Software development is an expansive field and one that is demanding and requires creativity, but equally rewarding. A career as a software engineer not only comes with an attractive remuneration package but also gives you plenty of learning opportunities. The languages, code, and challenges may change, but the demand for software developers will remain constant in the foreseeable future.
The software development field is constantly evolving and has continued to post positive growth numbers. This is as a result of improvements in the currently available programming languages compounded with emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. If you are looking to start a career in software engineering, these emerging technologies will not only require you to constantly keep improving your skills but also create more job opportunities. This perhaps explains why “willingness to learn” is a primary criterion for companies looking to hire a dedicated developer.
In this article, we are going to look at the software engineering career opportunities and why you should consider pursuing a software engineering career path.
Who is a Software Engineer?
Basically, software engineers design and develop computer software by applying mathematical analysis and computer science principles. They have extensive knowledge of software development, programming languages, and computer operating systems.
By applying these engineering principles in the entire development process, software engineers are then able to create customized systems for enterprises and individual clients.
The Demand for Software Engineers
Today, a lot of investment has gone into software engineering. This is largely due to our increasing over-reliance on mobile technology, the growing complexity of technology, venture capital-backed start-ups, and emerging industries.
As a result of this proliferation, the entire business ecosystem has developed a seemingly unending appetite for technology solutions, and skilled software engineers to help lay the groundwork.
According to a report by Evans Data Corporation, the total number of software developers in the world in 2019 was 24 million. The same report estimated that this number would grow to reach 28.7 million by 2024. A different report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of software engineers will see a 24% growth rate between now and 2026 – which is faster compared to all other occupations in the country.
In terms of the population spread, the US is home to the largest community of software developers with over 4.7 million developers, although, India is expected to overtake the US by 2023.
6 Reasons Why You Should Pursue a Software Engineering Career
- Attractive Salary Package
One of the biggest and worthwhile reasons to become a software engineer is the high average annual software engineering salary. Depending on location, years of experience, and the size of the company, you can earn anything between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.
So if you’re looking for a profession that offers a competitive pay rate and great career growth opportunities, software engineering should on top of your list.
- Work and Life Balance
Another reason why you should pursue a career in software engineering is the flexibility that comes with the position. The stereotype of a computer software engineer sitting in a small cubicle, coding all day, is far from reality as you can work remotely.
According to recent research conducted by StackOverflow, 11.2% of the respondents from the US indicated that they worked remotely full-time. The same report also showed that 53% of respondents ranked remote work higher than work hours, professional development, and health care.
The multiple career opportunities in software engineering give developers an opportunity to climb up the career ladder to become architects or senior developers. It is also possible to branch and specialize in one language or skill, or even start your own company.
- Continuous Learning Opportunities
As earlier indicated, the software development ecosystem is evolving rapidly, with new technologies emerging by the day. To continually adapt to this ever-changing environment, software engineers need to keep abreast with all the new languages and technologies.
Along with that, they also need to develop knowledge on the industry trends to avoid being left behind. All these scenarios are an amazing learning opportunity for software developers as they help keep the mind fresh and make the job interesting.
- Collaboration with Like-minded Individuals and Teams
It takes much more than technical skills to become a good software engineer. You also need to possess great interpersonal and communication skills as well as be a team player. For instance, if you are an IoT application developer, you’ll often need to collaborate with other team members and share your knowledge, ideas, and help develop good development practices. And in doing so, you get a chance to learn from others as well as improve your communication and interpersonal skills.
- Project-based Work Structure
A great deal of software development entails working on multiple projects with varied needs. One of the biggest advantages of this working style is that every new project presents you with a whole new set of challenges, allowing you to learn new technologies, systems, and various parts of the business.
Moreover, project-based work structures also give you a sense of direction as, on many occasions, development projects come with fixed timeframes and deliverables.
- You’ll Be Suitably Challenged to Troubleshoot and Solve Problems
Whether you are hired by a company to create new software or to help troubleshoot why their existing platform isn’t working, working as a software engineer is challenging and you should expect to spend a great deal of your time troubleshooting.
As such, if you are the type that loves to break down problems to determine the root cause, making software engineering your career option would be great.
By all objective measures, software engineering is one of the best professional fields to get into today. With that said, becoming a prolific software takes much more than learning how to code with a bunch of frameworks and languages. When a company is looking to hire dedicated developer, they want an individual who can solve their problems.
Those programming languages, libraries, and frameworks are just enablers that help you solve these problems. And the tools are only as good as the person using them.
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