One of the fastest growing jobs in 2010 is a Computer Software Engineer. According to Onet Online, this career is set to grow more than 20% from 2008-2018. That’s an extra 218,400 jobs! So, what does it take to become a software engineer? First, let’s look at some necessary skills.
- Have great communication skills
- Be able to concentrate and pay close attention to details
- Have strong problem-solving skills
- Be able to multi-task
- Have strong analytical skills
Now that you have all the skills that it takes, it is important to know exactly what different types of computer software engineers actually do. Computer software engineers create software design. They must apply computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis techniques into the development of software. There are two types of engineering you can choose to go into: systems software engineering or applications engineering.
- Systems software engineers deal with the company’s computer systems by coordinating production and maintenance.
- Applications engineers investigate user’s needs. In addition, they also create, build and maintain basic computer applications software and specialized utility programs.
By now, you might be realizing this could be the perfect job for you. Also, you might be wondering how you’re going to actually start working as an engineer. There are actually a couple of options available. According to McGraw-Hill’s Careers for Computer Buffs, most companies prefer that software engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer information systems, or software engineering.
It is also recommended to participate in an internship or co-op during college in order to get an entry-level position. Once in the field, it is important that software engineers stay up to date with their skills due to continuous changes and developments in the field. Most just continue their education through coursework or attend professional development seminars.
If you are not looking to get a bachelor’s degree, there is still an option for you. There are certification programs available in computer training. No college degree is required to take part. There is one drawback about this option. Experts believe that although it is possible, certifications might not be enough for most jobs. But if you can get a certification along with an internship, you will gain valuable experience. It might take longer, but you can work your way up.
Of course all of these facts are important, but I know most of us like to skip right down to the salary information. According to Onet Online, the median earnings for an applications engineer were $84,430, that’s $41.07 an hour. The median earnings for a systems software engineer were $92,430, that’s $44.44 an hour.
If you can pay attention to detail and are good with computers, this might be the perfect job for you. There’s no better time to start than now because there will be a ton of jobs waiting for you.
For more information on this career, visit the Career Center’s wonderful library on the third floor of Conklin.
Sources: Onet Online, McGraw-Hills Careers for Computer Buffs & Other Technological Types 3rd Ed.