Computer Programming:

A Career Worth Pursuing

When one thinks of computer programming, one might think of complicated

problems and challenges. People may think that computer programming is hard, well it’s

really rather easy if you have the right training and education. Someone may think that it

requires a lot of work and years in college, when it really does not require much. There

are many job oppurtunities opening every day for computer programmers. Computer

programmers have several job opportunities these days. A career as a computer

programmer would be very interesting and rewarding.

Definition Of Occupation

Computer programmers write software for computers. The software for

computers are the detailed instructions computers follow while they run. Work of

a computer programmer involves updating, repairing, and modifying codes for

programs that have already been written. Computer programmers follow guidelines

prepared by systems analysts.

Programmers code instructions using programming languages such as “C” and

“FORTAN”. Programmers usually specialize in one or two languages. Programmers

keep records of their programming so that others can work on the software. Most

programmers test their work by running the program to see if it works correctly.

Programmers usually do one of two broad types of programming: applications or system.

System programmers maintain the software that controls the operation of an entire

computer system. Applications programmers write software that handle specific jobs


Worker Characteristics

To be a computer programmer one must have many characteristics. One must

have the desire to be a leader and influence others. The peron must have a good ability

to work with numbers. Must have the ability to follow set procedures and make few

errors. Ability to solve problems and make decisions. Also, one must have a good ability

to look at written information,such as computer code, and find errors. The soon to be

programmer must have a good ability to understand or use words when talking or writing.

A computer programmer having all these characteristics will do great in the programming

world (OCIS).


There are really very little requirements for the career of computer programming.

Most computer programming jobs do not require a certificate or license, but it does vary

from job to job ( Cosgrove). Computer programmers must usually complete either a

bachelors degree in computer science or in another course with a significant programming

component (Computer Programmers, Febuary 1999). All in all, the basic job for a

computer programmer requires very little.

Training On The Job

As a computer programmer you also get training on the job even after you get out

of college. Many skills are gained on the job because you work everyday with new and

improved things. Programmers also attend a wide range of courses to update their

knowledge and their techniques. Even after you get out of college you learn more things

every day in the computer programming business ( Programmer ).


The pay for computer programmers varies by experience and education of the

worker. Systems programmers tend to earn more than applications programmers. The

average wage for a computer programmer is $28.83 per hour. Half of all programmers

earn between $18.51 and $35.23 an hour. The average salary for computer programmer

aides is $15.30 an hour. All in all computer programmers don’t make that bad of money



In the future as the demand for computer programmers goes up so will the wages

for computer programmers. Nationally, employment of computer programmers is

expected to grow faster than average through 2006 ( The Complete Guide For

Occupational Exploration ). The fastest growing area of the computer industry is

expected to be computer and data processing services such as computer programming.

There are really few factors that will limit the growth in demand for programmers.

Competition for programming jobs will also come from other contries. People who only

have a few years of experience or education will face strong competition for programming

jobs (OCIS).

Current Employment

Right now computer programmers hold about 647,780 jobs nationally. In Ohio

there are about 19,020 computer programmers that work in the state. Systems

programmers are more limited than applications programmers in where they work.

Systems programmers are mainly found in large computer centers or software

development firms. Computer programming jobs are available in all areas of the country.

Programmers work in nearly all industries. All in all computer programmers do not really

hold many jobs in the U.S. (OCIS).


There are many advantages for computer programmers starting out. The money

that programmers get starting out is rather good. Computer programmers coming

right out of high school can earn as much as some programmers that have experience

depending on the company and job situation. For must programmers starting out though

the salaries are lower in smaller companies. Also the entry-level wages are the lowest in

government jobs (OCIS). Another advantage to computer programmers is working in

offices in comfortable surroundings (Computer Programmers April 1999).


There are also disadvantages though with computer programming. Some

programmers starting out don’t make as much as others (OCIS). Programmers may have

to work overtime to finish writing software for the computers. In programming jobs,

some may work long hours and even on weekends to meet or fix critical errors that occur

during off hours. The main disadvantage of computer programming is that it is very time

consuming and can be a real pain (Computer Programmers April 1999).

Day To Day Activities

As a computer programmer you don’t do a wide variety of things everyday, mainly

you do the same things over and over again. Almost everyday you will be on a

computer. There will be some days that you won’t be on the computer though. You will

write lots and lots of software. One thing that will change from day to day is the software

that you will write for computers. Altogether computer programmers don’t really do a

lot of different things everyday (OCIS).

A career as a computer programmer would be very interesting and rewarding.

Computer programmers do a lot of things for us that we don’t even really notice. They

are very important to people that use computers. Without computer programmers there

would be no software that could be used on computers. There would also not be any

operating systems for software to run in. So without computer programmers there would

not be any software or operating systems and without those there would be no such things

as computers.


Works Cited

“Computer Programmers” April 19, 2000. On-line. Internet. December 6, 2000.

Available www: http.//

“Computer Programmers.” Febuary 1999. On-line. Internet. December 6, 2000.

Available www:

Cosgrove, Hollie, ed. Exploring Tech Careers 165-172. Vol. 1. Chicago: J.G. Furguson

Publishing, 1995. 2 Vols.

Ohio Career Information System. Computer Software. Ohio Dept Of Education, 2000

IBM. PC/Win 3.0

“Programmer.” October 18, 2000. On-line. Internet. December 6, 2000.

Available www:

“The Complete Guide for Occupational Exploration.” Pg.430. Indianapolis: Jist


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