About the Career

Computer programmers design, code, test and maintain software applications in industries including health care, gaming, education, government, robotics, insurance, transportation, productivity applications, finance and energy. You learn to implement solutions for business needs by developing code for programs, apps and devices. You will usually work in small groups, sometimes alone, and will collaborate with different parts of the organization in which you are employed.

The median wage nationwide for computer programmers was $79,840 in 2016. For Texas, the median wage was $85,210. In the Houston area the median was $81,150. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The median wage nationwide for software developers was $102.280 in 2016. For Texas the median wage was $104,910 and for the Houston area it was $107,420. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Most programmers will have a bachelor's degree, but some employers are now also hiring graduates with associate degrees. Employers look for potential employees who can demonstrate they have acquired knowledge and skills in the areas taught at COM.

About the Program

The COM Programming Certificate is an introduction to the field through labs and classes taught by industry-certified instructors. Students earn the certificate in 28 credit hours, which includes a co-op job for one semester with a local business. This certificate teaches skills in three different areas: programming, database and web implementation. All three programming courses in this certificate are also a part of the Associate of Science in computer science. Graduates of this certificate have a broad background of knowledge, an industry certification, some job experience, and skills for either going to work or continuing their education towards a bachelor's degree.

This certificate is designed to introduce students to a broad range of software areas. This certificate is perfect for those just beginning their studies, as well as those re-entering the college to update their skills. You will learn the Python and Java programming languages, the Microsoft SQL Server Database Management System, the Oracle Database Management System, as well as beginning and intermediate web programming. With SQL Server, you have the opportunity to gain a Microsoft Technology Associate Certification in COM's Testing Center.

Furthermore, completion of three courses (COSC 1301 (Introduction to Computers), COSC 1336 (Python programming, and ITSW 1307 (Introduction to Database) in this certificate will earn the student a COM Occupational Skills Award in SQL Server. These courses are all described below.

One course, ITSW 1307 Introduction to Database, has a Microsoft certification built into the course of study. The instructor has earned the certification. Students receive practice exams and test vouchers - both free of charge - and the COM Testing Center is officially certified to give these exams. Toward the end of the semester, the student will walk across the campus, take the exam, and become a Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Technology Associate in SQL Server. This certification is recognized worldwide - your time studying for this certificate is well spent.

Programming Certificate

Suggested Study Plan

Semester 1

Course SCH
COSC 1301 Introduction to Computing 3
COSC 1336 Programming Fundamentals I 3
ITSW 1307 Introduction to Database 3
IMED 1316 Web Design I 3

Semester 2

Course SCH
ITSE 2309 Database Programming 3
COSC 1337 Programming Fundamentals II 3
IMED 2315 Web Design II 3

Semester 3

Course SCH
COSC 2336 Programming Fundamentals III 3
ITSE 1480 Cooperative Education – Computer Programming 4

Certificate Total Hours: 28

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