You should gain an understanding of how programming languages work. This means an introduction to “syntax”, “for loops”,
“while loops”, as well as the ability to “troubleshoot” problems. The main thing to remember when taking this course is to pick a language and stick with it. The theory behind all programming languages is essentially the same. Once you know one programming language using another is just getting used to the syntax.
This course is quickly becoming the cornerstone of education for STEM workforce development. In essentially all instances people employed in a STEM field will be required to have some level of programming experience and knowledge. This is true whether they are in employed as an Academic or in the Public and Private sectors.
At this point all STEM degrees require the student to take an Intro to Programming course or courses. Depending on the school the student will need to take either one or two courses in sequence involving one Programming Language. At the Community College Level the student will likely need to take Two courses in sequence so that the course will be able to transfer to a Four Year Institution. At the Four Year Institution the student will likely only need to take one course.
Which course you take is not a major life decision. Later Courses and especially employers will require you to use different languages than the one you choose for this course. Remember: Once you know one programming language using another is just getting used to the syntax. However, some degrees are more likely to use one over another.
Most common Intro to Programming courses:
Common Languages for later courses: MatLab, R, Mathematica, Fortran, and C.