Computer software engineers, also referred to as software developers or software programmers, are the individuals responsible for designing and programming large-scale computer systems and applications. The job of a software engineer is similar to that of a systems analyst, and it involves designing and building system software, protocol architectures or databases.
Software engineering is continuously evolving, and software engineers must continually strive to acquire the latest skills if they wish to remain relevant in this extremely dynamic field. Do you have what it takes?
Employers usually seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree and relevant industry experience. Software engineers with advanced degrees in mathematics and systems design are also highly in demand. Aspiring software engineers can enhance their employment opportunities by participating in internship or co-op programs offered through various colleges.
Software engineers must ensure that their software satisfies constraints for quality, time and cost. Some of the daily job duties of a software engineer include:
Anyone seeking a career as a computer software engineer must first have strong programming capabilities and a good understanding of software technologies. Additional skills that are pertinent to good software engineering include analytical thinking, excellent problem-solving abilities and communication skills.
Due to the rapid proliferation of computer systems worldwide, software engineering is expected to be one of the fastest growing careers during this decade. They often choose one of two paths below.
Software engineers who specialize in applications, analyze user needs and create customized software may also perform database development among other tasks.
Software engineers who specialize in systems software, create and test operating systems and analyze software requirements may also coordinate the installation of software systems.
Software engineer is one of the fastest growing career paths available, which is the result of rapid employment growth in the computer systems design industry. College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or computer science and practical experience have the best chances of being employed.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary of software engineers in 2006 was about $85,370. This is expected to grow by about 10 percent in the coming years.