Working as a software developer is one of the most promising IT jobs for a future career. Demand for software developers is expected to grow at a rate of 22 percent between 2012 and 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Careers in software development also topped the U.S. News & World Report list of the 100 best jobs.
The first step you must take to get a job in software development is to complete the proper education and training. Most software developers have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering or a similar field, and some employers prefer a master's degree for certain positions. Experience in software building and knowledge of the latest advances are a must. To increase your chances of getting a job after college, complete an internship at a software company prior to graduation.
There are a number of professional skills and qualities that make you more attractive to prospective employers. Have a creative problem-solving approach, the ability to work well with non-technical staff and excellent communication, interpersonal and project management skills. The ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines is also an asset to a software developer. Have a thorough knowledge of software, hardware and programming languages, and be familiar with the use of computer-aided software engineering tools.
Begin your software developer job search by browsing listings on tech-specific sites like ComputerWeekly.com and BCSrecruit.com, and search general job listing sites like Indeed.com, Monster.com and SnagaJob.com. Before applying, make sure your online presence is professional; a potential employer is almost certain to search for your name or email address on Google as well as on social media platforms.
When you are invited to a job interview for a software developer position, dress in semi-casual attire. In this particular field, formal attire like a business suit makes you look like a rookie. Put together a strong portfolio to present to potential employers. This is often considered more important than your years of experience in software development. Include a stack of screenshots from previous projects that you completed while freelancing or during an internship.
You also have the option of starting your own business and doing contract work. Create a professional website with a list of your services, or use trusted freelancing sites, such as Elance.com, oDesk.com and Freelancer.com to find thousands of available software development contract jobs. You can also get involved on forum-based sites like Stack Exchange.
Completing the necessary training and applying yourself during your job search and interview makes it easier for you to get a job as a software developer. Although most IT jobs are in high demand, software developers fare especially well with an unemployment rate of just 2.9 percent in 2013, according to a report by Robert Half Technology.
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