Online Programming Degree Programs

Programming plays an essential role in many industries. Most employers require programming professionals to have at least a bachelor degree. Online programming degree programs open the door to a wide range of career options in many different fields. The degree programs provide a solid educational background and enable students to gain the essential knowledge of how computer systems work in many different settings. Students also gain the necessary problem solving, computer literacy, critical thinking, and troubleshooting skills to lead a successful career. Read more about online programming degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 544 bachelor degrees and 94 master degrees conferred in general computer programming/programmer. There were 20 bachelor and 50 master degrees in computer programming, specific applications and 249 bachelor degrees in other computer programming (1). In 2006, computer programmers held 435,000 jobs with most employed in computer systems design and related services and about 17,000 computer programmers were self-employed. In 2006, computer control programmers held 158,000 jobs with 11% being numerical tool and process control programmers (2).

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for programming graduates varies on degree, field, and positions. The employment of computer programmers and computer control programmers is projected to decline slowly from 2006 to 2016, decreasing 4% (2). A MSN report states that the starting salary for college graduates with a bachelor degree in computer programming is $50,985 and $72,515 for those with a master degree in computer programming (3).


Programming degree programs teaches students to perform specific tasks and write detailed instructions. Many postsecondary institutions offer programming degree programs with specific specialties. Programming specialties include web programming, game programming, applications programming, systems programming, multimedia, management, research, Internet, Java programming, C++ programming, PHP programming, database programming, software development, mainframe programming, HTML programming, and Visual Basic programming. Students interested in a specific programming specialty should select a school that offers a strong program in that area.

What to Expect

Programming degree programs vary greatly on degree, institution, and program. Most programming degree programs teach basic programming concepts and introduce students to many different programming languages. Bachelor degree programs are the most popular degree programs. Bachelor degree programs require general education courses in English, science, math, and humanities. Coursework varies by program but most programs require courses such as introduction to computer programming, principles of computer programming, network concepts and operating systems, and computer programming languages. Graduate programming degree programs focus on more advanced study and computer programming analysis.

The End Result

An undergraduate degree in programming provides graduates with an abundance of career choices in a variety of fields. Graduate degrees enable graduates to pursue more advanced positions at the managerial and research level. Career opportunities for programming graduates include:

Computer Programmer
Computer Control Programmer
Applications Programmer
Systems Programmer
Applications Analyst
Business Programmer
Database Programmer
Production Analyst
Database Administrator
Software Developer
Java Programmer
Web Programmer

A programming career will be rewarding for people interested in learning how computer systems work. Programming professionals are essential to the technology industry and they use their comprehensive computer knowledge to desire, maintain, repair, and write code for a variety of businesses and organizations.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE:, The 2008 Starting Salary by Degree: Bachelors vs. Masters Index