It’s pretty easy to get pumped up after watching the video from Code.org. Watching all those highly successful people, who happen to be programmers, tell their stories, is a decidedly motivating experience. Unfortunately, many high school students are avoiding programming out of a belief that you need high level math skills in order to program. What is needed is the ability to reason through problems, understand basic algorithms and have an eye for details.
According to the University of Arkansas computer science website, “the ability in mathematics is definitely helpful. However, it is not the knowledge of mathematics but rather a familiarity and comfort with algorithmic reasoning that correlates with success in the computing discipline.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics programming jobs are on the rise and the average salary of a computer programmer is over $76,000.
There are not many community colleges that offer programming degrees. Many offer various computer science and computer related programs, but those are not programming focused. In the Chicago area there are three community colleges with strong programming degrees. Students graduating from these programs will have a solid programming foundation. Graduating students can expect to work in banks, financial companies, education, Internet marketing, real estate and more. There is almost no limit to the industry or location.
Each of these schools also has a path towards a 4 year degree if the student wants to continue their education.
- Oakton Community College has an Associate in Applied Science Degree that requires 62 semester hours to graduate. This degree favors more modern programming such as Java and Web programming.
- Joliet Junior College offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree that needs 64 semester hours to graduate. The classes focus on more traditional programming languages such as C and C++.
- The College of Lake County has four programming degrees that need anywhere from 60 to 67 semester hours to graduate. Their programming degrees are .NET, C++, Visual Basic and a Web Programmer degree.