Computer programming is a competitive career field as of 2014. While an associate's degree may get you hired, a bachelor's degree and expertise in key programming languages makes you more valuable to employers.
Education and Training
A computer science or information technology degree is standard for a computer programmer. You can get a two-year associate's degree at a community college or technical school. A bachelor's degree puts you in a more favorable position relative to someone with similar qualities but less education. A bachelor's degree gives you an opportunity to take classes specific to a given sector, such as business, retail, entertainment or health care. The combination of computer skills and industry-specific acumen enhances your value. An internship with a software company adds to your experience. Certifications in programming languages demonstrates your expertise to employers.
During the course of education and training, building both technical and non-technical skills helps. In addition to computer skills, you need excellent reading and analytical skills for a computer programmer. Programmers develop and evaluate complex computer coding. Concentration and attention to detail prepare you to generate ongoing lines of accurate code. Your attention to detail also helps in testing and reviewing code for problems before software is finalized.