Advancement Opportunities for Computer Programmers

Apr 24, 2018

Computer programmers can develop professionally in several careers. These three examples provide information on salary rates, job growth projections, and qualifications needed to make these advancements.

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Career Growth Options for Computer Programmers

Computer programmers test, review, revise, and update codes or instructions used in operating software programs and applications. Under the guidance of software developers, they make sure programs run smoothly with error-free results, especially when used on various computer system platforms. Professional programmers tend to hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar field. They also have the option to work remotely at home or in an office setting. When looking to advance in their career, they should consider several options offering similar degree requirements.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Degrees
Computer Systems Analysts $88,270 9% Bachelor's degree in computer or information science
Software Developers, Systems Software $107,600 11% Bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering
Computer and Information Systems Managers $139,220 12% Bachelor's degree in computer or information science

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Career Information

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer programmers may be interested in promoting to the position of a computer systems analyst. Instead of working with programs used on computers, they will have the chance to improve overall computer infrastructures and software applications used by an organization. Computer systems analysts ensure that a company's network is operating effectively by analyzing memory, storage space, and program functionality. Tasks may include testing existing systems, determining malfunction issues, installing new software, creating instruction guidelines, and consulting with managers about project costs. A bachelor's degree in computer or information science usually qualifies an individual, though some employers accept degrees in other areas, for those who have related experience in computer programming or information technology (IT). Professionals can expect to work as a full-time employee or contractor at an IT company.

Software Developers, Systems Software

As a software developer, computer programmers would no longer be expected to troubleshoot programs and applications, but instead, design them for computer systems and consumer electronics. Since programmers usually work closely with these developers, this advancement opportunity may be an ideal transition. Professionals in this career field tend to secure a position with a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering. A background in computer programming is also a prerequisite to understanding the job. Software developers are hired to design a computer's interface, manage software developments, direct software testing, and propose new or modified installations. They may work in teams and specialize in certain programming areas related to health, finance, and the military.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers are the directors and coordinators of an organization's computer and programming activities. Compared to their existing job position, computer programmers may find that this type of career is a way to develop their skills and experience. It's common for them to work full-time schedules for a company or firm. Daily job tasks may involve collaborating with supervisors to solve issues, recommending system upgrades, implementing better computer systems, going over project proposals, and pitching costs or benefits for new system installations. A large part of their job also deals with assigning work to other IT employees such as computer systems analysts. Managers in this field are expected to have a bachelor's degree in computer or information science as well as relevant hands-on experience.

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