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In 2002, the Department of Labor projected jobs in the “computer software engineers and systems software” category to be ninth in a list of the top fastest growing occupations in the U.S.  By 2006, the category had moved up to fourth position.  This is one of their thousands of statistics that show the digital component of our economy to be accelerating in growth.  The use of computers is growing in every aspect of the economy and in every function of any given product or service.

The Department further notes that employees in this category would probably be expected to have a bachelors’ degree in some related major; among them would be computer science, software development, information technology, etc.  Sometimes true, sometimes not.

Every year there are more sophisticated programs being put to use, providing a wide range for adaptation.  CRM – customer relations management software was new on the block seven or eight years ago and now has become a standard fixture not only in major corporations but with small to medium sized businesses as well.

For every new software package that becomes an important business function there have got to be programmers – the people that make those software packages work.  Programming can be a code-writing job with a software firm or it could be a job adapting software for specific business functions. 

Not all programmers need bachelors’ degrees, although it’s an easier way to get a foot in the door.  Experience and certification in either a specific program series or in a language (C++, Java) will often be enough because of the high demand for programmers who can make things work on the office network.

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Salaries with Programming Degrees

Average annual earnings with Programming Degrees in May 2004.

  • Lowest 10 % earned $36,470
  • Median $62,890
  • Highest 10% earned $99,610

Related occupations with Programming Degrees:

  • Software publishers $73,060
  • Computer systems design and related services 67,600
  • Data processing, hosting, and related services 64,540
  • Insurance carriers 62,990
  • Management of companies and enterprises 62,160