The Best Online Computer Programming Certification
| TBS Staff
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When it comes to computer programming, hiring managers look for candidates who can adequately and intuitively write in Python, Java, Ruby, or other modern coding languages. What’s less important, in many cases, is whether the candidate possesses a formalized education in the form of a degree. Online computer programing certificates remain a popular option in this field, and for good reason: students can complete a shorter course of study but still gain the skills needed to competently write code and program apps, websites, and software.
Looking at job postings, an individual might soon notice that in the absence of degree requirements, hiring managers often ask candidates to possess a certain number of years working with a particular type of code. Learners can complete an online computer programming certificate to gain this skill and find work. Still, individuals hoping to work in managerial or leadership positions in the future will likely need to go back to school for a bachelor’s degree to attain these goals.
For those looking to break into the field, an online computer programming certificate can offer a great first step. Keep reading to learn about median salaries, accreditation, timelines, common courses, and professional associations.
Certificate in Computer Programming Online Ranking Guidelines
We selected these accredited online computer programming certificate programs based on the quality of the program, types of courses provided, faculty strength, school awards, rankings and reputation, including the reputation for providing online degree programs.
The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:
The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]
- Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
- Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
- Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
- Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
- Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
- Considers range of electives within that discipline
- Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline
2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]
- Considers education background of the faculty
- Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
- Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
- Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
- Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources
3. Reputation [weight = 20%]
- Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
- “Freshness” of academic knowledge
- Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
- Suitability of graduates for the workplace
4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]
- Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
- Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants
5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]
- Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
- Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business
6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]
Considers the following of the online classes:
- Types of online technology used to deliver content
- Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
- Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
- Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
Considers the following of instructors:
- Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
- Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
- Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
- Ratio to number of students in a class
- Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees
Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.
To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:
- Public or private status
- Acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- ACT/SAT requirements
- Cost in-state / out of state
- Undergrad, grad, or both offered
Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!
If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.
Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!
The Best Online Certificate in Computer Programming Degree Programs
A public community college, Mt. San Antonio College offers more than 240 academic programs alongside 25 free student support services, such as tutoring and counseling. Students can pursue associate degrees, certificates, community recreation courses, career education, youth summer programs, and adult education. Students can also explore online learning opportunities, including an online computer programming certificate.
Distance learning at Mt. SAC delivers coursework entirely online with no required meetings on campus other than the potential for certain examination requirements. Students can also explore hybrid formats, combining on-campus features with online coursework. The C++ certificate features classes that help provide students with the skills needed to create business-oriented applications in C++, learn the techniques and tools for working as a systems analyst, and maintain a Microsoft Access database.
The program places an emphasis on object-oriented programming techniques and the creation of forms, tables, reports, queries, and implementing computer systems using the life cycle methodology of system development. Students learn to create business applications, troubleshoot, write effective program documentation, and build computer systems by using steps of the system development life cycle. The curriculum features computer information systems, systems analysis and design, and Windows operating systems.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College belongs to the Technical College System of Georgia and provides education for four counties in the metro Atlanta area: Rockdale, Newton, Dekalb, and Morgan counties. The college awards diplomas, technical certificates, and associate degrees across many disciplines and includes online opportunities, such as an online C# programmer certificate and a Java programming certificate.
The C# programming certificate and the Java programming certificate focus on software design. Throughout the curriculum, students develop skills in systems analysis, web development, C# programming, and oracle databases. Students must complete 22 credit hours for each certificate.
GPTC’s Java programming certificates provide students with an understanding of the techniques, principles, and concepts in computer information processing. Applicants to the program must complete an online admissions application or submit an application in person along with a $25 application fee. Additionally, applicants must provide high school transcripts or GED scores and SAT or ACT test scores.
Applicants that completed part of their education outside the U.S. must meet the foreign educational credentials. All applicants must provide verification of lawful presence in the U.S. in the form of a current ID, driver’s license, birth certificate, military identification card, or an approved FAFSA for the current financial aid year.
A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College provides education for eleven counties in central Georgia, including Bibb, Baldwin, Dooly, Crawford, Jones, Houston, Peach, Monroe, Putnam, Pulaski, and Twiggs counties. Students can explore online opportunities at the university, such as an online computer programming certificate.
The computer information systems program at Central Georgia Technical College holds a membership with Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance and approval by CISCO Systems CNAP program. CGTC features an associate degree in computer programming along with a computer programming diploma.
Applicants must submit an application and pay the application fee, complete a student agreement form, verify their lawful presence, apply for financial aid, complete a placement test, and provide official transcripts.
Students can apply for transient student status if currently enrolled at CGTC and wanting to attend another accredited institution. These students must remain in good academic standing with a 2.0 minimum GPA. Learners must meet any prerequisites and consider courses currently within their area of study and the class cannot be offered at CGTC. These students can take these courses at another institution through online formats or on campus in some circumstances if they desire a face-to-face approach.
William T. McFatter Technical College is an adult technical college that includes a magnet high school in Davie, Florida, as part of the Broward County Public School district. The college promotes excellence in career, academic, and technical studies to prepare students to enter and thrive in a global workforce. MTC’s diverse program offerings include an online Java and development programming certificate.
The online Java development and programming certificate includes the fundamentals of software development and programming, testing, monitoring, documenting, debugging, and the usage of Java programming language. The rigorous curriculum covers computer programming, foundations of programming, and specialized Java database programming. Students can pursue four different certification programs, including computer programmer assistant, information technology assistant, computer programmer, and Java developer.
The information technology assistant program and the computer programmer option comprise 150 hours, the computer programmer assistant program comprises 300 hours, and students in the Java developer program must complete 600 hours. Program applicants must schedule the Tests of Adult Basic Education, attend an appointment with their program advisor, and register for their classes during open enrollment. Graduates can pursue employment as business analysts, Java programmers, and quality assurance analysts.
Founded in 1878, Champlain College offers on-campus and online undergraduate courses along with online master’s and certificate programs in over 80 areas of study. The college highlights its “upside down curriculum” that allows students to take courses related to their major during their first semester as opposed to typical programs that dedicate the first semester to general education requirements only. Students can explore a variety of prestigious opportunities at the college, including one of the top computer programming certificate programs online.
The online Java programming certificate at Champlain College allows students to develop applets and application using Java language programming techniques and concepts, including polymorphism, inheritance, multithreading, abstract classes and interfaces, graphical user interfaces, and linked data structures. The program also incorporates the concepts learned in a practical or simulated environment, exploring the software development life cycle from the beginning phases into the deployment and support phases.
The online Java programming certificate option builds a foundation of the science of computing and programming, including algorithms, object-oriented programming principles, the internet and computer architecture, and computer logic. The program focuses on database theory and how it relates to the development, design, and implementation of database-driven web applications. Students learn how to use structured query language to modify and access data in relational databases and concepts for developing web-enabled Java database applications.
A state college, St. Petersburg College belongs to the Florida College System. SPC enrolls nearly 65,000 students each year and highlights a variety of attractive online opportunities, such as an online computer programming certificate.
SPC’s online programs offer students the flexibility and convenience of distance education to earn their college degree or expand their job skills. SPC currently functions as Florida’s largest online campus, offering more than 650 online courses with dozens of degrees that students can complete entirely online. The online programs combine the power and convenience of innovative technology with personal interaction between faculty and students and online resources.
The certificate can transfer to the computer programming and analysis associate in science degree which in turn transfers to the technology development and management bachelor of applied science degree.
At Minnesota West Community and Technical College, students can pursue diplomas, certificates, and associate degrees in over 60 areas of study. Among the various program offerings, students can enroll in an online computer programming certificate.
The online computer programmer specialist certificate develops students experience with multiple computer programming languages, teaches them to creatively and logically design concise code, and reviews how to maintain and execute knowledge. These certificates encourage lifelong learning and recognize student achievement. Schedules vary by semester, so students might not always find a specific course available at certain times during the school year. Coursework covers fund programming in C++, data security awareness, introduction to microcomputers, and Java programming.
The college features post-secondary enrollment options to provide high school students with the chance to earn college credits by completing college courses while still in high school. Students can complete the college courses free of tuition to save both time and money on completing post-secondary credentials. These courses can also fulfill high school requirements. Juniors and seniors can complete their post-secondary courses online, enjoying maximum levels of flexibility.
Offering four campus locations in central Florida, Seminole State College of Florida functions as the eighth largest member institution of the Florida College System. Seminole State began when Florida State Legislature signed a charter creating Seminole Junior college in 1966. Today, the college offers a variety of academic programs across many disciplines, including an online computer programming certificate option.
Seminole State offers a variety of certificate programs online in the following areas: architecture, engineering, and construction; business, legal, and entrepreneurship; and public safety, information technology, education, and health. Students can complete certificate coursework entirely online, although some classes require students to come to campus for exams or orientations. Students can make alternate arrangements if they cannot physically come to campus to complete an orientation or exam.
The computer programming technical certificate provides students with specialized training to enhance and develop occupational proficiency. Graduates can pursue entry-level employment as computer programmers or programmer trainees. The program is compatible with Seminole State’s associate of science degree in computer programming and analysis.
Coursework covers systems analysis and design, web programming, database management, computer applications, and network concepts and operating systems. Students must complete 33 credit hours of coursework with six credits of elective coursework available in Python programming, C++ programming, and web programming.
A two-year community college, Bristol Community College offers certificates and associate degrees in more than 150 areas of study. In addition to providing associate degree opportunities, BCC also boasts an agreement with Eastern Nazarene College to offer courses that count toward a bachelor’s degree at the Fall River campus. Among its varied program offerings, the college highlights one of the best computer programming certificate programs online.
BCC features an online certificate in computer programming, allowing students to master basic programming concepts. Throughout their coursework, students learn to master at least three programming languages. Transfer credits for any courses in the program must be approved by the department chair or by a full-time faculty member.
Students who do not hold basic computer skills should enroll in the introductory computer information science course before enrolling in the certificate program. Students who lack basic keyboarding skills should plan to enroll in a course to provide them with a basis of knowledge before beginning the certificate program.
Students should plan on dedicating large blocks of time to developing their proficiency in the key areas of computer programming. Coursework covers database programming and management, internet developer, Oracle and SQL, and interactive websites.
Lansing Community College functions as a public community college in Lansing, Michigan, that spans seven city blocks. LCC began in 1957 and opened another campus in Delta Township in 2004. LCC remains the third largest community college in the state in terms of enrollment and offers 230 associate certificate and degree programs. Among these include one of the top computer programming certificate programs online.
The online computer programmer certificate at LCC serves as a starting point for students interested in pursuing the computer programmer/analyst associate degree. Learners should hold basic computer skills or plan to complete an introductory course to gain basic knowledge before enrolling in the certificate program.
Students must complete required courses in internet literacy, programming Python, computer information systems, SQL concepts, and business. Additionally, students must complete more specialized courses in programming in Java, C#.NET programming, and VB.NET programming.
The 19-credit hour curriculum can be completed entirely online, and students can speak to an academic advisor for the recommended course sequence. LCC applicants must complete an admissions application, provide transcripts or GED, and apply for financial aid. Additionally, applicants should submit ACT, SAT, or AP test scores.
Washtenaw Community College educates more than 20,000 students each year from more than 100 countries. Granting both associate degrees and certificates, WCC highlights flexible online learning formats, including an online computer programming certificate.
WCC offers an online advanced certificate in C++ programming to prepare students for jobs as computer programmers. Throughout their coursework, students learn to write C++ code and develop applications using object-oriented programming techniques. Students build their skills to apply them to relevant jobs as programmers, analysts, and software architects. Applicants to the program should hold some previous programming experience, although those who do not can enroll in a course to learn the basics before beginning the program.
Students must complete 12 credits of coursework to earn their certificate, focusing on data structures, object features, and programming with C++. Coursework features an entirely online format delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete their work at their own pace from any location. Applicants to the college must complete an admissions application, submit transcripts, provide SAT or ACT test scores, and apply for financial aid. Students can work with an academic advisor if they need to satisfy prerequisite coursework before enrolling.
Students at Schoolcraft College can explore a variety of program offerings across disciplines in both associate degrees and certificates, such as an online computer programming certificate opportunity.
The online computer information systems certificate program introduces students to operating systems concepts revolving around programming logic. Students explore programming languages and software applications and can choose one of the computer information systems associate programs any time during or after their first year. Students who complete the program requirements qualify for the certificate or program completion.
Not all courses are offered every semester. Students should work with their academic advisor to develop a schedule that best fits with their availability. Students interested in transferring should review their transfer institution’s requirements and discuss their transfer options with a Schoolcraft academic advisor. The number of credits students take might vary depending on their course selection. During their first semester, students take about 13 credits of coursework in software applications and computer based systems.
In their second semester, students complete 14-15 credits in database management systems and cybersecurity fundamentals. Students must complete 27-28 total credits of coursework and can choose their own electives to fit their personal interests and career goals.
Founded in 1970, Westmoreland County Community College offers a plethora of academic programs, including an online computer programming certificate.
Students interested in computer programming can pursue the online computer programming certificate program at WCCC. Throughout the curriculum, students learn to analyze the needs and product requirements of organizations in order to create a design for technologies that can serve user needs. Learners identify operating areas and derive solutions for them, taking notice of changes in operations, conditions, and the environment.
Students work as teams, enhancing their verbal and written communication skills. Coursework prepares students to function as members of development teams, determining output requirements, program intent, and the input needed to process sequences for new programs and maintain current programs even as external and internal requirements change.
Program graduates can pursue employment as junior systems analysts, computer programmers, technical sales representatives, web developers, and technical support analysts. Graduates can pursue these careers at internet companies, consulting firms, and web development firms.
A two-year college, Clark State Community College opened in 1962. In 2018, the college gained approval to grant bachelor’s degrees in manufacturing technology and web design in addition to its various associate degree opportunities. Today, students also enjoy the opportunity to pursue online education at the institution that include an online computer programming certificate.
Students interested in pursuing careers in computer programming can enroll in the online computer programming departmental certificate program at Clark State. The program provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to develop and design computer software applications. Throughout their coursework, students learn to write computer programs, allowing them to implement information systems designs and identify and resolve errors in the implementation and design of software solutions.
A two-year community college that offers associate degrees, non-credit courses, and technical certification programs, Wake Technical Community College also provides an online computer programming certificate.
Students interested in developing the programming skills needed to implement Java programs can pursue the Java programming certificate, or if they want to implement visual BASIC programs, they can enroll in the visual basic programming certificate program. Students can also explore the C++ programming certificate if they want to upgrade their programming skills while learning about object-oriented programming language.
A public community college located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, Guilford Technical Community College also features campuses in High Point and Jamestown. The third largest community college in North Carolina, the college currently boasts the longest tenured president in the school’s history with the position being held since 1991. Students can explore a variety of programs at the college including an online computer programming certificate.
GTCC features a variety of information technology certificates allowing students to specialize in areas related to either hardware or software. Certificates allow graduates to demonstrate the skills they possess to employers during the hiring process, enabling them to begin careers in specialized IT fields. Students can pursue certificates in C++ programming, Java programming, web development, and mobile device development.
The C++ programming certificate explores the practices and principles needed to develop, design, and deploy applications using C++ interactive development environments. Graduates can build C++ applications and seek entry-level positions as programmers and C++ developers.
The Java programming certificate explores the practices and principles needed to develop, design, and deploy applications using Java interactive development environments. It focuses on developing web-based and standalone applications that include database connectivity. Students pursuing the mobile device development option learn how to incorporate graphics and media while learning about the principles of user experience design. The web development program teaches students how to use computers to cultivate an online presence.
Offering 230 major options, Stark State College features one-year certificates along with career enhancement certificates. Nearly 4,000 students enroll at the college each year in continuing education courses and contract training activities. The college offers courses across liberal arts, health sciences, and math and sciences. Students can also explore online opportunities, such as an online computer programming certificate.
Students can pursue a variety of certificate programs at SSC relevant to computer programming, including programs in C++ programming, Java programming, and Microsoft SQL server. The C++ certificate program requires students to complete nine credits of coursework reviewing C++ programming at a basic and advanced level and programming logic and problem solving. Students should make an appointment with their advisor to create their study plan upon enrollment.
Students interested in learning about Microsoft’s SQL server can pursue the related certificate, comprising nine credits of coursework focused on data modeling and database design, advanced Microsoft SQL server database, and structured query language.
The certificate opportunities at SSC allow students to take their careers to the next level and expand their future employment opportunities. Students can stack their certificate with a higher-level associate degree to further their education.
A public community college, Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa County Community College District and offers certificate and associate degree programs through on-campus, online, and hybrid formats. RSC features a broad range of program offerings, including an online computer programming certificate option.
Designed to prepare students to work in the programming field, the certificate of completion in programming focuses on Java programming, programming theory, web programming, and visual basic programming. Coursework explores the survey of computer information systems, C# programming, and object-oriented analysis and design.
The computer information systems and computer science courses required in the curriculum are not applicable if completed more than eight years before beginning the program. Students must complete 21-26 credits to successfully earn their certificate and must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA throughout. Not all classes occur each semester, so learners should work with an academic advisor to plan their schedules accordingly.
Applicants to RSC must complete a college placement test, submit ACT or SAT test scores, complete an admissions application, provide transcripts, and apply for financial aid. Additionally, students must provide a valid photo ID or driver’s license and hold a passing score on the relevant portions of the AZMERIT exam.
Pitt Community College is a public community college and belongs to the North Carolina Community College System. PCC offers a variety of online, hybrid, and on-campus courses. Among the varied program offerings, students can pursue an online computer programming certificate.
PCC’s computer programming department boasts three different computer programming certificate options, including certificates in Python, Java, and C++ programming. The C++ programming option focuses on computing fundamentals and C++ programming at both basic and advanced levels.
The Java programming certificate introduces computers and advanced Java programming. Students pursuing their Python programming certificate complete courses in basic and advanced Python programming along with web and database foundations.
The certificate programs can lead to the computer programming and development associate of applied science degree at the college, leading to even more employment opportunities. Certificates help graduates demonstrate their skills and abilities in the field when applying for positions across the computer programming industry.
Program applicants must complete an admissions application, submit transcripts or GED scores, provide SAT or ACT results, and apply for financial aid to determine their eligibility. Students can work with their academic advisor to develop a personalized plan of study for their program.
Functioning as a multi-campus community college in Macomb County, Macomb Community College focuses on professional certification, workforce development, continuing education, early college, and university transfer. The school’s University Center offers bachelor’s degree completion along with graduate-level programs. MCC students can also explore a variety of online opportunities, including an online computer programming certificate.
MCC learners can enroll in the information technology programming certificate, leading to careers in computer programming. The 49-credit hour curriculum explores business communications, computer and information processing principles, and database design and implementation with SQL and XML. Students can also pursue an information technology cloud computing certificate to prepare them for a variety of careers in the information technology field.
Students must complete 48 credit hours of coursework exploring computer and information processing principles, principles of networking, and introduction to Linux. For program completion, students must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA. Students must also complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework with 15 credit hours earned at MCC.
Students can apply approved industry standard courses or certifications completed at an accredited college or university toward the certificate. Students not enrolled for two consecutive years or more must follow the current catalog upon re-enrollment to the college. Students can take a maximum of seven years to complete their program, except for students who take an absence of two years or more.
The Advantages of a Computer Programming Education
Online computer programming certificate holders qualify for several entry-level coding jobs. Like professionals in creative disciplines, many self-taught computer programmers can secure work through sheer knowledge and passion. However, the discipline has also started formalizing requirements in recent years, meaning those with associate or bachelor’s degrees often edge out individuals with only a certificate. That being said, students who gain entry-level positions and work their way up can earn top salaries without completing further formal education, but they may struggle to land managerial positions.
Completing one of many computer science certificate programs online can act as a great first step into the industry. Check out the common jobs and average salaries in the next section.Return to the top
Computer Programming Salary Information
Companies in many industries and fields rely on computer programmers to help translate their visions into products, websites, databases, and applications. Computer programmers can work in house for a single client or freelance for several customers at a time. Regardless of location, all computer programmers must possess acute attention to detail, interest in problem-solving, and a knack for design. They frequently work in standard office settings, but freelancers may also set up shop in coffee houses and other public places with internet access.
- Computer Programmer
- Computer programmers work for a variety of clients to write programs using computer coding language, test their code to ensure no errors exist, and continually update the code as the product sees upgrades to its capabilities.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $51,000
- Mid-Career: $56,600
- Experienced: $69,000
- Late Career: $77,600
- Computer Support Specialist
- Working in a role similar to customer service but for tech questions, computer support specialists interact with users to help them sort out any network or system errors. They walk callers through troubleshooting processes, make recommendations for how to fix any errors, and, if necessary, arrange for a local specialist to fix the issue.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $31,760
- Mid-Career: $35,700
- Experienced: $40,060
- Late Career: $44,000
- Web Developer
- These professionals conceptualize, design, and create websites for clients from a wide spectrum of industries. They meet with customers to understand their needs, write and test code, upload content, and communicate consistently to sort any bugs or issues when the site launches. Some companies require a web developer to possess a bachelor’s degree.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $50,000
- Mid-Career: $56,000
- Experienced: $65,000
- Late Career: $70,000
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
- Individuals in these roles direct all activities related to computers within their organization. They determine company needs, install and replace new hardware and software, manage budgets, and plan training on new programs. Most of these managers possess bachelor’s degrees, but a certificate can put students on the path to holding this position.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $57,000
- Mid-Career: $67,000
- Experienced: $78,000
- Late Career: $91,000
- Computer Hardware Engineer
- Typically, working at tech companies like Apple or Dell, these individuals build the systems and hardware that power technology. They design new types of hardware, test prototypes for shortcomings, and modify their designs based on feedback. A certificate can help a student to qualify for this role, but they’ll need a bachelor’s degree to compete against other applicants.
Salary based on experience:
- Entry Level: $70,000
- Mid-Career: $76,000
- Experienced: $90,000
- Late Career: $112,000
Source: PayScaleReturn to the top
Choosing an Online Computer Programming Program
Before diving headlong into an online computer programming certificate, prospective students need to carefully assess their options. Cost-conscious learners can attend an in-state public school that offers these programs. With so many online certificate options available, students can afford to be picky and hold out for a program that fits their exact needs. If you feel uncertain about what to look for in a potential program, review the factors highlighted in this section.
- Program Cost
- A student who completes an online computer programming certificate at a local community college may be able to finish it for free, while those who select a private four-year institution could end up paying more than $10,000 for the program. If cost matters, try to find an affordable yet reputable option.
- Transfer Policies
- If you decide later to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree, credits gained in the certificate may transfer to your new program. Ensure that you attend an accredited school for the certificate.
- School Size and Type
- Some students enjoy the anonymity of larger classes, while others seek intimate learning environments to get to know classmates and professors. Ask about average class size when applying to the program.
- Program Length
- Programs can take as few as six months or if two years, depending on the number of credits required and whether the student enrolls on a full- or part-time basis. Accelerated options Typically, exist for those who want to graduate quickly.
- On-Campus Requirements
- Most online computer science certificate programs allow learners to meet all certificate requirements from the comfort of their homes. Especially if you’re attending a school far away, speak to an admissions counselor to ensure you do not need to travel to campus to gain the certificate.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Certificate in Computer Programming?
Before committing to an online computer programming certificate, many students want to know how long they should plan to be enrolled. The simple answer is that it can vary significantly based on the program you choose. Some programs require just 12 credits, while others mandate up to 33 credits. If studying on a full-time basis, this means you could spend anywhere from 4-18 months completing all requirements.
Many individuals who pursue certificates online do so to balance professional and personal responsibilities alongside their academic aspirations. When studying on a part-time basis, expect to spend 9-24 months working toward your goal. If trying to finish quickly, seek out an accelerated program. These tracks offer shorter class sessions, making it possible to complete more credits in less time.
Courses in an Online Certificate in Computer Programming Program
- Intro to Computer Programming
- Typically, taken during the first semester, this foundational course introduces students to the coding landscape and teaches them how to solve programming issues, create coding decision structures, and work with binary and hexadecimal numbers.
- Java Programming
- This course familiarizes students with the Java coding language and covers topics such as design, code, execution, and how to debug within Java programs. Learners also cover topics such as ArrayList, String, data types, data classes, and handling exceptions.
- App Development
- Students interested in working with smartphone and tablet apps can take this course, which helps them build skills in both Android programming and iOS app development. Students can create apps and test other students’ betas for bugs.
- SQL Database Design
- Individuals interested in designing and programming databases with SQL can use this class to learn about optimization, architecture, modeling, and application. Learners can gain a working knowledge of SQL and the skills needed to begin building their own databases.
- Web Foundations
- A great fit for students who aspire to write code for web design, this course helps build the necessary skills for designing, developing, and maintaining sophisticated web presences. A few topics covered include cascading-style sheets, client-server dynamics, web production vocabulary, and HTML.
Accreditation for Online Computer Programming Programs
Accreditation is an important component in the college decision-making process, as failing to attend an accredited college can cause lasting issues for students as they seek to transfer credits, earn licensure, and compete for jobs. When considering accreditation, know that there are two overarching types: institutional and programmatic.
Institutional accreditation breaks down further into regional and national accreditation. Most four-year universities maintain regional accreditation, which is Typically, seen as the more rigorous and respected of the two. Trade colleges and vocational schools tend to maintain national accreditation.
Programmatic accreditation exists for individual degrees and departments. These accrediting agencies look at the curriculum, faculty, and other programmatic components to ensure it adequately prepares students for their field upon graduation. The Computing Accreditation Commission, a part of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Typically, accredits programs in this realm, but it does not accredit certificates. When looking at accreditation as part of your search for a certificate program, ensure the school maintains institutional accreditation.
To search for accreditation agencies and accredited schools, visit either the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation database. Both organizations conduct oversight for accrediting agencies.Return to the top
Computer Programming Membership Associations
No matter whether you’re still a student or a seasoned industry veteran, joining a computer programming professional organization provides myriad benefits. In addition to providing networking opportunities through local chapters and national conferences, these groups also often feature mentoring, job boards, and career development support.
- Association for Women in Computing
- In existence since 1978, AWC promotes and advances females in computing professions. The group provides local chapters, professional networking opportunities, continuing education, mentoring, and awards and hosts an annual conference.
- IEEE Computer Society
- This professional group supports members by offering a series of conferences, in-house publications, a comprehensive digital library, opportunities for continuing education, a jobs board, resource center, and professional community groups.
- National Association of Programmers
- NAP helps members thrive by providing several member benefits, including opportunities for certification, regional and national events, professional networking groups, student support groups, positions within the association, and opportunities to publish findings within the group’s newsletter or journal.
- Association for Computing Machinery
- With a focus on advancing computing as a science and a profession, ACM manages the annual Turing Awards, provides prizes to outstanding members, publishes materials, hosts special interest groups, supports local chapters, and offers continuing education credits.
- Association of Software Professionals
- A great fit for students and graduates looking to get their foot in the door of software development, the ASP offers a member directory, newsletter, tips on growing your business, resources, networking, and access to hundreds of other members who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
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