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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Programmers in Des Moines, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for computer programmers in the Des Moines, Iowa area. Currently, 3,790 people work as computer programmers in Iowa. This is expected to shrink by 3% to about 3,680 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $28 hourly or $59,040 annually on average in Iowa and about $33 hourly or $69,620 annually on average nationally. Earnings for computer programmers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Computer in Iowa and not quite as good as general Computer category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: web programmer, web designer, and beta tester.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including three within twenty-five miles of Des Moines 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 studying to be 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 Des Moines 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Programmer Training

University of Phoenix-Des Moines Campus - West Des Moines, IA

University of Phoenix-Des Moines Campus, 6600 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266-7724. University of Phoenix-Des Moines Campus is a small university located in West Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 28 students. University of Phoenix-Des Moines Campus has a master's degree program in E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce which graduated one student in 2008.

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a bachelor's degree program in Management Information Systems which graduated two students in 2008.

AIB College of Business - Des Moines, IA

AIB College of Business, 2500 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321-1799. AIB College of Business is a small college located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 985 students and an admission rate of 55%. AIB College of Business has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer.

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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.