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How do you become a programmer?

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Quick Answer

A computer programmer typically needs a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Future programmers should also complete a career-based internship and gain certifications in appropriate programming languages.

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  1. Complete a computer-related degree program

    While some employers do accept applicants with an associate degree, a bachelor's degree broadens the career options for an aspiring programmer. In a computer science program, a student normally completes both general education and computer-specific courses. It is also common for a programmer to take industry-specific courses in fields such as law to become familiar with software programs in those fields.

  2. Gain internship experience

    Whether required for a degree or not, completing an internship while in school strengthens a programmer's qualifications and skills. Apply for an internship with a software firm in the industry in which you want to work early in your studies.

  3. Earn programming language certifications

    There are many different types and formats of computer language, and each software firm or employer you're interested in working for is likely to use particular languages. To enhance your chances of gaining employment, take classes and acquire programming certifications in a variety of languages. As of 2014, a few of the programming languages that feature in the widest range of jobs and industries are HTML, Javascript, ASP.NET, C#, Python and PHP.

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