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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Programmers in San Francisco, California

If you want to be a computer programmer, the San Francisco, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 36,900 people work as computer programmers in California. This is expected to shrink 3% to 35,700 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for computer programmers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.9% over the next eight years. In general, computer programmers convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language.

Computer programmers earn about $38 hourly or $80,220 per year on average in California and about $33 hourly or $69,620 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Computer, people working as computer programmers in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Computer nationally. People working as computer programmers can fill a number of jobs, such as: web designer, graphic engineer, and java developer.

There are eighty-six schools of higher education in the San Francisco area, including twenty within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer programmer. Computer programmers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a computer programmer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Programmer

Computer Programmer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer programmers convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. They also develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.

Computer programmers write and rewrite programs, using workflow charts and diagrams, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities and symbolic logic. They also conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired data and that the instructions are correct. Equally important, computer programmers have to correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to insure that the desired results are produced. They are often called upon to perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements. They are expected to write and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment. Finally, computer programmers confer with and assist computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs.

Every day, computer programmers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for computer programmers to perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer. They are often called upon to compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program. They also write or contribute to instructions or manuals to guide end users. They are sometimes expected to investigate whether networks, workstations, the central processing unit of the system, or peripheral equipment are responding to a program's instructions. Somewhat less frequently, computer programmers are also expected to collaborate with computer manufacturers and other users to design new programming methods.

They also have to be able to collaborate with computer manufacturers and other users to design new programming methods and confer with managerial and technical personnel to explain program intent and suggest changes. And finally, they sometimes have to train subordinates in programming and program coding.

Like many other jobs, computer programmers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
  • Computer Scientist. Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
  • Computer Security Specialist. Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.
  • Computer Systems Analyst. Analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Computer Systems Engineer. Research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
  • Data Base Design Analyst. Coordinate changes to computer databases, test and implement the database applying knowledge of database management systems. May plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.
  • Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
  • Operations Research Analyst. Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods using a computer to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions. May develop related software, service, or products. Frequently concentrates on collecting and analyzing data and developing decision support software. May develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation, review, or implementation.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Programmer Training

Las Positas College - Livermore, CA

Las Positas College, 3033 Collier Cyn Rd, Livermore, CA 94551-7650. Las Positas College is a medium sized college located in Livermore, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,098 students. Las Positas College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Computer Programming/Programmer.

Diablo Valley College - Pleasant Hill, CA

Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Diablo Valley College is a large college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,768 students. Diablo Valley College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated one, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Dominican University of California - San Rafael, CA

Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901-2298. Dominican University of California is a small university located in San Rafael, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,073 students and an admission rate of 53%. Dominican University of California has a bachelor's degree program in E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce.

Los Medanos College - Pittsburg, CA

Los Medanos College, 2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Los Medanos College is a medium sized college located in Pittsburg, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,360 students. Los Medanos College has a two to four year program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design.

College of San Mateo - San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo, 1700 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402-3784. College of San Mateo is a large college located in San Mateo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,215 students. College of San Mateo has 3 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated three, one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Computer Graphics, associate's degree and two to four year.

Academy of Art University - San Francisco, CA

Academy of Art University, 79 New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94105. Academy of Art University is a large university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 13,335 students. Academy of Art University has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Computer Graphics which graduated one, thirty-nine, and thirty students respectively in 2008.

Canada College - Redwood City, CA

Canada College, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Redwood City, CA 94061-1099. Canada College is a medium sized college located in Redwood City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,775 students. Canada College has 3 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, two to four year.
  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, two to four year.
  • Computer Graphics, two to four year.

Western Career College-Emeryville - Emeryville, CA

Western Career College-Emeryville, 6001 Shellmound, Emeryville, CA 94608. Western Career College-Emeryville is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 431 students and an admission rate of 100%. Western Career College-Emeryville has an associate's degree program in Computer Graphics which graduated five students in 2008.

Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts - Emeryville, CA

Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts, 6601 Shellmond St, Emeryville, CA 94608. Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 251 students and an admission rate of 80%. Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Graphics.

Heald College-Concord - Concord, CA

Heald College-Concord, 5130 Commercial Circle, Concord, CA 94520-0522. Heald College-Concord is a small college located in Concord, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,107 students. Heald College-Concord has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Management Information Systems.

College of Marin - Kentfield, CA

College of Marin, 835 College Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904-2590. College of Marin is a medium sized college located in Kentfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,577 students. College of Marin has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer.

The Art Institute of California-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

The Art Institute of California-San Francisco, 1170 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4908. The Art Institute of California-San Francisco is a small school located in San Francisco, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 41%. The Art Institute of California-San Francisco has 2 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated two and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Graphics, bachelor's degree which graduated 81 students in 2008.

Berkeley City College - Berkeley, CA

Berkeley City College, 2050 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704. Berkeley City College is a medium sized college located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,000 students. Berkeley City College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Merritt College - Oakland, CA

Merritt College, 12500 Campus Dr, Oakland, CA 94619-3196. Merritt College is a medium sized college located in Oakland, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,025 students. Merritt College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster, two to four year.

Skyline College - San Bruno, CA

Skyline College, 3300 College Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-1698. Skyline College is a medium sized college located in San Bruno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,515 students. Skyline College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated two, seven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

University of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. University of San Francisco is a medium sized university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,772 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of San Francisco has a master's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated five students in 2008.

Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated one, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of Alameda - Alameda, CA

College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. College of Alameda is a medium sized college located in Alameda, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,576 students. College of Alameda has 2 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, two to four year.
  • E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce, two to four year.

City College of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112-1898. City College of San Francisco is a large college located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 49,897 students. City College of San Francisco has 2 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, less than one year and two to four year which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster, two to four year.

Laney College - Oakland, CA

Laney College, 900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607. Laney College is a large college located in Oakland, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,104 students. Laney College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design, two to four year.

CERTIFICATIONS

CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Ethics in IT: All IT professionals including: Systems administrators, auditors, information security officers, programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, Information service providers, contractors, consultants.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

EC Council Certified Secure Programmer: EC-Council's Certified Secure Programmer is being offered to provide the essential and fundamental skills to programmers and application developers in secure programming.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Associate of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium: Associate of (ISC) status is available to those who have gained competence in key areas of industry knowledge and information security concepts and can pass either the CISSP® or SSCP® examinations, but lack the years of practical work experience required for full accreditation.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certification and Accreditation Professional: The CAP credential is an objective measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the Certification and Accreditation process.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certified Web Professional - Application Developer: A CWP Application Developer builds client- and server-side Web applications using Rapid Application Development tools and component technologies to implement two-tier database connectivity solutions.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Enterprise Developer: A CWP Enterprise Developer builds n-tier database and legacy connectivity solutions for Web applications, using Java, Java application programming interfaces (APIs), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) solutions, middleware tools, and distributed object models.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Site Designer: A CWP Site Designer implements and maintains Web sites using authoring and scripting languages, content creation and management tools, and digital media.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Web Technologies Certificate: Provides the Web developer with a solid foundation in the basic technologies used to create Web sites.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Web Programming Certificate: This certification is for individuals are are interested in working as a Web programmer.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Microsoft Certified Application Developer: Demonstrate your ability to build applications by using Microsoft Visual Studio .

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Security Certified Network Professional: The SCNP program focuses on defensive security technologies, such as Firewalls and Intrusion Detection.

For more information, see the Security Certified Program website.

Certified Team Developer: GUPTA's Team Developer is a visual object-oriented RAD tool that is proven to shorten the development cycle; providing developers the tools to quickly design, develop and deploy their Windows or Linux solution.

For more information, see the Unify website.

WOW Certified Apprentice Webmaster: WOW Certified Webmaster apprentices understand the basic breadth of topics that fall under Webmastering.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified E-Commerce Manager: E-Commerce Managers are masters at developing and executing web marketing and e-commerce strategies and operations.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Professional Web Administrator: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Professional Web Designer: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Professional Web Developer: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Professional Webmaster: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Administrator Apprentice: Web Administrator Apprentices are aware of the fundamental concepts for the hardware and software infrastructure supporting Internet communications.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Consultant: Small Business Certified Web Consultants are professionals in designing, building and overseeing Web sites for medium or large companies or personal businesses as the Web manager or project manager.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Designer Apprentice: Web Designer Apprentices are familiar with the visual arts and are learning to create images and designs that capture and keep visitors' interest.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Developer Apprentice: Web Developer Apprentices are familiar with the fundamentals of creating web site structure and interactivity.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

Certified Web Designer Associate: Web Designer Associates are proficient in the visual arts and creating the images and designs that capture and keep visitors' interest.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

Certified Web Associate Webmaster: WOW Certified Web Associates are proficient at blending the art of HTML-coding with the visual arts to create pages that are content-rich and visually pleasing.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

Certified Web Developer Associate: Web Developer Associates are proficient at creating web site structure and interactivity.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.