Computer applications software engineers are the geniuses behind the interfaces. They design the software that we use every day for our work and personal lives.
Designing and testing software, applications and utilities requires specific skills and knowledge including an expert-level understanding of operating systems as well as computer programming skills. C, C++ and Java are among the most common programming languages used in software development.
If becoming a software engineer with an emphasis on developing applications appeals to you, consider pursuing your computer science degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that roughly 80 percent of all applications software engineers employed in 2006 held at least a bachelor’s degree.
What’s a typical day in the life of an applications software engineer like? Software engineers who specialize in applications development are involved in designing computer software, compilers, utilities and other applications from concept to implementation. They contribute to the entire lifecycle, which begins by analyzing user needs and continues forward through the design, testing and operations phases.
Working with computer software includes a wide array of possibilities, so an applications software specialist will likely have experience in the following fields:
The BLS estimates that the computer software applications engineer profession will be one of the fastest growing occupations all the way through 2016. Not only are the job prospects excellent, but earnings are impressive too. In 2006, the median annual salary of software engineers (applications) was $79,780; those in the highest 10 percent earned over $119,000 per year.
California, Massachusetts, Washington and Virginia employ the highest concentration of applications software engineers, with over 82,000 jobs based in California alone. The bulk of the jobs are in the computer system design and software publishing industries.