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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Programmers in Charleston, West Virginia

Computer programmer career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, West Virginia. There are currently 1,120 working computer programmers in West Virginia; this should shrink by 10% to 1,010 working computer programmers in the state 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%. Computer programmers generally convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language.

Computer programmers earn approximately $21 hourly or $44,380 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $33 per hour or $69,620 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Computer, people working as computer programmers in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Computer nationally. Computer programmers work in a variety of jobs, including: software programmer, engineering and scientific programmer, and software developer.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a computer programmer, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. The most common level of education for computer programmers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn 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 Charleston 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Programmer Training

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce.

Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV

Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pike, Montgomery, WV 25136. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 743 students. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology has an associate's degree program in Management Information Systems.

West Virginia Junior College - Charleston, WV

West Virginia Junior College, 1000 Virginia St E, Charleston, WV 25301. West Virginia Junior College is a small college located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 206 students. West Virginia Junior College has an associate's degree program in Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster which graduated three students in 2008.

Ben Franklin Career Center - Dunbar, WV

Ben Franklin Career Center, 500 28th St, Dunbar, WV 25064. Ben Franklin Career Center is a small school located in Dunbar, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 390 students. Ben Franklin Career Center has a one to two year program in Web Page, Digital/Multimedia & Information Resources Design which graduated two students in 2008.

West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV

West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pke, Montgomery, WV 25136. West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,185 students and an admission rate of 46%. West Virginia University Institute of Technology has a bachelor's degree program in Management Information Systems 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.

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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.