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21st Century Careers: Software Developer

By Smriti Nair ('22)

Photo courtesy of Wix

As more technological advances are made, people are becoming increasingly interested in becoming software developers/engineers. Software developing invites people who have an interest in computers and is able to work well with others.

High school students looking into software-related jobs such as developers or engineers should be prepared to complete four years of college, and attain at least a bachelor’s degree. Most companies and firms prefer a bachelor’s degree and many even require it.

When searching for colleges, students should look at colleges that have a strong computer science or an electrical and computer engineering program. One college that offers said programs is the Carnegie Mellon University, and some courses offered there are computer software, programming, and computer architecture. A degree from this school costs approximately $70,000 per year.

Software development comes with responsibilities. These responsibilities include analyzing a user’s needs and developing a software to meet said needs, building system interface, and to create systems that keep the device running properly. Software developers typically work 40 hours per week, but it is not unheard of for some to work 50 or more hours a week.

People with good communication skills and a friendly personality are great for this type of job, especially when talking to clients. People planning to pursue this field should also be willing to work hard and put out their best work no matter how small the assignment.

“Anything that goes out of your desk, make sure that it is the best work you can possibly do,” said software engineer and director at Cognizant Technologies Solutions, Mr. Girish Nair.

Regarding the skills and qualifications needed to be successful in this job, a person must have a strong understanding of computer programming, a logical and structured thinking, and a core programming language.

Regarding required skills in the field, a programmer needs to know, “software programming, information technology, and at my level, management” said Mr. Nair.

After completing all of the courses and certification necessary, and being accepted into a company, comes the salary. As of May 2017, the median annual wage of a software developer/engineer was $103,560.

The unemployment rate for this job is very low as more and more software developers and engineers are needed in companies. The unemployment rate for this field is at 3.6 percent. The outlook for this job is quite positive. The projected number of new jobs is 10,000 to 49,000, and the projected growth rate is 24 percent, much faster than the average of other occupations.

Software development or engineering is an engaging career to pursue, especially with all of the new advances in technology. It requires hard work and creativity, but if people put their mind to it, many would succeed in the career.

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