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General Computer Programming Major

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General Computer Programming

1,101 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
53 Master's Degrees Annually
#10 in Popularity
$89,580 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Computer Programming Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general computer programming graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 3,027
Basic Certificate 2,866
Bachelor’s Degree 1,101
Undergraduate Certificate 878
Master’s Degree 53

What General Computer Programming Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, computer programming majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Computer Programming Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Computer Programming Majors

When studying computer programming, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Computer Programming Majors

Computer Programming majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Can You Do With a General Computer Programming Major?

People with a computer programming degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Computer Network Support Specialists 8.2% $62,770
Computer Science Professors 8.1% $82,220
Software Developers, Applications 30.7% $103,620
Software Developers, Systems Software 11.1% $110,000
Web Developers 14.9% $69,430

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in General Computer Programming?

1,101 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
15% Percent Women
30% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 85% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of computer programming majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Computer Programming Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 77
Black or African American 58
Hispanic or Latino 131
White 665
International Students 31
Other Races/Ethnicities 139

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Computer Programming, too. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do General Computer Programming Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $75,580 to $108,080 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to computer programming. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a General Computer Programming Major  ( 75580 to 108080 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with computer programming may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to computer programming have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.9%
Some College Courses 3.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 58.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.3%
Master’s Degree 13.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.3%
Doctoral Degree 6.6%

Online General Computer Programming Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 491 schools offered some type of general computer programming program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 224 36
Certificate (1-2 years) 136 13
Certificate (2-4 Years) 12 3
Associate’s Degree 310 61
Bachelor’s Degree 6 2
Post-Baccalaureate 224 36
Master’s Degree 8 4
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in General Computer Programming Worth It?

The median salary for a computer programming grad is $89,580 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 125% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $993,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to computer programming.

Major Number of Grads
App Specific Computer Programming 2,227
Computer Programming Certifications 319
Other Computer Programming 217

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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