With above average salaries, office jobs with perks and the demand on the rise, a career as a software engineer sounds lucrative. This article presents the basic info you need to know if you want to be one.

Computer programming is an excellent and lucrative career choice that offers career development and advancement to aspiring professionals. In order to become a successful computer programmer it is essential to develop technical knowhow of the field along with practical experience.


What is a Software Engineer?

According to Bls.gov: Software engineers first analyze users’ needs. Then they design, construct, test, and maintain the needed software or systems.


What is the Job Outlook for Professionals with Computer Science Degree?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), states that job prospects for computer programmers and software engineers are quite good. Employment opportunities are expected to increase by 21 percent through 2018. Professionals having a bachelor’s degree in computer science will have an advantage in the job market.  Swiftly evolving technologies and information security have raised employment rate for computer programmers.


A day in the life of a Software Engineer:

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A software engineering job encompasses different roles and responsibilities and covers a range of job titles. The Occupational Outlook Handbook offers the best insight to the roles and responsibilities, worth a good look and understanding if you want to know in-depth about this career. You’ll find most of what you want to know about a career as a software engineer on the BLS website.


Meet ANDY – The Software Engineer on Job

Ungerboeck Software International is currently hiring for positions in St. Louis and this is their take on what it takes to be a software engineer.

To become a software engineer, you need an education. But to become a good software engineer, you also need experience and drive. But don’t let that scare you. It’s highly rewarding, and you can advance your career in whatever direction works for you.

But don’t take our word for it. Meet Andy.

When Ungerboeck Software International’s products need tweaking, updating, or new features, Andy is one of the software engineers that makes it happen.

As a computer programmer, you might work on complicated computer programs by using several computer programming languages including Java, Visual Basic, C or C++. Computer programmers are also responsible for updating, modifying, repairing programs that already exist.


Education or Experience – What Matters Most?

While he has a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Andy says much of his education came through experience and his own interest in technology.

“[Becoming a software engineer] requires a general interest in computers and programming and a lot of personal initiative and effort,” he says. “Besides going to school, I did an internship, but it’s really going out and practicing. You have to have to experiment and work with both new and existing technologies. Kind of like [how] an artist creates their own portfolio when looking for a job. You have to be familiar already with code development, creating applications, and things like that.”

If he could change one thing, Andy says he would have gotten an even wider array of practical experience before starting his job. And he recommends that anyone interested in becoming a software engineer do the same.

“My advice would be to try to keep up with current trends and technology. We’ve changed to a different software platform I didn’t even know existed when I started working here,” Andy says. “You really have to enjoy critical thinking and planning things out. [Software engineering] is going to become more complex as time goes on,” he says. “As all these new technologies come out, you’re going to have to try to stay on top of things.”


Degrees, Knowledge and Skills

Andy feels the vast areas of knowledge needed as a software engineer is one of the most challenging aspects of the job. While there is always on-the-job learning and training, he thinks there’s simply too much for one person to know, so that shouldn’t overwhelm you. He says you’ll grow and learn by relying on co-workers to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and skills.

Interestingly, he finds this one of the best parts of the job.

“It requires a lot of critical thinking and what I like to call puzzle solving. Every day is a challenge. You are always engaged in what you’re doing.”

Aspiring professionals can study computer programming at all education levels ranging from certificate levels on up to associate’s, bachelors, masters to PhD level degrees. Preparation to become a computer programmer includes a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in computer science, computer information, mathematics and software engineering.

For more advanced career positions, a master’s degree may require.

In addition, online certificate programs in computer science are also available to keep students up-to-date with the latest technology and provide them with a strong competitive advantage. There are many universities that offer online degrees, you might choose to study general programming topics or you may write compute programs for a specific field like finance, business or accounting. Either way, you will increase your core competencies and programming skills.


Is an Online Computer Programming Degree worth it

Pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in computer programming equips students with specialized knowledge and deep insights into computer languages, computer architecture, software engineering, programming language design, and more. If truth be told, earning a computer science degree online gives students all the necessary skills and knowledge required to become a successful and professional computer programmer in the competitive job market.


Salary Information

With regards to salary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that entry level programmers may earn a median salary of $53,598, while those having several years of experience can earn up to $97,819 yearly. In order to improve your career and earning potential, you might consider earning a bachelor’s degree or certificate programs to get familiar with programming tools and knowledge of multiple programming languages.

Since, computer programming is a challenging and highly skilled job that requires analytical and abstract thinking and the knowledge of multiple programming languages, therefore, it is essential to enroll in a computer science degree to get the latest knowledge of the field.




Check out these 25 Best-Paying Companies For Software Engineers 


Contributors to this post:

Kelly Gibson is a professional webmaster. Her main area of interest is educational research. Check out her blog for affordable online learning options, useful articles on online education, accredited online schools, universities and much more.


Ungerboeck Software International: If you are interested in working with the world leader in end-to-end conference planning software for meetings, exhibitions and associations, visit http://ungerboeck.com/AboutUSI/CareerOpportunities.aspx