Online programming degrees teach students how to input code into a computer, which then “instructs” the computer to perform certain functions. Students will gain skills using a variety of programming languages, including C#, C++, Java, Python, and more. Using these codes, a programmer may produce a graphical user interface (GUI) through which a user can simply click on menus and images to use a computer or website rather than having to input complicated commands.
Programming is generally offered as a specialization within a broader computer science program. Students take courses in web design, structured query language, web programming, and project management. Students start out learning elementary programming concepts, including the history of programming and basic programming constructs, and then progress to increasingly complex concepts. Practical skills built in programming course work include debugging software programs, troubleshooting coding problems, and interacting with a computer’s operating system.
As part of a broader computer science program, students also learn about networking and server administration, computer architecture, database administration, and database and software integration. Most programs conclude with the completion of a capstone project in which a student must manage a software project from beginning to end, including planning, implementation, and testing.
While employers will look for different degree levels and certifications depending on the position they are wanting to fill, graduates of online programming degree programs may go on to pursue careers as programmer analysts, Java/online server programmer, mobile game or animation systems programmers, or computer applications programmers. You also have the potential to work from home as a programmer; because of the solitary nature of the work, many programmers telecommute, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).