Software engineer Career & Requirments
Basically, a software engineer writes, edits and tests software and programs. In order for third party softwares to work effectively, a software developer needs to write the contents with specific programing languages. Most software technicians or engineers specialize in database applications, operating systems, or programming. While most software engineer work for organizations, others work as independent developers and collaborate with other software experts as groups working on complex projects. Job prospects for software developers and engineers are high and such experts are always in high demand.
Most software engineers also work as computer programmers and write codes for diverse applications and systems. They run diverse performance tests on new or upgraded software, with the aim of removing bugs, in such programs. There is no sector where software engineers are not found, they work in banks, Agricultural establishments, hospitals, business organizations, law firms, Telecommunications, entertainment, and Government parastatals.
How to become a software engineer
Education and training play critical roles for those aspiring to become software engineers. Most employers will require that software developers, technicians and engineers possess a minimum of bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, mathematics, and computer systems and applications. Many employers will still train both new and old employees after hiring them, in order to keep them updated in latest software development strategies. Aside from traditional bachelor’s degree, a software engineer is expected to possess professional certifications, including programming language certifications such as Java, C++, Microsoft certifications, and Oracle database certifications.
Employment and salary outlook for a software engineer
As a software engineer, your prospects of securing a lucrative position are high because of the ever increasing demand for software developers. According to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), it is projected that software engineering jobs will expand by 22% between 2012 and 2022, and such prospects make the software engineering field one of the fastest growing fields in the IT sector of the American economy. As at the end of the year 2014, the average salaries of software engineers in the United States of America was $99,000 per annum, while the average starting salaries was $62,000 per annum. An average Application software engineer with more than 3 years of work experience is expected to earn a minimum of $90,060 per annum.
Career paths for a software engineer
Generally, a software engineer may find himself in two main areas; writing codes softwares or writing codes for computing systems. As application software who writes codes for computing systems, you will have to write and develop custom-made softwares for consumers or simply design databases for small, medium and large scale corporations- this also means you can practice as an independent software engineer. System developers also develop operating systems for electronics and cyber systems.
Work environments of a software engineer
Depending on your employer, you may find yourself working in an office or in a workshop as a software engineer. For individuals who write programs for mobile devices, write, edit and test-run softwares, they may normally work in a busy workshop with lots of computer hardwares. Software developers who work as database administrators, programmers and system developers will normally work within a corporate office environment. As a software engineer, your working conditions may not influence your salary; however the size of the organization you work as well as years of experience, certifications and degrees will largely determine how much you earn.