Tech students and IT professionals looking for different career options might want to consider the path of the software developer. The job topped the US News and World Report list of 100 top career options for 2014, primarily due to exceptional expected growth and a salary range approximately twice that of the average position in America. This top job is in exceptionally high demand, and those who are willing to gain the education and skills needed to become software developers may find themselves with a wealth of career opportunities over the next decade.
Tech workers who take up the role of software developer and new graduates alike enter a field where skill and speed are paramount. The increasing role of the Internet and interconnected digital media in our lives has created exceptional demand for those with the know-how to craft software applications for computers, smartphones, tablets, and many other devices considered indispensable by modern workers. They tend to work in teams in an office setting, though many telecommute and enjoy the benefits that avoiding a traditional workplace have to offer. Manufacturers, research teams, and many similar tech companies benefit from having a software developer on the team.
While it is possible for a software developer to learn their skills on their own, most have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related mathematical field. A master's degree in the same fields may open even more opportunities. A background that includes work experience as an intern with a software development company or as a computer programmer may also help land students and existing tech workers jobs as software developers.
With one of the top jobs in high demand, the average software developer tends to command average annual salaries close to $100,000, and top earners in the field make $148,000 or more per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Growth is expected to continue in the future as software applications become ever more advanced and jobs will likely go to experts in the field. The US News analysis puts the figure for growth over the next ten years at 23 percent, close to the BLS's estimate of 22 percent, confirming its continuing spot as one of the top jobs in high demand.
Software development is a challenging field that will continue to evolve greatly in the years to come. A solid background in computer program design coupled with an education that encompasses many mathematical aspects can help you land one of these highly desirable positions. This makes the path of the software developer a good choice for both existing tech workers looking for other opportunities within their fields or new students and graduates seeking to put their education to use.
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