What they do: Often the terms like programmer, coder, computer scientist, software developer or engineer are used interchangeably (to see the the subtle distinctions, click here). Programmers usually are more focused on writing code that makes software work and prized for their deep skills in one or more computer languages, while software developers see the bigger picture and are responsible for the research, design, programming and testing of computer software. They need to know programming, but in most cases they work with other specialists who may carry out the individual tasks.
Education: Four-year bachelor’s in computer science, programming, math or related field. Programming and coding experience can start as early as the middle school and high school. There are many programming languages that are available and might be the standard within an industry or a particular application. Some individuals go on to pursue a Masters degree.
Two tips on studying programming at the university level. First, often the first college class in programming is the most daunting as many of your classmates may have prior experience. Do not be at all discouraged if some of your fellow students look like veterans! Everyone has to start somewhere and many successful students find their first experience comes from coding in college. Second, there are many computer languages out there (and new languages are created all the time). Many schools start with an initial programming language that is easy to learn like Python. Do not worry too much what language you study in school. Once you have picked up your first programming language, additional ones are much, much faster and easier to learn. Java is probably the most popular in the marketplace in 2016 (for a list of popular languages today, click here).
Salary: This can vary by location and industry, however the median salary is about $90,000 per year.
Ten-year growth in positions available: There is a good growth for software developers and engineers, however pure programming careers are predicted to show some decline. Check out the (Bureau of Labor Statistics).