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How to Become a Software Engineer

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About Software Engineer – Software engineering is a branch that is crucially important to computer technology as a whole. Without the software to complement the computer hardware, that hardware is simply an assembly of plastic, silicon, and metal – may be useful as an overpriced paperweight.

Accurately speaking, software engineering is the application of engineering principles to design, develop and the implementation of a software.

Because software engineering is such a remarkable, scientific and technically-driven field, special training and formal degrees are needed. By obtaining a degree in software engineering, graduates can work in numerous fields creating video games, developing internet applications, running computer networks or implementing computer security measures for organizations.

Read on to get more information about software engineering degrees and careers, and also salaries.

Steps To Becoming A software Engineer

Software engineering is a constantly changing profession, one that adjusts as newer technologies are developed. Because of its adaptive nature, there are lots of entry points into the profession. Although no singular path to becoming a software engineer exists, the steps below outline the general path to employment.

The Steps to Software Engineering Employment
The steps below outline the general pathway to employment.

Get An Education

The completion of formal education is the foremost step toward becoming a software engineer. Potential students can choose from both traditional and nontraditional training programs to gain the necessary education to pursue entry-level positions. Some options include:
ASSOCIATE DEGREE (TWO YEARS). Although employers mostly prefer candidates with a four-year degree, associate degrees can also open doors to entry-level jobs in the field. Individuals may choose to pursue majors in several relating areas, like software engineering technology or software systems engineering. The aforementioned curriculum focuses on the core principles of software engineering, programming languages, and modern methods to software development.
BACHELOR’S DEGREE (FOUR YEARS). A bachelor’s degree in computer science, or other related fields, is the traditional base degree preferred by employers. Bachelor’s degree programs open students to a wider curriculum that offers a foundation in mathematics and computer science. Students develop an expansive understanding of programming, software architecture, and software testing. They can also take specialized courses in application areas, such as networking or embedded systems.
CODING BOOTCAMP (8 TO 12 WEEKS). Coding bootcamps are a somewhat new educational path for aspiring software engineers or developers. The bootcamps typically last between 8 and 12 weeks and puts students into a hands-on, immersive learning environment. After graduation, students would be ready for entry-level careers as software engineers or developers.

Do An Internship

Completing an internship offers students with real-life experiences. Technology companies can offer internships for students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree who are looking to expand their skills in specifically defined areas, like XML, Java, or SQL. Internships normally last between three to six months and enable students work on specific projects or products related to their skills.

Pursue A Specialization

Overall, there are two specializations within software engineering: applications and software/systems development. However, distinct aspects of practice exist within each of these areas. Software engineers can choose to become experts in a single programming language or type of development. Listed below is a list of example specialty aspects to consider:

  • Web development
  • DevOps
  • Mobile development
  • Technical stack (e.g Python, LAMP, MEAN, & Flutter)

Pursue Entry-Level Career Opportunities

After obtaining a computer science or other related degree or completing the Bootcamp program, the next phase is to search for entry-level employment. Due to the demand, software engineering has been ranked one of the best entry-level careers available, according to Forbes. Although the dream job might be at Google, potential software engineers could start with a small, local job hunt because, in the profession, experience is a vital commodity for career advancement.

Get Certified

Although some certifications over the years have lost their prestige, they remain an essential part of the tech industry. Software engineering is exact and technical, and gaining certification substantiates an applicant’s knowledge and abilities.

Along with experience, certification can greatly increase a person’s marketability in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Such certifications are available from technology vendors (e.g., Microsoft, Cisco, and Oracle) and also professional organizations (e.g., IEEE) and are tailored to specific aspects of practice.

Attend Conferences

We all know innovation drives change. That means software engineers need to stay updated of the latest developments in both the profession in general and their specialty. Attending conferences is an excellent way to network with other engineers and learn about interesting new products, business practices, and technologies.

Earn A Graduate Degree

A graduate degree provides the opportunity to be eligible for management and leadership positions in the industry.

Additionally, there is more to software engineering than just programming. Software engineering makes use of interdisciplinary skills such as critical thinking, cost analysis and project management skills that would be enhanced in a master’s program in computer science, computer engineering, information science or software engineering.

Software Engineer Salaries

The market demand for certified software engineers has created a rat race for the top talent. Salary research from ComputerWorld and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal the same thing: Companies are willing to pay top dollar to acquire top talents, with some annual salaries pushing upwards of six figures. The reported average salary of entry-level software engineers is $76,123, with principal engineers earning as high as $153,658.

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