to develop computer programs may earn an associate's degree in computer programming. This 2-year program will teach them a variety of programming languages, as well as how to code, compile, and debug programs.


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