Looking back at my career as a software engineer, one thing why I think I made the right decision to purse my career in software engineering is the amount of effort or training required to find a full time position as a software developer. Other job industries such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc. require additional certifications and or advanced degree and studies, which could take many years to complete. Additional time builds increase in stress level and worries. Once passionate students, some even drop out and change their career path, wasting not only time but also a lot of money.
The only degree you need is a software engineer degree or any technical degree to get a full time job in Software Engineering. I’ve also met several software engineers who have never earned a Bachelor’s degree and became still very successful. Obviously, we recommend first getting your Software Engineer Degree if you are truly interested in software engineering but it is still very possible to have a stable career without a degree but requires some luck. I have found that there really is no need to go obtain an advanced degree, Master’s degree, before starting a permanent full time position after college. However, once you start your career as a SW Engineer, you should immediately seek company’s policy in higher learning, reimbursement policy for graduate programs, and start the curriculum as a part-time student. I went back to school and received a Master’s degree in Computer Science before my 3rd year in my software engineering career. I found that having a Master’s degree will help accelerate your career especially if you work for a large corporation.
Average entry level Software Engineer salary starts around $55k – $62k depending on the company. Many top software companies such as Lockheed Martin and Amazon pay well above $60k for College graduate engineers. Due to strong job market in Software Engineering industry, college graduate with Computer Science Bachelor’s degree should not have much difficulty in finding a full time position as long as they have a strong resume. Check out Tips for Writing an Effective Software Engineer Resume, a step-by-step tips for writing a killer resume.
Besides Time, Money, and Ease, there are three other factors making Software Engineering an attractive career.
Reason #1: SW Engineers Experience Various Types of Industries
These days, software engineering is applied in a vast number of fields in the world. Industries like finance, health care, energy, and even government are all looking for people with software engineering degree. This means when you become a software engineer, you have the option to work in any industry with many unique companies experiencing many different cultures. Even within an industry, you can build different experiences in software development where you can develop and maintain a new application or integrate COTS products into a system. I believe having so many diverse opportunities is a fascinating benefit that bring to all software engineers
Reason #2: SW Engineers Experience Great Flexibility
One of the best part about being a SW Engineer working for a large company is the flexibility between work and life balance. There are many SW Engineers who now works either part-time, temporary, or permanent from home. For permanent telecommuters, it saves company office space costs so there’s definitely a benefit for both parties. Can you imagine working from home while earning more than $100k salary? It’s possible as a SW Engineer! Besides the flexibility that comes with from working from home, you can also take part of the day off to handle personal businesses or appointments and make up the hours during other days of the week.
Reason #3: SW Engineers Experience Challenging Assignments
If you are not convinced by now that SW Engineering is a great career path for you, then perhaps my reminder on the complexity level in SW Engineering might help. There’s plenty of challenges in solving complex problems and system, which will cause you to be alert and busy with work. To define a project plan and schedule and to execute to that plan is something that is almost impossible to master. Many companies continue to have big problems in meeting milestones in delivering a system on time, on budget, and product a high quality product. To accomplish all this requires a special skill and you will surely be involved in the project life cycle as a SW Engineer.
Earning a software engineer degree can be an excellent decision for anyone who is creative, who possess confidence in SW programming, and who is willing to learn and create new technologies. There are minimal worries in finding opportunities in SW Engineering due to strong job market, and the pay is, for most part, higher than other careers. Also, SW Engineering is currently expanding at a quick pace. It brings opportunities to experience many different industries, experience flexibility in work and life balance, and at the same time experience challenging assignments. Whether you’re evaluating a new career or your first career, I would certainly recommend software engineering as your top choice because it can be a wonderful field to work in. For any questions, please leave a comment or contact me.