There has never been a better time to become a software engineer.
In just the last few years of hiring — including during a global pandemic — the number of software engineering roles grew from 15M to nearly 35M (projected) coming up in 2025. In the United States, BLS forecasts indicate that software engineering roles will increase by 22% over time between 2019 and 2025 – which is much faster than the 4% national average growth.
It’s not stopping there, either.
There are many factors causing this rapid expansion. Let’s look at what’s driving this unprecedented growth and what the result of it will be.
What’s causing software engineer growth in the industry?
An already small talent pool.
Every year, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of software engineering roles are left open due to a lack of available talent. Projected growth is accounting for not only the current open roles, but the inevitable open roles that will grow as the industry grows.
Luckily, new opportunities for aspiring software engineers to learn the necessary skills — coding bootcamps, free digital courses, even trade schools — have become more readily available to those interested. There is also more information like salary data and growth opportunities within the role published for the masses, which allows prospective engineers to weigh the pros and cons.
More industries needing software applications.
As we become a tech-forward society and rely more on our smartphones and the Web, more industries need to scale to compete. This includes travel, retail, entertainment, finance, even healthcare — and they need viable software engineers just as much as your traditional and budding tech industries do.
Creating software applications for mobile apps, webpages, and other devices is crucial to allowing industries to flourish and bring their solutions, products, and services into the digital age that’s now native to a majority of the population.
Increasing consumer reliance on technology and software.
To follow up on the above, 96% of millennials are digital natives, and their preceding generations are growing up with a reliance on digital solutions. Industries want to create technical solutions for companies and organizations for their customers to use.
But the things we use every single day — as consumers — like social media channels, smartphone apps, digital calendars, email, and other tools are built by software engineers, too. That growth in number of available roles and growth in the industry in general is driven by our increased reliance on these types of technology.
How can tech encourage software engineer growth in the role?
Expanded acceptance of different types of learning.
Over the last decade, opportunities to learn software engineering and the necessary skills have scaled beyond traditional schooling like a software engineer.
Opportunities like coding bootcamps, trade schools, even self-taught from free or other online courses have become not only more viable as options to learn, but more widely accepted as means of education for potential candidates.
This way, the talent pool can grow with additional types of candidates who may not have the means or the ability to attend or pay for a college degree or other types of schooling. Instead, the best people with proven experience for the job will be hired, regardless of their background.
What would be the result of software engineer growth in tech?
Healthier competition for roles.
With more available talent than there are roles in software engineering, there’s an opportunity as there is in other industries to have healthy competition amongst applicants. That way, companies can find the best possible candidate for the role — and other candidates can find the organization that best fits their needs.
More rapid expansion of tech advancements.
As noted above, there are a lot of technological advancements that need maintenance. There are even more that need to be created. Software engineers are needed for both — and tech needs not only full-stack developers that know the front-end and back-end of software, they need specialists on each end of the software to create viable products.
With additional talent available to make these products happen, not only can more advancements be created, they can get created faster.
Get in on the ground floor
Now is the time to get into tech while things are only going to expand. By starting now, you can get in on the ground floor and advance quickly in your role, earning more and more as you move up the ladder.