Software development becomes more and more specialized as the industry continues to mature and consumers continue to adapt to innovation in technology. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) places “software developers” in two broad categories:
- Applications software developers. Those who design and/or create games, word processing, and other types of programs for consumers.
- Systems software developers. Those who develop systems and design software primarily for organizations.
According to 2018 data from the BLS, the average salary for application software developers is $108,080 per year ($51.96 per hour). The BLS reports systems software developers earn an average annual salary of $114,000 per year ($54.81 per hour).*
Job outlook for software developers
From 2018-2028, the BLS projects that job openings across the entire U.S. economy will grow by 5%. Job openings for software developers are projected to grow much faster than this overall pace. Overall, the BLS projects software developer jobs to increase by 21% from 2018-2028.
Now is a great time to become a part of a quickly growing career field.
What do software developers do?
Software developers play an important role in keeping our digitally enhanced world running. They combine computer programming knowledge and creativity to conceptualize, design, code and produce the programs we use every day—from the word processing software used to write this article to the web browser you’re reading it on.
As mentioned above, systems software developers create the operating systems which run our devices. Application software developers create the individual programs for those devices.
Their specific tasks and duties will vary depending on the employer and industry. Generally, software developers do the following:
- Evaluate user needs to determine whether they will need existing, modified, or new software
- Plan out each part of an application or system, creating diagrams and models of how the program will flow and which programming languages will be used
- Direct the work of software programmers as they code and test the program
- Create reference documentation so the program can be upgraded and maintained
- Conduct testing of the program and create regular updates
Possible job titles in software development
Companies will use different job titles when recruiting computer programmers. Titles may include:
- Application Developer
- Software Architect
- Software Developer
- Systems Coordinator
- Technical Consultant
How to become a software developer
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers typically hold a bachelor’s degree in software development, computer science, or a related discipline.
Coding is not a software developer’s primary function, but it is important to be familiar with programming languages and experienced writing code to be employed as a developer. Analytical skills, design skills, and problem-solving capabilities are all critical to success in software development.
At Herzing University, our Bachelor of Science in Software Development program offers students the foundation of skills and knowledge they need to enter the software development field. The program features:
- Project-based learning which replicates the cooperative workflow found in many programming work environments
- Comprehensive preparation in web and application development, database applications, systems software and security concepts, and more
- Virtual programming labs featuring state-of-the-industry tools and processes
- A flexible online learning format so you can study from anywhere
- The option to add up to 12 MBA-level credits to your program
Learn how you can train to become a software developer in as few as 36 months of online study: contact Herzing University today!