Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers

(NOC 2174)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

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 Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 350 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

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)

Hourly Pay

$18.75

Minimum

$33.65

Median

$43.27

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,009

Minimum

$56,326

Median

$93,589

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

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.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,725

employed in 2016

93.0%

employed full-time

7.8%

self employed

19.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
36.5

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

80.6%

Halifax

7.7%

Annapolis Valley

5.2%

Northern

3.6%

Cape Breton

3.3%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

51.7%

Computer System Design Services

16.2%

Information, Culture & Recreation

7.5%

Public Administration

3.2%

Wholesale Trade

3.2%

Educational Services

What is the age of Employment?

35.3%

25-34

30.2%

35-44

20.7%

45-54

7.8%

15-24

4.3%

55-64

1.7%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

46.6%

Bachelor's degree

$68,456 median annual income
25.7%

College certificate or diploma

$66,345 median annual income
11.7%

Doctorate

N/A
10.3%

High school

$68,633 median annual income
2.3%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Animation, interactive technology, video graphics and special effects

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Computer and information sciences - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Computer engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Computer programming - Specific applications

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Computer programming/programmer - General

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Computer science

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

E-commerce/electronic commerce

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Game and interactive media design

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Medical informatics

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Information and Communications Technology Council
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Tel: (613) 237-8551
Fax: (613) 230-3490

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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