Computer Software Engineer
Most Computer Software Engineers have attained at least a four-year degree in their field of specialization. Certifications are often used to supplement degrees and a wide variety of certifications are available to Computer Software Engineers. Most organizations will want to see a combination of education and certifications on resumes from applicants fresh from college. Internships completed during college will help new graduates obtain their first position as a Computer Software Engineer. Though some companies are willing to hire self-taught Computer Software Engineers with little experience or training, this is a rarity. Those individuals serious about seeking a career in this field should invest in a college education to make themselves more competitive in the job market.
Computer Software Engineers enjoy high salaries, excellent benefits and often work in comfortable office environments. Job outlook in this field is good, with demand for Computer Software Engineers expected to increase by as much as 21% by 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computer Software Engineers are generally college educated, and may have several industry certifications and associations to increase their value to potential employers.
Computer Software Engineers are responsible for the design, development, testing and deployment of the computer software used in businesses and homes every day. Computer systems software engineers may have some crossover in responsibilities with computer applications engineers, but are primarily responsible for the core computing of the organization. Installations of operating system software, upgrades, updates, and intranet / internet access of the organizations systems fall within the realm of the systems software engineer. Systems software engineers are also responsible for planning for extensibility (or expansion) as new users are added to the network.
Computer Software Engineers require continuous education and training to stay on top of the curve, but much of this can be accomplished in a self study environment with certifications to prove skills once the Computer Software Engineer has a foot in the door in this demanding field.
According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Software Engineers were paid in 2008 an average annual salary of $94,520. Computer applications engineers were paid slightly less, with an average annual salary of $87,900. In addition to the high salaries qualified Computer Software Engineers bring home, many companies offer excellent benefit packages to keep talented software engineers on their payroll. In addition to health and dental insurance, some companies are offering perks like profit sharing, paid cell phone service, company cars and more.*
Numerous certifications are available for Computer Software Engineers from big name brands like Novell, Microsoft, and Oracle. These product specific certifications tell potential employers what level of knowledge the Computer Software Engineer has with the software. The certifying authority for a product specific certification is the manufacturer of the software, and they control registries, test questions and environments, and exam costs. Many computer software manufacturers offer their own branded training courses at a premium to help Computer Software Engineers attain their certifications, but this is often not required to obtain the certification. Many other certifications are available to Computer Software Engineers, including certifications for Linux products, specific programming languages, computer networking, and more. New certifications are being added a rapid pace as technology continues to evolve, and this rapid evolution is not expected to stop anytime soon. Some certifications have more value to employers than others, and Computer Software Engineers should check to see what benefits he can expect from a particular certification before committing to the time and expense involved in obtaining the certification.
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
"Computer Software Engineer Job Description & Career Opportunities." JobDescriptions.net. Job Descriptions, n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2014.
"Home: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2014.
- Skill Set:
Successful Software Engineers need to know basic business functions, have a firm understanding of design methodology, and excellent communication skills.
Usually requires at least a BS in Computer Science. Should be very familiar with specialized languages relevant to the technologies employed (Java, C++,C#.NET as examples)
- Code Requirements:
Software Engineers may or may not write code, although most do regularly.
"Computer Software Engineer Job Description & Career Opportunities."JobDescriptions.net. Job Descriptions. 07 Jan. 2014 <http://www.jobdescriptions.net/engineering/computer-software-engineer/>.