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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Programmers in Rockford, Illinois

If you want to be a computer programmer, the Rockford, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 24,530 people are currently employed as computer programmers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 7% to 26,240 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer programmers are expected to shrink by about 2.9%. 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 $33 per hour or $69,310 per year on average in Illinois and about $33 hourly or $69,620 per year on average nationally. Computer programmers earn less than people working in the category of Computer generally in Illinois and less than people in the Computer category nationally. People working as computer programmers can fill a number of jobs, such as: web editor, computer programmer analyst, and computer game tester.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can study to be a computer programmer, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Rockford area. 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 Rockford 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 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Programmer Training

Rasmussen College-Rockford - Rockford, IL

Rasmussen College-Rockford, 6000 E. State St., Fourth Floor, Rockford, IL 61108-2513. Rasmussen College-Rockford is a small college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 622 students. Rasmussen College-Rockford has an associate's degree program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design.

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 a less than one year program in Computer Programming, Specific Applications which graduated two students in 2008.

Rockford Career College - Rockford, IL

Rockford Career College, 1130 South Alpine Road, Rockford, IL 61108. Rockford Career College is a small college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 616 students. Rockford Career College has a one to two year program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated one student in 2008.

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.

LICENSES

COMPUTER PROGRAMMER/OPERATOR/SYSTEMS ENGINEER

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rockford, Illinois

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.