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Career and Education Opportunities for Applications Programmers in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be an applications programmer, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 11,500 people work as applications programmers in Maryland. This is expected to grow 49% to about 17,160 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for applications programmers, which sees this job pool growing by about 34.0% over the next eight years. Applications programmers generally develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs.

Applications programmers earn approximately $44 per hour or $92,220 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $41 per hour or $85,430 annually. Applications programmers earn more than people working in the category of Computer generally in Maryland and more than people in the Computer category nationally. People working as applications programmers can fill a number of jobs, such as: information technology consultant , software engineering supervisor, and configuration manager.

There are twenty-two schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an applications programmer, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Applications programmers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Columbia 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.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Applications Programmer Training

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Computer Science which graduated two, four, and three students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Computer Software Engineering which graduated eight students in 2008.

Capitol College - Laurel, MD

Capitol College, 11301 Springfield Rd, Laurel, MD 20708. Capitol College is a small college located in Laurel, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 701 students and an admission rate of 38%. Capitol College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering.

Columbia Union College - Takoma Park, MD

Columbia Union College, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Columbia Union College is a small college located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 974 students. Columbia Union College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated two students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.

United States Naval Academy - Annapolis, MD

United States Naval Academy, 121 Blake Road, Annapolis, MD 21402-5000. United States Naval Academy is a small school located in Annapolis, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,494 students and an admission rate of 14%. United States Naval Academy has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Information Technology, bachelor's degree which graduated 41 students in 2008.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has 3 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated 106, twenty-three, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Engineering, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty, four, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Bioinformatics, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Science, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Software Engineering, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Southeastern University - Washington, DC

Southeastern University, 501 I St SW, Washington, DC 20024-2788. Southeastern University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 753 students and an admission rate of 67%. Southeastern University has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Information Technology, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Computer Science, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated two, seven, and three students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated one, ninety-four, four, and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Engineering, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, one, six, and five students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Information Technology, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Computer Science, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated fifty students in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer Science which graduated four and four students respectively in 2008.

DeVry University-Virginia - Arlington, VA

DeVry University-Virginia, 2450 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202-3843. DeVry University-Virginia is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 739 students and an admission rate of 93%. DeVry University-Virginia has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Software Engineering which graduated one student in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Engineering, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated fifteen and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Software Engineering, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Stratford University - Falls Church, VA

Stratford University, 7777 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043-2403. Stratford University is a small university located in Falls Church, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,644 students. Stratford University has a master's degree program in Computer Software Engineering which graduated 202 students in 2008.

Loyola College in Maryland - Baltimore, MD

Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210-2699. Loyola College in Maryland is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,080 students and an admission rate of 69%. Loyola College in Maryland has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer Science which graduated eight and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

Coppin State University - Baltimore, MD

Coppin State University, 2500 West North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216-3698. Coppin State University is a small university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,051 students and an admission rate of 36%. Coppin State University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated four students in 2008.

Towson University - Towson, MD

Towson University, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252-0001. Towson University is a large university located in Towson, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,111 students and an admission rate of 61%. Towson University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Computer Software Engineering.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Information Technology, two to four year.
  • Computer Engineering, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has 2 areas of study related to Applications Programmer. They are:

  • Information Technology, associate's degree which graduated 71 students in 2008.
  • Computer Science, associate's degree which graduated 44 students in 2008.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated three students 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.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.