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Computer Programming NC IV in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Computer Programming NC IV is a technical-vocational program that provides students with the competencies to be able to design, develop and write program codes using a computer. It familiarizes students with the stages of program development and the fundamental programming techniques using current development software.

This program is regulated by TESDA (regulating body for vocational courses), and offered in TESDA-accredited education institutions. Programming NCIV also be incorporated in undergraduate courses such as BS in Information Technology (BSIT), BS in Computer Science (BSC) and BS in Information System (BSIS).

Course Structure

As designed by TESDA, the course structure for Computer Programming NC IV is divided into the following modules:
  • Basic Competencies (30 hours)
    • Utilizing specialized communication skills (6 hours)
    • Developing teams and individuals (4 hours)
    • Identifying possible solution (4 hours)
    • Recommending and implementing solutions (4 hours)
    • Collecting, analyzing and organizing information (4 hours)
    • Planning and organizing work (4 hours)
    • Promoting environmental protection (4 hours)
  • Common Competencies (18 hours)
    • Applying quality standards (8 hours)
    • Operating Personal Computer (10 hours)
  • Core Competencies (204 hours)
    • Designing program logic (54 hours)
    • Applying program development approach (54 hours)
    • Applying object-oriented program language skills (54 hours)
    • Applying programming skills in a second language (42 hours)
Students spend most of their time in classroom discussions and in the computer laboratory doing practicum exams. After the end of each module discussion, students are assessed through written and oral examinations, practical exams and direct observation with questioning.

Is Computer Programming a profession?

Programming is certainly a profession, as it require a specialized set of skills that can only be acquired through extensive learning and years of working experience. However, completing the Programming NC IV will not make you a professional programmer. Only after you acquire a few years of work experience, and a specialization in one or two programming languages or environments, will you be considered a professional programmer.

Entry Requirements for Computer Programming NC IV

The basic requirements for trainees or students as set by TESDA includes the following:
  • Can communicate both oral and written
  • Must be computer literate
  • With good moral character
  • Physically and mentally fit
  • Must be 18 years old or above

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed as a programmer?

  • Analytical Skills – you must be able to think logically and understand how a chain of events happens through the cause and effect process.
  • Pattern and syntax recognition – involves recognizing similarities and differences in strings of characters and numbers, understanding graphical representations of procedures and symbols, finding which element does not match the corresponding elements and information checking and attention to detail: a single misplaced semi-colon or bracket can crash a program.
  • Problem solving skills – problem solving is analogous to the troubleshooting required in programming
  • Basic Mathematical skills – mathematics is often used in programming, although usually not at a very complex level.
  • Ability to follow complex procedures – involves following coded instructions and rules, sequencing events into a logical order, sorting and manipulating lists of items according to specific instructions, deciding how one set of instructions affects another and interpreting flow diagrams.
  • English skills – proficiency in written and oral English.
  • Being organized and methodical – proper syntax and systematic approach are very important when writing complex codes, especially if you work in a team.

How difficult is Computer Programming NC IV?

Computer Programming is difficult skill to master. Although this program only touches basic concepts and a few chosen programming languages, you still need to be able to understand and use concepts that are fairly complex and require a great amount of logical and analytical skills. You need to integrate a lot of IT and programming concepts which you have limited information/knowledge on.

To pass the evaluation, students need to practice constantly to master the art of programming. Hands on exercises may go on for hours, patience is essential. One of the most challenging parts of this program is making the case study. You will be required to create a simple computer application/programming system which must atleast be functional. Since you’re still a beginner, it will be difficult.

How long does it take to complete the Programming NC II program in the Philippines?

The standard completion time of Computer Hardware Servicing NC II program as recommended by TESDA is 252 hours: 30 hours of Basic Competencies, 18 hours of Common Competencies and 204 hours of Core Competencies. However the duration may be longer due to the OJT or the school's curriculum.

On the Job Training (OJT)

TESDA-accredited institutions may integrate an On the Job Training (OJT) in the Computer Programming NC IV program. Students may be assigned in IT firms, computer companies, BPO industries or any government and private institutions. During the OJT, students are given the chance to observe, to hands-on and perform computer programming tasks. The student will report to the designated authority in the agency who will supervise and guide his practice. The assigned authority will evaluate the student periodically and submit an evaluation form to the assigned TVET trainer.

The required number of hours for OJT varies from one institution to another.

Assessment and Certification

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is the regulating body for all vocational courses in the Philippines and is in-charge of the assessment and certification of the competencies of technical-vocational workers through the Philippine TVET Qualification and Certification System (PTQCS). The assessment process aims to determine whether the graduate will be able to perform according to workplace standards based on a defined competency standard. Certification is given to those who meet the competency standards.

The Assessment and Certification process is not required among graduates of vocational courses. Graduate trainees have the option whether to undergo the process or not. However, a TESDA certification will give a graduate an advantage since local and foreign companies who hire skilled workers require this credential.

Graduates of Programming NC IV are advised to take the Assessment and Certification Exam, National Certificate – Level IV (NC IV).

The National Certificate is only valid for five years, which means that it has to be renewed. The requirements and steps in applying for assessment and certification as well as the methods used for assessment are found in the TESDA website.

Career Opportunities for Programming NC IV graduates

  • Software Tester (QA) – assist in the performance of software testing procedures on the Application Software and ensure all errors are identified and corrected before release to clients.
  • Debugger – locate and fix or bypass bugs (errors) in computer program code or the engineering of a hardware device.
  • Applications Developer – translate software requirements into workable programming code and maintain and develop programs for use in business.
  • Webmaster – design and maintain Web pages.
  • Computer Programmer – develop systems in any of the following, but not limited to, areas: business information systems, computer games, portals/web applications, programming tools, encryption systems.
  • Database Administrator – responsible for accurately and securely using, maintaining and developing computerized databases within a wide range of public and private sector organizations.

Salary Levels

Here are some common jobs for Computer Programming NC IV graduates and their corresponding monthly salaries:
(source: jobstreet, 2017)

Fresh Grad 1-4 Years
Experienced Employee
/ 5 Years & Up
Experienced Employee
Assistant Manager
/ Manager
Software Tester (QA) P 10K–14K P 13K–18K

Programmer P 10K–14K P 13K–19K P 20K–28K P 30K–44K
Web Developer
P 14K–20K P 21K–28K
Database Administrator
P 11.5K–18K P 20K–25K

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