A Computer Programmer's Education and Training, Job Description and Job Environment

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There are many jobs available with the growth in computers and technology. One of these jobs are computer programming. Computer programming is the action or process of writing computer programs, in short. I will be talking about various things relating to computer programming including the job description, work environment and more. I will also be talking about post secondary programs that offers education and training for computer programming.

First off, the job description of computer programming is as follows, computer programmers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for microcomputer and mainframe software applications, data processing applications, operating systems-level software and communications software. By this job description, we can tell there are various things that computer programmers can do with code, they aren’t just limited to one option. This opens up a lot of job opportunities for a computer programmer since they have a wide spectrum of things they can do with their career. The work environment for a computer programmer varies. Some computer programmers work for governments, or for large businesses like banks and computer companies. Others work as independent consultants and may do much of their work out of home offices. Wherever they work, programmers are likely to spend a great deal of time working with leading-edge hardware and software. The work hours for computer programmers varies for who they work for and what they need to do. By this work environment, we can see computer programming is very flexible. They can work for a huge company and get a lot of face time with clients, or work at home independently. This means computer programming can work for any type of person and what they prefer rather than being confined to going to a workplace everyday. There are many essential skills for computer programmers. On a scale from 1 to 5, computer use, writing, reading text, document use and finding information are one of the most important. This means a computer programmer has to be skilled at using a computer in and out, while also being good at problem solving. They have to read text or code and find information and bugs while making sure to complete the project as well. This indicates computer programming may not be for everyone and some people may have trouble in this career. Many computer programmers are permanently employed by large businesses or public organizations, a significant number work as independent consultants. This relates to the work environment as it varies from each person and what they want to do. Job advancement in computer programming, in a simple sense, is as follows, it starts from Junior Programmer to Programmer, Consultant / Analyst and Manager / Senior Programmer. This indicates it’s very linear when advancing in computer programming. This means there isn’t a lot of opportunities to expand your options further, there is a distinct ladder of career advancement that comes with over time. Programmers’ incomes vary widely and are affected by their level of education, experience, location and responsibilities. System programmers generally earn more than applications programmers. Most programmers in Canada earn $40,000 to $100,000 a year. Their average annual income is likely somewhere between $55,000 and $75,000 a year. However, some programmers, such as those who run their own successful consulting businesses or who hold graduate degrees, can earn more than $200,000 a year. What we can take from this is the salary of a computer programmer fluctuates and is very situational. It depends on your location, how skilled you are and what you have to offer. The more responsibilities you have and the level of education you have received have a big part in salary. This means computer programming isn’t for people who aren’t up for the task. If your end goal is to make money, it can be omitted just by where you live and your employer. Also, if you don’t take on a lot of responsibilities, the pay may not be to your standards. Some related occupations to computer programming are Bioinformatics Specialist, Computer hardware engineer, Video game developer, Computer software engineer and many more. What all of these occupations have in common are they all relate to computers, creating programs and information. Which is in essence what a computer programmer does.

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Moving on, I will talk about post secondary programs and training for computer programming. The program I have chose is Computer Programming and Analysis from Seneca College. A description of the program is as follows, “As a student in the Computer Programming and Analysis program, you’ll enjoy a vast range of professional option subjects and the opportunity to specialize in semesters five and six in a computer area of your choice”. The entrance requirements are an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). This means you would have to complete some form of secondary school or high school education. The required courses or recommended academic preparation is Grade 12 English, College or University and Grade 12 Mathematics or Grade 11 Mathematics, College or University. This means you can go either or for taking college courses or university programs if you want to apply to this program. This program is in a college so the requirements aren’t all that too hard, but I can imagine for an university level program the requirements would be all university level courses. The length of the program is 6 semesters, or 3 years. This is a pretty hefty length meaning there is a lot of work required in this course and a good foundation on computer programming is needed beforehand. The tuition fees are $3,663 for two semesters and books and supplies are $375 for two semesters. This comes up to around $11,000 for tuition and $1125 for books and supplies for six semesters. This is very costly and not everyone can afford this, meaning you should only take this program if you know you can handle it, or else you would be wasting your money and time. A good thing about this program is it has Co-Op within it. The description they provides for it is as follows, “Co-op can be a valuable experience for first-year students in this program. Helping students gain important work experience in their field of choice for more than 30 years, the co-op program at Seneca allows you to alternate academic and paid work semesters after three or four.” This is amazing for anyone who is very serious about computer programming since they would get work experience all within the course. Companies look for that and they would have an advantage over everyone else who didn’t have the co-op option. There are many career opportunities that come out of this program as well, the specifics are software developer, systems analyst, information systems specialist, database administrator and many more. This is an amazing program for anyone who is very serious about computer programming. They will complete co-op and gain work experience all while studying for a prolonged period of time on computer programming. They will have a wide range of job opportunities they can apply to and have their future planned out all from this one program. This comes at a cost though, this program is very costly and isn’t for everyone, no matter how many benefits it has. Anyone who wants to partake in this program should have given it serious consideration and be skilled in the art of computer programming.

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