Do you have to be a computer programmer to create a phone app?

By | October 11, 2015

I do not have computer training, recently left the Marines, and need to find a way to make money. Currently, I work at a gas station but I need a good civilian career to support my family. My military training does not transfer over well to the private sector.

I would like to create phone applications and enjoy using them but am not sure what would be the best training. I would like to use the GI bill to attend college. I was thinking about American Military University or UMUC.
Semper Fi

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2 thoughts on “Do you have to be a computer programmer to create a phone app?

  1. Jamie

    Android have an app inventor, that use to be a simple drag and drop (not sure if it still is)

  2. Richard L

    To give you the background – There are several main Computer majors and their associated career categories and you need to know these just to get the lay of the land. These degree titles are often found in Associates, Bachelors and Masters degree programs. Generally most IT employers are looking for a 4 year Bachelors degree in an IT related major as a minimum requirement. For working people some of these majors are offered by schools in night classes and we are beginning to see online or hybrid online/classroom options available. Depending on the school, a Bachelors degree in an IT field may be a BA or a BS. There does not seem to be any problems for employers with a BA or BS as long as it is a bachelors degree. If you already have a degree in another major, if you have an Associates degree or if you have a bunch or college credits and no degree you can usually find a degree completion program that will allow you to take 14-16 months of classes and graduate with a Bachelors in a computer related major.
    Now some of the titles colleges use may consist of different course curriculums. As an example one school may have more programming classes in the same major while another school has fewer. Schools may call their general IT program Computer Information Technology, Computer Information Systems or Computer Information Science. To really tell what the major is about you should look at the courses that a particular school offers in that major. Another point of confusion is job titles you will see. For example, I am called a Computer Systems Engineer but I don’t do anything associated with Computer Engineering. One job I had I was Systems Programmer but I did not do any programming. So the titles for majors and for jobs in IT can be very confusing. Sometimes I will hear someone say they want to pursue Computer Science or Computer Engineering and once they find out what it involves they realize that is not what they want to do. If this is old info, that you already know, apologies. Here are the majors and some associated jobs:

    Computer Science (CS) – A technical degree which usually has a Programming emphasis – people with this major usually are developing application software, web development, embedded code and robotics. Sometimes depending on the college the degree may cover some more general topics as listed under CIS below. CS is a difficult area major. Many CS students find themselves not enjoying programming, not being gifted at it or not having the math and logic skills to be good at programming and they will switch out into CIS. CS majors that are able to graduate can also qualify for jobs listed below under CIS.

    Computer Information Systems (CIS) This may also be called a variety of other names like Information Technology (IT), Information Systems (IS), etc. This is a general technical degree and is the degree that I have. Holders of these degree work in a variety of technical jobs like these:
    Computer Technician, Service Center Coordinator, Help Desk Staff, Storage Administrator, Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer, Enterprise Administrator, Active Directory Administrator, Exchange and Messaging Administrator, Backup Administrator, Disaster Recovery Specialist, Database Administrator, Computing Security Specialist, Corporate IT Acquisition Specialist and Data Center Administrator, just to name a few.

    Computer Engineering – This is a technical engineering and design degree. These degree holders get jobs related to designing and manufacturing computer related hardware. Obviously when you think of hardware you think of laptops and PCs but this might be all kinds of computer devices like tablets, processors, memory, storage, networking equipment and components of computers.

    Management Information Systems (MIS) – This is a business degree that prepares non-technically trained people to manage projects, budgets and people. Traditionally, senior IT technical pros would eventually be promoted into management positions after years of technical work. The good news is they understood technical challenges their people were working with but the bad news was that some were great tech people but poor people managers. The idea with the MIS degree is to provide business training that is slanted towards managing IT work. Business Colleges like to offer this degree because management principles change must less frequently that technical info where there is always a new operating system or new programming language. This means they can have the same classes, same books and same course titles year after year. In a technical major the technology changes very fast. I have had both types of managers and the new trend is definitely towards these non-technical managers
    Hope this helps.
    Best Wishes!

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