2019-2020 Course Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2019-2020 Course Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Programming Program Fact Sheet

What is Computer Programming?

Computer programming is a process that leads from a problem specification to executable computer programs also known as software. Programming involves activities such as analysis, developing understanding, generating algorithms, verification of requirements of algorithms including their accuracy, resource consumption, and the coding/implementation of the algorithms using a programming language such as Java, C++, C#, .NET, or many others. Programmers or Software Developers may develop software in various industries.

The computer programming diploma is designed to provide students with an understanding of the concepts principles, and techniques required in computer information processing.

Degree and Certificates
  • Computer Programming, AAS
  • Computer Programming, Diploma
  • Java Programming, Certificate
Semester Program Begins Fall, spring, or summer semesters; Full time; Day, evening and online classes.
Application Process Applicants to the Computer Programming program must meet all admission requirements; complete an application and pay the application fee. Individuals apply to Gwinnett Technical College at GwinnettTech.edu and submit all transcripts from high school and previous college work, and take the ACCUPLACER test, if required.
Prerequisite Courses

Degree level proficiency required to take degree level General Education courses.

Diploma level proficency required to take diploma level General Education courses.
Diploma level proficiency in English, reading, and math required to take CIST technical courses. Please refer to course descriptions in the online catalog for specific prerequisites.

Program Deadlines You may enter in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
Program Costs and Requirements Tuition and Books
For more information, contact: Garfield Anderson, Dean of Computer Science, GAnderson@GwinnettTech.edu, 678-226-6505.
For admission and enrollment, contact: Enrollment Support Center in Building 100 at the Lawrenceville campus, or Building A at the Alpharetta-North Fulton campus, or email CISTeam@GwinnettTech.edu.

Quick Facts

(This data was compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

2017 Median pay     $51,759 - $64,677
Work experience in a related occupation     None
On-the-job training     Depends on company
  Number of jobs, 2017     1,492,040
 Job outlook, 2017-2024     18.8%

Nature of the Work

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.

Related Developers

  • Software Developers: The creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
  • Computer Systems Analysts: Study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Many programmers/software developers work for firms that deal in computer systems design and related service firms or for software publishers. Some system developers work in computer-and electronic product-manufacturing industries. Applications developers work in office environments, such as offices of insurance carriers or corporate headquarters.

In general, software development is a collaborative process, and developers work on teams with others who also contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software. However, some developers telecommute (work away from the office).

Work Environment

Most programmers work full time. Computer programmers sometimes have to be on call outside of normal business hours in case of an emergency at their organization. While there are some work from home jobs, most are on-site in an office, working with offshore and onshore teams, or in business analysts teams. About 1 in 4 worked more than 40 hours per week in 2014.


Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of applications developers is projected to grow 19 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 13 percent. The main reason for the rapid growth in both applications developers and systems developers is a large increase in the demand for computer software.

The need for new applications on mobile devices and tablets will help increase the demand for application software developers.

The health and medical insurance and reinsurance carriers industry will need innovative software to manage new healthcare policy enrollments and administer existing policies digitally. As the number of people who use this digital platform increases over time, demand for software developers will grow.

Systems developers are likely to see new opportunities because of an increase in the number of products that use software. For example, more computer systems are being built into consumer electronics and other products, such as cell phones and appliances.

Concerns over threats to computer security could result in more investment in security software to protect computer networks and electronic infrastructure. In addition, an increase in software offered over the Internet should lower costs and allow more customization for businesses, also increasing demand for software developers.

Some outsourcing to foreign countries that offer lower wages may occur. However, because software developers should be close to their customers, the offshoring of this occupation is expected to be limited.


Median annual wages nationally of programmer professionals were $95,000 in May 2015. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $50,000 and the top 10 percent earned more than $143,770.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm

The Gwinnett Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
Lisa Richardson, Section 504/ADA, Title IX and Equity Coordinator, Building 100, Room 708, 678.226.6691, LRichardson@GwinnettTech.edu