Computer Programming Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Computer programming involves creating a sequence of instructions in order to get a computer to perform certain tasks. There are many different kinds of computer languages, but just as learning one foreign language can help you learn others, becoming familiar with one programming language will allow you to develop a reading knowledge of others and pick them up more easily. Programming languages each have their own advantages and disadvantages. They are typically employed with different purposes and goals in mind. This is a good reason to get to grips with more than one. For instance, Java is excellent for general use as it allows code to work across a range of different platforms. On the other hand, PHP is compatible with many different types of databases and is a better resource for developing dynamic websites and applications.

What does Computer programming involve

If this all sounds like double Dutch, don t worry: introductory-level courses are specifically designed for those with little or no previous experience in the area and will provide them with training in the basics of reading and writing code. Many foundation-level Programming courses use Java programming language and will teach students how to deal with all its major areas in a simple, straightforward and structured fashion. Other courses will teach the fundamentals of building dynamic websites using PHP and MySQL. Upon graduating, learners will have developed a keen understanding of the online environment, including browsers, servers, mark-up languages and content management systems. Note that candidates for basic Computer Programming courses are required to have at least basic computer skills. Newcomers to programming may also choose to take an online course in basic programming, where they will be given the chance to learn about code theory, web application design and development, and will develop their understanding of ADO, ASP and SQL database programming. There are several routes of progression for students who wish to build upon their existing (or newly acquired) knowledge. For instance, participants on a part-time Certificate in Computer Programming course will develop the high-level skills necessary for the modern business environment by taking modules such as Computer Architecture and Systems, Maths for Computing and Web Authoring. Some courses also offer students the chance to add to their experience through a work placement programme. Yet another exciting option for students is the part-time Higher Diploma in Computing, which will provide participants with the opportunity to use their training by developing software systems in individual and group-based learning situations. Graduates of the course will be ideally positioned to succeed as part of a business software development team or in the management of IT departments.

Why do it

According to the European Commission s annual Digital Agenda Scoreboard, more than half of Irish businesses that tried to recruit IT specialists in 2012 reported difficulties in filling their vacancies. This is mainly due to the talent gap in ICT and, as a result, it has been projected that by 2015 there may be as many as 900, 000 unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals in the EU. It is estimated that there are currently at least 4, 500 unfilled ICT positions in Ireland alone. Trained computer programmers are ideally placed to take advantage of such skills shortages. What comes next Because programmers are essential for websites, databases, web applications and games, it looks highly likely that programming graduates will be in strong demand well into the foreseeable future. In order to keep up with industry demand, however, they will also need to keep up with new technology and programming languages, which means continuous practise and training.

At a glance

A part-time Higher Diploma in Computing course will take 18 months to complete (3 evenings per week). A Certificate course in Computer Programming will last for 1 year. General courses in Web Programming last for approximately 25 weeks. Part-time Introduction to Computer Programming courses will generally run for around 10 weeks.

Frank Bolger

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