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Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers

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NOC:2174
Occupation:Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
Category:Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

About the job

Nature of work:

Computer programmers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for software applications, data processing applications, operating systems-level software and communications software. Interactive media developers write, modify, integrate and test computer code for Internet and mobile applications, computer-based training software, computer games, film, video and other interactive media. They are employed in computer software development firms, information technology consulting firms, and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors.

Job duties:
Computer programmers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Write, modify, integrate and test software code.
  • Maintain existing computer programs by making modifications as required.
  • Identify and communicate technical problems, processes and solutions.
  • Prepare reports, manuals and other documentation on the status, operation and maintenance of software.
  • Assist in the collection and documentation of user requirements.
  • Assist in the development of logical and physical specifications.
  • May lead and coordinate teams of computer programmers.
  • May research and evaluate a variety of software products.
Interactive media developers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Program animation software to predefined specifications for interactive CDs, DVDs, video game cartridges and Internet-based applications.
  • Program special effects software for film and video applications.
  • Write, modify, integrate and test software code for e-commerce and other Internet applications.
  • Assist in the collection and documentation of user requirements.
  • Assist in the development of logical and physical specifications.
  • May lead and coordinate teams of interactive media developers.
  • May research and evaluate a variety of interactive media software products.
Sample job titles:
  • computer game developer
  • computer programmer
  • electronic commerce (e-commerce) software developer
  • graphical user interface (GUI) developer
  • interactive media developer
  • Java programmer
  • software developer
  • special effects programmer
  • visual basic programmer
  • Web programmer
Skills:

Both computer programmers and interactive media developers should be innovative, methodical, and possess good communication skills. They should also be quick to learn and be prepared to work to keep on top of new developments. Computer languages evolve rapidly and programmers must be continually learning to keep their skills up-to-date. Numerical ability is required to understand programming languages and to write, modify, integrate, and test software code. Accuracy and proofreading skills are required to detect, locate, and avoid errors in code. Creativity and design skills may be an asset for interactive media designers.

Job requirements:
  • A bachelor's degree in computer science or in another discipline with a significant programming component or completion of a college program in computer science is usually required.
  • Specialization in programming for engineering and scientific applications requires specific post-secondary study or experience.
Other considerations:

Rapid changes in computer technology mean that people in this field should be prepared to keep abreast of new developments in computer hardware, software, and interactive media. Progression to information systems analyst, software engineer or Web designer is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 70% of Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $66,391. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers1,725Strong growth350Low
Minimum: $18.75
Median: $33.65
Maximum: $43.27
Minimum: $10,009
Median: $56,326
Maximum: $93,589
Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology25,875Strong growth3,095Low
Minimum: $17.69
Median: $31.35
Maximum: $47.18
Minimum: $13,568
Median: $60,422
Maximum: $107,009
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
Percent employed full-time93%94%
Percent self-employed0%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentComputer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern3%x12%$30,581
Northern5%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton4%x13%$32,974
Halifax81%$50,41447%$41,209
Annapolis Valley8%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeComputer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
15-248%x
25-3435%14%
35-4430%33%
45-5421%32%
55-644%18%
65+2%4%
Median Age3743
GenderComputer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
Female19%20%
Male81%80%
EducationComputer Programmers and Interactive Media DevelopersCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school0.6%x0.7%$28,107
High school10.3%$68,63312.1%$35,125
Trades certificate0.6%x6.8%$54,923
College certificate or diploma25.7%$66,34533.7%$52,476
University certificate or diploma2.3%x3.7%$52,446
Bachelor's degree46.6%$68,45629.7%$58,011
University advanced certificate or diploma1.1%x2.0%$54,917
Master's degreeN/A$75,3099.7%$37,706
Doctorate11.7%x1.7%$65,565
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry1.1%x0.1%$57,566
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Information and Communications Technology Council
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Tel: (613) 237-8551
Fax: (613) 230-3490
info@ictc-ctic.ca 

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Animation, interactive technology, video graphics and special effects
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to use computer applications and related visual and sound imaging techniques to manipulate images and information originating as film, video, still photographs, digital copy, soundtracks, and physical objects in order to communicate messages simulating real-world content. These programs include courses in specialized camerawork and equipment operation and maintenance, image capture, computer programming, dubbing, CAD applications, and applications to specific commercial, industrial, and entertainment needs.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Computer and information sciences - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on computing, computer science, and information science and systems as part of a broad and/or interdisciplinary program. Such programs are undifferentiated as to title and content and are not to be confused with specific programs in computer science, information science, or related support services.
See all institutions providing this program+
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Program Name:Computer engineering - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of computer hardware and software systems and related equipment and facilities; and the analysis of specific problems of computer applications to various tasks.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Computer programming - Specific applications
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply the knowledge and skills of general computer programming to the solution of specific operational problems and customization requirements presented by individual software users and organizational users. Includes training in specific types of software and its installation and maintenance.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Computer programming/programmer - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general writing and implementation of generic and customized programs to drive operating systems and that generally prepares individuals to apply the methods and procedures of software design and programming to software installation and maintenance. These programs include courses in software design, low- and high-level languages and program writing; program customization and linking; prototype testing; troubleshooting; and related aspects of operating systems and networks.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Computer science
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on computers, computing problems and solutions, and the design of computer systems and user interfaces from a scientific perspective. These programs include courses in the principles of computational science, and computing theory; computer hardware design; computer development and programming; and applications to a variety of end-use situations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Program Name:E-commerce/electronic commerce
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to plan, manage, supervise, and market electronic business operations, products, and services provided online via the Internet. These programs include courses in business administration, information technology, information resources management, web design, computer and Internet law and policy, computer privacy and security, e-trading, insurance, electronic marketing, investment capital planning, enterprise operations, personnel supervision, contracting, and product and service networking.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Game and interactive media design
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the design, development, and programming of interactive media entertainment, including computer and video games, virtual environments, Internet applications, and other interactive media. These programs include courses in theory of games, turn-based games, real-time games, visual and interactive design, story development, animation, simulation, and programming.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Medical informatics
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of computer science and software engineering to medical research and clinical information technology support, and the development of advanced imaging, database, and decision systems. These programs include courses in computer science, health information systems architecture, medical knowledge structures, medical language and image processing, quantitative medical decision modelling, imaging techniques, electronic medical records, medical research systems, clinical decision support, and informatics aspects of specific research and practice problems.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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