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 work for 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, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 245 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Relatively few workers in this occupation were laid off because of COVID-19. Many employees were able to work from home or in office spaces adapted to meet social distancing requirements. The widespread adoption of remote work has increased the number of opportunities for jobseekers in Nova Scotia to apply for jobs with employers in other provinces (and vice versa). This trend may exert upward pressure on wages in areas of the province where local businesses are now competing with employers in other cities for talent.

Employment in the information technology field has increased greatly in Nova Scotia in recent years. As such, many vacancies in this occupation result from employment growth, and there are regular reports of hiring difficulties from employers. Most positions are in the Halifax region. Employment prospects have been good in recent years and there is good indication this trend will continue. Jobseekers with more experience and a high level of specific or leading-edge skills will have a better
chance of finding work. Among recent graduates, having completed a co-op program is also an asset.

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

Hourly Pay

$20.25

Minimum

$33.65

Median

$49.74

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,009

Minimum

$56,326

Median

$93,589

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

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 work for computer software development firms, information technology consulting firms, and in information technology units throughout the private and public sectors.

Job duties

Computer programmers:

  • Write, modify, integrate, and test software code.
  • Maintain existing computer programs by making modifications as needed.
  • Identify and communicate technical problems, processes, and solutions.
  • Prepare reports, manuals and other documentation on the status, operation, and maintenance of software.
  • Help collect and document user requirements.
  • Help develop logical and physical specifications.
  • May lead and coordinate teams of computer programmers.
  • May research and evaluate a variety of software products.

Interactive media developers:

  • Program animation software 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.
  • Help collect and document user requirements.
  • Help develop 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

  • animation programmer
  • cloud developer
  • computer game developer
  • computer programmer
  • electronic commerce (e-commerce) software developer
  • graphical user interface (GUI) developer
  • interactive media developer
  • software developer
  • special effects programmer
  • Web programmer

Skills

Both computer programmers and interactive media developers should be innovative, methodical, and have good communication skills. You 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 up-to-date with new developments in computer hardware, software, and interactive media. Movement to information systems analyst, software engineer or Web designer is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,830

employed in 2016

89.6%

employed full-time

9.0%

self employed

19.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
36.5

median age

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

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

80.4%

Halifax

7.6%

Annapolis Valley

5.2%

North Shore

3.5%

Cape Breton

3.3%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

57.4%

Professional, scientific and technical services

16.2%

Information and cultural industries

7.5%

Public administration

4.9%

Manufacturing

3.2%

Educational services

What is the age of Employment?

36.0%

25-34

25.0%

35-44

17.0%

45-54

12.0%

15-24

8.0%

55-64

1.0%

65+

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

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

45.8%

Bachelor

$60,034 median annual income
25.6%

College Diploma

$47,964 median annual income
11.7%

Master

$65,405 median annual income
10.1%

High school

$33,136 median annual income
2.5%

Diploma Below Bachelor

$53,726 median annual income

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

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Apprenticeship

$57,773 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 includes 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.

Artificial intelligence and robotics

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

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the symbolic inference, representation, and simulation by computers and software of human learning and reasoning processes and capabilities, and the modelling of human motor control and motions by computer-driven machinery. These programs include courses in computing theory, cybernetics, human factors, natural language processing, robot design, and applicable aspects of engineering, technology, and specific end-use applications.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Computer and information sciences - General

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

This instructional program class includes 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 includes 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 includes 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

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

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 includes 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

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Middleton, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Computer science

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

This instructional program class includes 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

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

E-commerce/electronic commerce

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

This instructional program class includes 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 includes 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

Information technology project management

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

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to design, develop, and manage information technology projects in a variety of companies and organizations. These programs include courses in principles of project management, risk management, procurement and contract management, information security management, software management, organizational principles and behaviour, communications, quality assurance, financial analysis, leadership, and team effectiveness.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Medical informatics

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

This instructional program class includes 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.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.