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Career and Education Opportunities for Applications Programmers in Rockford, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for applications programmers in the Rockford, Illinois area. About 17,070 people are currently employed as applications programmers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 53% to 26,060 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for applications programmers are expected to grow by about 34.0%. In general, applications programmers develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs.

Income for applications programmers is about $41 per hour or $85,390 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $41 hourly or $85,430 annually. Incomes for applications programmers are better than in the overall category of Computer in Illinois, and better than the overall Computer category nationally. People working as applications programmers can fill a number of jobs, such as: software applications specialist, information systems analyst, and configuration manager.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including four within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career as an applications programmer. The most common level of education for applications programmers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be an applications programmer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Applications Programmer

In general, applications programmers develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. They also analyze user needs and develop software solutions.

Applications programmers talk with systems analysts, engineers, programmers and others to layout systems and to obtain data on project limitations and capabilities, performance requirements and interfaces. They also analyze user needs and software requirements to establish feasibility of layout within time and cost constraints. Equally important, applications programmers have to design and direct software system testing and validation procedures, programming, and documentation. They are often called upon to modify existing software to fix errors, allow it to adapt to new hardware, or to further optimize its performance. Finally, applications programmers decide on system performance standards.

Every day, applications programmers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they decide how to think about problems involving math.

It is important for applications programmers to confer with customers about software system layout and maintenance. They are often called upon to store and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. They also layout, develop and modify software systems, using scientific analysis and mathematical models to predict and measure outcome and consequences of layout. They are sometimes expected to supervise the work of programmers, technologists and technicians and other engineering and scientific personnel. Somewhat less frequently, applications programmers are also expected to recommend purchase of apparatus to control dust and humidity in area of system installation.

Applications programmers sometimes are asked to decide on system performance standards. and direct software system installation and monitor equipment functioning to insure specifications are met. And finally, they sometimes have to analyze data to establish and plan computer specifications and layouts, and peripheral equipment modifications.

Like many other jobs, applications 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 Rockford include:

  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
  • 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 Support Specialist. Provide technical assistance to computer system users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, and operating systems.
  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Applications Programmer Training

Highland Community College - Freeport, IL

Highland Community College, 2998 W Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL 61032-9341. Highland Community College is a small college located in Freeport, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,876 students. Highland Community College has an associate's degree program in Information Technology which graduated three students in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has an associate's degree program in Information Technology which graduated two students in 2008.

Rock Valley College - Rockford, IL

Rock Valley College, 3301 N Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL 61114-5699. Rock Valley College is a medium sized college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,030 students. Rock Valley College has an associate's degree program in Information Technology which graduated five students in 2008.

Beloit College - Beloit, WI

Beloit College, 700 College St, Beloit, WI 53511-5595. Beloit College is a small college located in Beloit, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,384 students and an admission rate of 63%. Beloit College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.


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.

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.

Certified Software Measurement Specialist: An industry certification for individuals working in the field of software measurement.

For more information, see the International Function Point Users Group 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.

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.

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.


Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.