How to Become a Software Developer: Career Exploration For Students

Software developer career

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Curious about a career in software development? In this video, we’ll talk about what software developers do, why they are essential for the economy, what skills you need for this career, industries you can expect to work in, schools and programs that will equip you for a software development career, and other resources.

So what is software development? Generally speaking, software development is a process by which standalone or individual software is created using a specific programming language. It involves writing a series of interrelated programming code, which provides the functionality of the developed software.

Some of the typical things a software developer may be involved with on a day to day basis are: Analysing users’ needs and then designing, testing, and developing software to meet those needs; recommending software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems; designing each piece of an application or system and planning how the pieces will work together; creating a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that show programmers the software code needed for an application; ensuring that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing, etc.

Skills needed for a career in software development

Most successful software developers possess soft skills such as Creativity, Analytical Skills, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Problem-solving skills and they are also very detail oriented.

Aside from soft skills, employers are also interested in technical skills and possessing some or all of the following will surely put you ahead of the competition. You should consider acquiring technical skills such as Java, SQL, Python, JavaScript, Linux, Oracle, Git, and DevOps.

Industries that require software developers

Software developers are needed in almost every industry. In addition to the most common ones such as Healthcare, Education, Tech, Finance, etc, software developers are also needed in sub-industries such as Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services, Communications equipment manufacturing, Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, Inland water transportation etc.

There’s a myriad of titles or roles a software developer could hold. The most common ones are: Web developer, front end developer, game developer, SQL developer, network engineer, Python developer, Android developer, computer programmer, React developer, QA engineer, etc.

Economic outlook.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. And that should come as no surprise given the importance of this work and its impact on our lives. Software creates breakthroughs and drives growth in nearly every industry. It empowers countless people and businesses, and improves our lives in ways both big and small.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides a detailed breakdown on the mean annual wage a software developer stands to earn in each state. States that offer the highest annual salary to software developers are Washington, California, and New York, with an annual mean wage of $ 138,400, $ 137,620 and $ 122,300 respectively.

Feel free to visit their site for more information such as the rate of hiring per state as well as per industry.  Link will be in the description below.

Your next steps

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. Computer science degree programs are the most common among software developers.

For a 4 year degree in computer science or programming you can consider some of the following top schools such as Cornell University, Princeton University, University of Washington etc.

You may also opt for an associate degree in computer science or programming from schools such as Ivy Tech Community College, Community College of Philadelphia, Bunker hill Community College etc.

You can use a directory to search for relevant institutions in your desired state.

You’ll find a link to a directory in the description below.

If the conventional or traditional route to acquiring an education in software development isn’t for you, then you can consider taking online classes or courses and certifications. Some online classes may offer a bachelor’s degree, while others offer certifications for the courses you study.

For online degrees, some of the schools offering these are King University and Eastern Florida University. Additionally, if you’re just looking to take online courses that come with recognized certifications, we recommend pursuing such courses on sites such as Udemy, Coursera, eDX, and Class Central.

If you’re interested in software development as a career, you can check out some of the schools mentioned here. Visit their website and search for more information. You can also contact the program representatives, and I’m sure they will be happy to provide you with more information on their school and admission process. Most of the schools I have mentioned also offer financial aid and scholarships should you happen to need help funding your studies.

The ball is in your court now.

Do your research. Talk to your guidance counselors at school or professionals who can help you understand more about the field. Research schools and programs that will be a good fit for you and, most importantly, believe in yourself and keep your dreams alive.

Please share this post and don’t forget to check out our other career exploration videos here.

See you in the next one.

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