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Computer Programming Degree: The Perfect Investment For A Dreamy Future

Following a degree in computer programming paves the way to lucrative programming careers and highly sought-after information technology occupations. Learn about the key advantages and discover why it could be the optimal decision for your future.

Computer Programming Degree

Have you thought about pursuing a degree in computer programming?

You’re not alone! 

In the past decade, computer programming degrees have become increasingly popular. With more businesses going digital and relying on technology for operations, programmers are highly sought after.

This article provides comprehensive information about the career path of computer programming. It covers job expectations, ways to enter the field, and potential earnings for computer programmers.

Let’s get into more detail and answer some essential questions. First of all :

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What is a Computer Programming Degree?

Computer programming is a high-tech field that keeps growing in popularity. Following this education path will equip you with the skills you need to take on a successful career in computer programming. 

By obtaining a computer programming degree, you will master the fundamentals of coding, develop problem-solving abilities, and gain experience with software development tools. 

Opting for a degree in this highly sought-after computer and technology field will unlock numerous rewarding career paths and bring you a unique and invaluable skill set to make an impact in your chosen career.

What are the Computer Programming Degree levels?

A degree is an excellent way to start your career, giving you a foundation to organize your experiences. But it is also crucial to know the various computer programming degree-level choices.

You can pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral computer programming degrees. In general, having higher credentials can lead to improved job and salary prospects.

To help you get all the information required for enrollment and how these degrees can benefit your future goals, we’ve compiled a list of the computer programming degree levels below.

Certificate in Computer Programming

Obtaining certification in computer programming can provide a strong foundation in core concepts and coding languages. Some programs offer accelerated options and can typically be completed within 6-12 months.

Entry requirement:

  • High school diploma or equivalent

Associate Degree in Computer Programming

Computer programming associate degrees typically require about 60 credits and can be completed in two years or less. An associate in computer programming makes sense for students who lack time or money for a more extended program but want to get started in the field.

By graduating with this degree, you can qualify for entry-level positions or continue to get a bachelor’s degree.

Entry requirement:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Placement tests (such as SAT or ACT)

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Programming

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer programming can lead to job opportunities in expanding industries with lucrative salaries.

Such a degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete and requires about 120 credits in total.

This academic achievement will equip you to pursue careers in computer programming, web development, or other IT-related fields.

Entry requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Placement tests (such as SAT or ACT)
  • Minimum GPA requirements

Master's Degree in Computer Programming

A Master’s degree in computer programming tends to focus on practical skills and features a high level of customization. You can specialize in areas such as program design, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

These degrees usually take two years or less to complete and require 30-45 credits.

By gaining a master’s degree, you will also gain advanced skills in programming languages and operating systems, one of the largest and fastest-growing occupational groups in the country.

Entry requirements:

  • Having a bachelor’s degree in CS or a related field
  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • GRE or GMAT scores

Doctorate in Computer Programming

To reach the highest level of education in computer programming, you can obtain a doctorate degree (Ph.D.). This level of education prepares graduates for either teaching programming at universities or conducting advanced research.

Ph.D. programs in computer science are commonly offered in most schools and may have a programming concentration. The program typically takes four to six years to compete, but requirements differ depending on the institution.

Entry requirements:

  • Master’s degree in CS or a related field
  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • Professional work experience is preferred

Disclaimer: The entry requirements for a degree in Computer Programming may vary depending on your university and state. However, here we have outlined the general qualifications that are frequently asked for.

What types of specialties and concentrations can you find in Computer Programming Degree programs?

A degree in computer programming can open up a world of opportunities for graduates looking to pursue a career in technology or business analytics-related fields.

By understanding the different specialties and concentrations available within computer programming degree programs – you can be able to an informed decision about your future career path based on your interests and goals.

Data Analytics

Data analytics is known as a process of collecting data from various sources and using it to make informed decisions about how a business or other organization should operate. Those who specialize in data analytics learn how to use powerful software tools such as SQL and Python to collect and analyze large sets of data. You will also explore methods in modeling, visualizing, and presenting analyzed data.

Programming Languages

Programming languages are used by coders and developers when creating websites or applications. If you specialize in programming languages, you`ll learn how to write code that works efficiently and effectively across different platforms. You will also become familiar with debugging techniques, which can help you identify mistakes quickly and easily. This specialty is ideal for those who want to create elegant solutions that are user-friendly and efficient.


Cybersecurity is a specialization focused on detecting and preventing digital attacks. You will learn to identify, respond to, and minimize the damages of such attacks and develop skills for detecting and addressing system and network vulnerabilities. This specialty is ideal for those who want to protect data while ensuring users have easy access when they need it most.

Mobile Computing

Mobile computing covers everything from smartphone development to virtual reality technology, from apps that help people get around cities more easily to wearable technologies like fitness trackers or smartwatches, from medical devices like pacemakers or insulin pumps all the way up through autonomous vehicles – all powered by computers embedded into everyday objects. In this specialization, you will learn how these technologies interact with each other so they can create better solutions for organizations or individuals looking for new ways of doing things.

Courses & Curriculum in Computer Programming Degrees

Computer programming relies on logic, so you will be expected to develop both your math and problem-solving skills in concert.

 Although computer programming degree requirements vary, a typical curriculum focuses on courses that will help you develop the skills and knowledge employed by professional programmers.

Let’s go over some of the courses you may come across in your computer programming program.

Introduction to Computer Systems

This course provides an overview of various computer systems, from hardware and software applications to operating systems. You will be introduced to programming in C and assembly language, which are foundational elements needed for learning more complex coding and programming.

Computer Networks

Computer Networks is a course that introduces you to Internet-based communications and delves into solving problems related to network size, security, and access. Through this course, you will gain knowledge and skills about designing network protocols, scaling up, and securing communication networks.

Computer Architecture

This course covers how computer hardware and software programs work together, starting with the basic logic of how systems and components interact and proceeding to high-level programming languages.

You will learn how to use digital representation and digital logic, understand how computers are internally structured and organized, and how to use machine, assembly, and programming languages in tandem.

Algorithms and Data Structures

This course introduces search algorithms, sorting, and string processing. You will learn the fundamentals of computational problem-solving, from basic operations to complex data structures, and analyze algorithms in terms of their time and space complexity, enabling them to design efficient solutions for various programming tasks. Additionally, the course provides a comprehensive overview of data structures, including arrays, linked lists, trees, and graphs.

On-campus vs. Hybrid vs. Online Computer Programming Degrees

Although you may think you have it all figured out, and this is not a big deal, let me tell you, it is!

Deciding between an online, on-campus, or hybrid degree requires careful consideration and depends mainly on your individual needs, so make sure to consider all your options before making a decision.

To help you make the best decision, we will break down the differences between on-campus, hybrid, and online computer programming degrees to help you decide which is right for you.

On-campus Degree

An on-campus computer programming degree provides the traditional university experience. This program offers the most face-to-face instruction with professors and classmates in a physical setting. 

These programs tend to be very structured, with classes meeting at specific times throughout the week in an academic building or auditorium, making it difficult for those with full-time jobs or family commitments. 

One of the most significant advantages is that you can access campus resources such as libraries, labs, student centers, and career services. Also, on-campus programs offer ample networking opportunities through clubs and organizations with peers and potential employers.

Hybrid Degree

A hybrid computer programming degree allows students to have some flexibility combining the best of both worlds – online courses with some face-to-face learning experiences. You can access course materials from anywhere, anytime, without sacrificing meaningful interaction with professors or peers that an on-campus program provides.

Hybrid programs typically offer lower tuition rates than on-campus programs because they don’t require students to pay extra fees such as housing or meal plans. The downside is that hybrid programs may only be available in some areas or require extensive travel if offered remotely.

Online Degree

Online computer programming degrees are becoming increasingly popular because they offer maximum flexibility – all course material is available online through a web portal from anywhere at any time.

Online programs are usually less expensive than on-campus or hybrid courses since there’s no need for additional fees like tuition or room/board expenses. Plus, many online courses provide self-paced learning opportunities so students can complete coursework when it fits their schedule best.

Although there is less direct contact with instructors than in an on-campus or hybrid program, there are still many ways for students to get assistance, such as emailing professors, attending virtual office hours, or participating in discussion boards within classes.

What to consider when choosing a Computer Programming Degree Program?

Pursuing a career in computer programming is an excellent choice due to the fantastic job opportunities, but it requires commitment and passion. You’ll need to invest in your education and regularly update your skills to remain competitive.

Here are some tips that will help you when choosing the right Computer Science Degree Program for you.

1. Pre-Requisites

Before applying for a computer programming degree program, check the school’s prerequisites, such as previous coursework or minimum GPA requirements, because different institutions have varying baseline requirements.

To qualify for your desired school program, you must meet specific requirements, including achieving a good score on the entrance exams. If you’re applying for an undergraduate program, you must take either the SAT or ACT, but for a graduate program, you must take the GRE.

2. Accreditation

Accreditations are an essential standard to evaluate educational institutions and confirm that their programs are high quality and reputable. By obtaining accreditation, institutions assure students that they are receiving a rigorous education, and employers can trust that graduates have a strong foundation in their field of study.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is a non-profit organization that accredits degree programs in STEM fields, including computing, that meets standards of excellence in higher education. Currently, ABET only offers accreditation to bachelor’s-level computing programs. Also, some master’s degree programs may require that you have a bachelor’s from an ABET-accredited program.

3. Research Internship Opportunities

Internships are essential for gaining practical skills and preparing for a successful career in the rapidly changing tech industry. Interning during your academic journey can boost your professional development and improve your future career prospects, as well as help you improve your teamwork and communication skills.

One of the best ways to find a coding internship is to check a company’s website or reach out to them directly and ask if there are any opportunities available. You can start by making a list of the top five to 10 companies you want to intern with and work your way through the list. Also, you can consult with your academic advisor and career services counselor and ask for recommendations.

4. Financial Aid & Scholarships

Before committing to a program, it is crucial to research scholarships and review their financial aid requirements to ensure that the institution has a robust financial aid program. This is important because receiving a degree requires a financial commitment, and making an intelligent investment in your education is essential.

The best way to determine if you qualify for financial aid is to contact your institution’s office. They will assess your academic and economic situation and offer advice on the types of assistance you can receive.

Many scholarship opportunities are available to computer science majors because they are in high demand. Many organizations have established computer science scholarships for students who are interested in technology in order to promote and advance the field.

To find the best scholarship for you, consider reaching out to professional organizations, tech companies, and the computer science department at your university.

What can you do with a Computer Programming Degree?

Whether you’d like to spend your entire day writing code or you’d like to use your programming knowledge to help drive overall business decisions, you’re in luck! – The tech industry currently has a high demand for employment opportunities.

Programming-related careers are currently among the top-rated technology jobs due to the availability of remote and flexible work options, job security, and the potential to combine creativity with in-demand technical skills.

A degree in computer programming can open up numerous opportunities in various industries such as finance, government, healthcare, marketing, and more.

Career Outlook

The demand for computer programming jobs in the U.S. is expected to decrease over the next decade, despite the crucial role that computer programmers play in developing software programs and applications for computers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there may be a 10 percent decrease in computer programming jobs by 2031, resulting in the loss of approximately 17,800 jobs. This decrease is expected mainly due to outsourcing computer programming tasks.

However, computer programming skills, specifically in various coding languages, can equip you with the capability to pursue different career options with higher employment growth projections. For example, software developers are expected to grow by an impressive 22%, while information security analysts are projected to grow by an even higher 33%.

Computer Programming Degree Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for computer programmers in May 2021 was an impressive $93,000. Also, employees in this position often receive additional benefits such as a yearly bonus and a 401K plan.

Top Computer Programming Degree Jobs:

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers help computer applications and software programs run by writing and testing code. Typical job duties include using libraries to simplify code, expanding computer programs, and using a variety of computer languages.

Average Salary - Job Positions

Average Salary

$89,190/per year

College Degree Type Needed For Job Position

Degree Level


Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts, also called systems architects, help organizations make their computer systems more efficient. They create solutions using their business and IT acumen.

Average Salary - Job Positions

Average Salary

$93,730/per year

College Degree Type Needed For Job Position

Degree Level


Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers oversee the computer-related activities for their organizations. Typical job duties include analyzing computer needs for the organization, managing maintenance of computer hardware and software, and supervising other IT professionals.

Average Salary - Job Positions

Average Salary

$151,150/per year

College Degree Type Needed For Job Position

Degree Level


Software Developer

Software developers create the systems and applications that run on computers and other devices.

Average Salary - Job Positions

Average Salary

$110,140/per year

College Degree Type Needed For Job Position

Degree Level


Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts protect computer systems and networks by planning and enacting security measures. They typically work in the computer systems design, finance and insurance, management, and information industries.

Average Salary - Job Positions

Average Salary

$103,590/per year

College Degree Type Needed For Job Position

Degree Level


Web Developers and Digital Designers

Web developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability.

Average Salary - Job Positions

Average Salary

$78,300/per year

College Degree Type Needed For Job Position

Degree Level


*Please be advised that the average salary provided by the BLS may deviate significantly from state to state and occupation to occupation, depending on various factors.

Popular colleges with Computer Programming Degree Programs

Pursuing a degree in computer programming can open up a world of career opportunities. But with so many world-class colleges offering excellent computer programming degree programs today, deciding which school is right for you can seem overwhelming at first glance—but it doesn’t have to be!

Our list here highlights some great options across five top universities nationwide that offer excellent curriculums explicitly designed for individuals interested in careers in coding or other tech-related fields like data science or artificial intelligence.

Each school provides its unique approach to learning. Still, all have top-notch faculty members passionate about teaching their subject matter and plenty of resources tailored specifically toward helping students succeed.

Princeton University

Princeton’s Department of Computer Science offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as minors and certificates in various computing fields.

The department has top-notch faculty and facilities, including the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning, the Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, and the Center for Information Technology Policy.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT’s Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department offers access to cutting-edge technology resources, as well as a wide range of courses covering topics such as computer networking, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and more.

With interdisciplinary collaboration between faculty and students, you will have the opportunity to work together with like-minded peers on innovative projects. Our program also provides mentorship opportunities from industry experts, allowing you to gain valuable insight into your field of study.

Harvard University

Harvard University’s computer programming degree program is an excellent choice for those looking to gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals of coding. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics, as well as the opportunity to develop your skills in programming languages such as Java, Python, and C++.

The program also includes internships and research opportunities, giving you an education that will provide you with the skills needed to succeed in the ever-changing world of computer programming.

Stanford University

With Stanford’s rigorous computer programming program, you can rest assured that you will gain the requisite skills to become an industry-ready professional in this ever-evolving field.

The faculty consists of renowned researchers and experts from different backgrounds, specialized labs, and numerous research projects, providing a unique and enriching learning experience.

Yale University

Yale University`s computer programming program will take you on a thrilling journey into the world of coding. With this program, you can learn everything from basic concepts to more advanced topics such as algorithms and data structures, artificial intelligence, web development, user experience design, and more.

Featured Colleges

FAQ about Computer Programming Degree Programs

100 % Yes. A computer programming degree is valuable for everyone who aspires to be successful in the computer and information technology field and will give you the skills and knowledge to design, develop and maintain software.

With a Computer Programming Degree, you will gain the technical skills to write and debug computer code, problem-solving techniques that are important in coding, as well as how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise while programming.

Also, you will gain effective communication skills, get better at collaborative teamwork, improve your creative problem-solving skills, and more.

The skills mentioned will be extremely useful in the constantly changing world of technology today.

Generally, it takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in computer programming at a traditional college or university. During your first year or two, you will need to meet general education requirements. The remaining two years will be focused on programming in different languages.

For a master’s or Ph.D. program, you will need two or three additional years.

The cost of a Computer Programming Degree can vary, depending on the institution and program you choose. Generally speaking, a bachelor’s degree in computer programming will cost between $10-50,000, depending on tuition fees. Some programs may also require additional payments for books or supplies.

When you earn a computer programming degree, you open up your continuing education and professional development options. Depending on where you want to take your career, you can pursue positions as support specialists, software engineers, systems analysts, network architects, and more

A general computer science program provides a broad overview of computing theory and develops a variety of computer science and tech skills. You should enroll in a general computer science degree instead of a computer programming degree if you want a more universal education that explores many tech topics, including software development and network architecture.

Computer programming degrees prepare graduates specifically for jobs writing code. This degree may be the best option if your goal is to pursue programmer jobs after graduation because computer programming majors master several programming languages and can hit the ground running at new programming jobs.

A Computer Programming Degree can open up many different career paths aside from a career as a programmer.

There are various positions in other industries to which you can apply your knowledge into. For example, those who are interested in finance can use the skills they gained from their education and work as financial software developers. Or, if you are interested in healthcare, you can become a digital health developer or create medical software for hospitals.


  • A computer programming degree prepares students for a career in data analysis, software engineering, web development, and other related fields.
  • The demand for individuals having a degree in computer programming is increasing rapidly across various industries due to the growing popularity of this field.
  • A career as a computer programmer can be very profitable, with salaries averaging $93,000, well above the national average. Workers often enjoy other corporate perks like an annual bonus and a 401K package.
  • Before choosing your computer programming degree, make sure to take into account factors such as accreditation, internship options, types of programs offered, availability of financial aid, and overall cost.

Challenge yourself in today’s fast-expanding world of science. – build up your skill set, and enter the rapidly growing computer and technology industry.

Enroll in a computer programming degree program!

With exemplary dedication and commitment, you can unlock your potential and become an industry-leading programmer with the skills to make a lasting impact.

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