IT Careers for Girls

Programming and Software Engineering

Possible Job Titles – Software Engineers, Developers, and Architects; Applications Engineer ; Applications Systems Architect; Client/Server Programmer; Mainframe Programmer; Software Quality Assurance Analyst; Software Support Engineer

What they do -  Software developers or engineers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device (Applications Software Developers). Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks (Systems Software Developers). Developers identify the functionality that users need from software programs. Then they design the program and give instructions to programmers who write computer code and test it. Sometimes these functions are all-encompassing and are not separated between developers and programmers. 

Some examples of job functions of developers include:
•    Create software that detects brain tumors earlier. 
•    Develop user-friendly blogging software. 
•    Design faster image-handling features in digital cameras. 
•    Test the security of a new video-sharing website. 
•    Predict the safety of flight control software for passenger aircraft. 

Education - Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science. Some Master's degrees in Computer Science are more focused on a software development or data science track.  You should focus on classes related to building software and coding.

Certifications - There are hundreds of different programming languages, and almost every organization provides a certification in their particular language. Pursuing a certification that addresses several languages and give a broad view into how code fits into businesses are best if just beginning your education and career. These include the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). 

Pay - The median annual wage for software developers, applications was $98,260 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $153,710.*

Job Outlook - Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024. Employment of applications developers is projected to grow 19 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 13 percent. The main reason for the rapid growth in both applications developers and systems developers is a large increase in the demand for computer software. * 

*US Department of Labor