Pre-employment tests for Computer Programmers

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers are some of the most highly sought after workers in today's economy. They often appreciate a good deal of autonomy, with occasional opportunities for collaboration. The outlook for job growth among computer programmers is excellent, and is expected to improve consistently through the next decade, particularly with the increased focus on mobile app development and Internet-based services. Computer programmers typically have a bachelor's degree in computer science or mathematics. Their median wage is $74,280, with top earners making considerably more.

Hiring talented software engineers is a challenge. They usually need to be able to work independently, meet deadlines, and report to managers. Since programmers need to be able to describe their progress and coordinate with others working on the same project, communication is vital while knowledge of specific computer languages and their applications is important, what separates good programmers from great ones is often their creativity and advanced critical thinking skills. So while it is important to hire programmers who have knowledge of the languages that a company uses, critical thinking and learning ability are better predictors of long-term job success for programmers. This is because programming is such a rapidly evolving field and coding languages are changing and developing quickly. For this reason many employers use general aptitude tests such as the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) to gain insights into the cognitive abilities of prospective programmers.

If you're an employer interested in previewing these tests, start a 30-day free trial.

Fast Facts

Rank in HireSelect:
20 out of 1,100

Median wage in U.S.:
$82,690/year or $39.75/hr

Expected growth rate 2012-2022:

Number employed (2014): 302,150

Education level of Computer Programmers:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top 5 Skills and Abilities to Look For in Computer Programmers

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Information Ordering
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Written Comprehension

Top 3 Tasks for Computer Programmers

  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct.
  • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor