Tech-savvy individuals need a broad base of knowledge to launch a successful web programmer career. Web programmers are responsible for converting a software program design into a set of instructions that computers can follow. This requires proficiency in a variety of common programming languages. A bachelor’s degree in computer information systems (CIS) can provide the instruction and hands-on experience needed to land a web programmer position.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment of computer software engineers and computer programmers – including web programmers – will grow much faster than the average for all occupations in coming years. New jobs in this field will be created as technologies continue to evolve and as computer systems become more complex and sophisticated. Graduates with a computer-related bachelor’s degree and experience in a variety of programming languages are likely to enjoy the best web programmer career prospects.
As information technology (IT) professionals, web programmers are vital to keeping websites and computer programs operating properly. Together with computer engineers and developers, they are also responsible for helping to launch new programs to meet the needs of business and industry.
The primary responsibility of web programmers is to write instructions that enable computers to implement a web or software program. They may also repair, modify and update existing programs. Some use computer-assisted software engineering (CASE) tools to assist in writing standard parts of programs, so they can focus on coding custom sections. Other web programmer job duties include testing websites, providing support and performing maintenance tasks such as repairing bugs and errors, as well as developing workarounds
While some web programmers work independently from a home office, most work in a computer lab or office setting. A 40-hour work week is typical, although overtime may be required when preparing for a new release.
BLS reports indicate the median annual salary for computer software engineers and computer programmers – including web programmers – was $70,940 as of May 2009. The middle 50% earned between $53,620 and $91,000. Salaries for the lowest 10% were around $40,640, while the highest 10% earned upwards of $113,380. Recent bachelor’s degree program graduates will typically start out at the lower end of the scale, while the highest salaries generally go to those with experience and advanced education.
Entry-level web programmer jobs usually require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Employers may favor candidates with relevant experience, which can be obtained through internships or work-study programs while pursuing a degree.
Launching a web programmer career can begin with earning a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. Coursework usually includes programming in Java and C++, introductory and advanced Visual Basic, introduction to Internet applications, and database concepts and programming.
Employers can be confident that graduates of a computer information systems program are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to further your education.
If you are interested in computers and technology, detail oriented, analytical and able to work independently, you may be well-suited to a web programmer career. A formal degree program can help you develop the IT knowledge and programming expertise you need to break into this field. By earning a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, you can be well on your way to a successful web programmer career!