The field of software development is rapidly growing and constantly evolving, offering challenges and rewards. But you might still be wondering, is coding a good career? Let’s dive into the whys and hows behind becoming a software developer to answer the question, “Is ‘software developer’ a good career?”
Why Study Computer Science? Stable Careers and Growth
Pursuing a career in computer science can have a number of advantages both for your job security and your future growth.
Computer Science Jobs are Expanding at Twice the National Average
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information research scientists is anticipated to grow 22% between 2019 and 2031, faster than most other occupations. The median yearly wage for computer and information research scientists was $122,840 in May of 2019.
And software developers are on a similar track. The Bureau predicts the industry to grow 25% between 2021 and 2031, which is also faster than average. The median pay for software developers in 2021 was $109,020.
Coding is an In-Demand Skill That’s Important for the Future
“Why is coding important for the future?” might seem like a question to inspire science fiction novels, but it’s true that this skill will be sticking around for years to come. It’s in demand across a variety of industries, and right now there’s a relatively small talent pool of coding experts. This means those with coding skills are useful for a wide range of companies, and the demand for coding skills will only increase as the world becomes more digitized.
Computer Science Jobs aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon
Regardless of fluctuations in the economy, computer science and software development jobs are here to stay. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown, the industry is still growing, and as the internet continues to expand, there will be an increased need for computer science experts to continue developing software and web applications.
Coding Skills Can be Transferable Across Many Industries
Computer science career options aren’t as narrow as you might think. There are openings and needs for computer science and coding experts across industries. Whether you’re interested in finance, healthcare, retail, or something else, there’s a good chance you could slip into that field with your computer science skills.
Different Types of Software Developers
If you feel like this might be the right path for you, but you’re still wondering, “Which computer science career path is right for me?” it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the different possibilities. We’ll walk through a few different jobs you can have based on how you’ve differentiated your skills and experience.
These developers specialize in working on user interfaces, aesthetics, and layouts of web applications and programs. Their job centers around creating and optimizing a positive user experience. To be successful, they have to understand human-computer interaction and design, not just the theory behind coding and development.
Software developers who work on the back-end work on the server side of programs, and they focus more on implementation, functionality, and the performance of systems. They need to be able to build and maintain servers, applications, and databases. Their actions support the user-facing side of web applications and provide a foundation for front-end developers to do their jobs.
Full-stack developers have both front-end and back-end development skills and are sometimes responsible for both. They can create fully functional software. At App Academy, we teach all of the coding languages and the skills you need to become a full-stack developer or differentiate into a more specific skill set if you choose.
As the name suggests, these developers focus exclusively on applications for mobile devices and operating systems such as iOS, Android, or Windows.
These developers create systems and processes to test security measures of software systems, ensure there’s adequate security in place, and address any vulnerabilities. You can sometimes think of security developers as “ethical hackers,” since they work to understand systems by hacking into them to discover vulnerabilities, then present solutions to fix them.
Average Career Length for a Software Developer
While the length of someone’s career can certainly vary and might depend on whether they start working in their chosen field right out of college or transition later on, a software developer career path is a relatively stable one. Many who become software developers stay in the industry for a number of years and work up through the various stages of authority and responsibility.
The Four Stages of a Software Developer Career Path
Career progression of course may vary from company to company, but there are a number of general stages that tend to be stepping stones for a career in computer science.
The Junior Years
These years may start with an internship or entry-level position. It can last anywhere from one to three years, during which time you will learn the basics of coding languages, software development tools, and methodologies.
The Mid-Level Years
You’ll probably start to specialize during this period in a particular area of computer science or software development. This stage can last three to five years.
The Senior Years
This is when you become an expert in your field and begin to take on even more responsibility. You may manage a team or lead major projects. This stage can last five to ten years.
The Executive Years
This would be considered the last stage of a career path, during which you may move into a management or executive role. Computer science career paths can be long and rewarding, and with the correct training and experience, this could be your future.
How to Pursue a Career in Computer Science
Whether you’re just getting started learning how to code or you’re wondering how to change your career to become a software developer, the best plan is to figure out the next steps you should take. Here are some ways to get started on a software developer career path.
A Four-Year College Degree
The most typical way to pursue a career in computer science is to start with a degree from an accredited college or university. This education will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to be successful in the field. This is a traditional means of getting started in the computer science field, but it can be expensive and time-consuming, and some realize after they’ve graduated college with a different field of study that they’d like to pursue computer science.
A Master’s Degree or Other Higher Certificate
If you’ve already gone to college, you could go back to school and get a master’s degree in computer science. This can also be expensive and time-consuming, and it might not be possible for those who have work and family obligations.
A Coding Bootcamp Like App Academy
Bootcamps enable you to change your career path by teaching you the coding skills you need to succeed as a software developer. They’re set up to help you master the material in a much shorter amount of time than a traditional degree program, meaning you can get started with a life-changing career sooner.
App Academy offers full-time in-person bootcamps as well as full- and part-time online options. Explore our programs to see if one is the right fit for you.
Start Your Coding Career Today
A software developer career path can be a great choice if you’re looking for something engaging, challenging, and stable that still has a number of growth opportunities. If you need some help getting started, we’re here for you. Our detailed program will teach you the skills you need to become a confident and competent software developer.
Learn more about our admissions process or get in touch with an Admissions Specialist today to start your journey.