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Looking for a career that will keep you in demand and earning well? Demand for software engineers is set to increase by 25-30% in the near future.
We spend a lot of time on the internet and using devices these days. From smartphones and tablets to laptops, game consoles and even our cars, there’s no escaping them and that trend isn’t going anywhere. Right now, there is high demand for software engineers and that demand is set to skyrocket.
It’s a side of engineering dealing with the creation and maintenance of software products. Due to the nature of this changing environment, software engineers learn to work within a set of methods, best practices, and principles rather than rigid parameters.
It’s made up of two distinct parts: software and engineering.
Software engineering covers roles such as web, app, or game developer, IT consultant, multimedia programmer, or information security analyst, among others. Depending on your interests and aptitude, there are many different avenues and industries in which you can work.
Since software engineering requires an ability to learn and use various programming languages, it tends to attract those who are quick to pick them up. Often, this aptitude shows up as early as middle or high school, with kids teaching themselves programming and coding to play video games or create apps for school.
For others, it’s something they get into in college, studying full degrees and even post-graduate degrees in the subject from university or college, community college, online university, or even through short courses in specific programming languages. Some people have even learned the ropes through YouTube, Github, and CodePen! In short, there’s no specific route, and a formal degree is great but not always required, depending on the role.
Software engineers are highly sought-after, and the average annual salary for a software engineer is more than 50% higher than the national average salary in the US. Entry-level positions start out at about $97,178 per year, rising to roughly $119,868 per year at four to six years of experience. Senior software engineers can earn up to $227k, though the median salary is around $152,459 per year.
Some other careers in the same field are:
There are many opportunities for those trained in software engineering. Some progress up the ranks from junior to senior, eventually leading a team of software engineers. Others transition out into careers in web development or consulting.
They need a lot of technical skills, but they should also have interpersonal skills, and be able to effectively communicate with users and stakeholders in order to train, test, and debug software from initiation all the way to the end product. Software engineers are often involved from the early stages of software planning right through to the testing, development, training, and support stages.
A software engineer should be well-versed in:
There are both technical and non-technical skills involved in being a software engineer. Programming languages are useful if you transition into web development, and logical and creative problem solving is useful in almost any career.
The hard skills you’ll learn from software engineering will enable you to move easily across industries and careers, but it’s the soft skills – communication, comfort with learning new things, a solutions-based approach – that will give you the longevity you need to make those leaps.