The number of college grads awarded degrees in computer software engineering has increased by 17.2 percent, according to Data USA, with the U.S. workforce currently home to approximately 4.3 million workers with this particular title.
Though this number may sound kind of high, it's no real surprise that many people would want to work in this field since a software engineering career has so many advantages. Why do we say this? For many reasons, actually, and here are a few to consider.
1. The job outlook for a software engineering career is amazing.
The last thing you want as a college grad is to earn your degree only to be unable to find a job in your field. Not only is this type of situation extremely frustrating, but it can also be tremendously demotivating, too.
Yet, this issue doesn't appear to be much of a concern if your goal is to work in the software development space as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that this category of jobs is anticipated to grow by 24 percent.
By comparison, the average growth rate for all other occupations combined is only seven percent. This equates to an additional 302,500 software development jobs by the year 2026.
2. The field is incredibly broad.
Another reason a software engineering career is a great choice is because the field is so broad and encompasses a variety of roles related to both computer applications and systems. This enables you to work in the area or areas that interest you most.
For instance, some software engineers spend their days building or rebuilding computer information systems. Others use their talents to create webpages or enhance a company's network security. It's up to you which direction you want to take.
You can also work in most any industry because they all use software to some extent. Want to put your skills to use by working in a healthcare facility? No problem. Or maybe your dream is to work for a nonprofit? Yes, you can do that, too.
3. You Enjoy Teamwork.
Some career choices are fairly solitary because they require you to work all on your own. However, the job search site Monster reports that a "software engineer" career isn't one of them as individuals in these roles typically work in teams. That makes this career path more appealing if you fall into the second category.
Of course, being an effective team player also requires that you have some of the soft skills necessary to work effectively in teams. Monster shares that among them are being empathetic, having good listening skills, and being able to accept criticism.
You don't necessarily have to start out with all of these skills, either. You can always learn them as you go.
4. You like to troubleshoot.
Whether you're creating new software or helping a company figure out why their current programs and applications aren't working, when you're acting as a software engineer, you can expect to spend some of your time troubleshooting.
That makes this career option preferable to those who like to take a problem and break it down piece-by-piece until you're able to determine a root cause. In this way, you're like a computer detective. It's your job to keep digging until you figure out what is going wrong so you can make the program or system work as intended.
5. Median pay for software engineers is in the six-figure range.
If you take all of the occupations in the U.S. and place them in a huge line based on earnings, you'll find that the median pay is somewhere around $51,960 per year, according to the BLS.
That said, Glassdoor reports that the average base pay for those in the software engineering career realm is double that amount at $103,035 annually. Even entry-level software engineers earn roughly $86,000 per year.
So, if you're looking for a career track that can quickly take you into the six-figure range, a software engineering career is one to consider. With the right education and experience, you can earn even higher, like around $145,000 per year.
How to Become a Software Engineer
If you're interested in becoming a software engineer, Saint Leo University offers a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering.
This program involves skill and knowledge-enhancing classes such as Python Programming, Human Computer Interaction, Network Theory & Design, and Introduction to Internet Applications.
You might also want to pursue a Master of Science in Software Engineering for a higher-level graduate curriculum that can help you advance your career and increase your marketability.
Upon completion of either of these software engineering degree programs, you'll be prepared to work in the software engineering field and on your way to enjoying a rewarding and lucrative career.