Computer Software Engineer

How to Become a Computer Software Engineer
Job Duties of a Computer Software Engineer
Skills and Qualities of a Computer Software Engineer
Computer Software Engineer Salaries
Influential Computer Software Engineer Professionals
Leading Organizations for Computer Software Engineers
Top Cities for Computer Software Engineering Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Computer Software Engineer

In 2006, eighty percent of computer software engineers had a bachelor's degree or higher. Many individuals in this field have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or computer information systems. Most employers are also looking for applicants who have a broad range of knowledge and experience with a variety of computer systems and technologies. Students who aspire to become computer software engineers can increase their marketability by gaining a range of knowledge and experience through participation in co-ops or internships. Software vendors do offer certification programs, but most authorities agree that such certifications are not sufficient to obtain most jobs in this field.

What does a Computer Software Engineer do?

Computer software engineers study the needs of computer users and then design software to meet those needs. They create a set of step by step instructions that a computer can follow. Sometimes software engineers then translate these instructions into computer language, but that is usually the job of a computer programmer. Computer applications software engineers work on software designed for general computer applications or special utility programs. Computer systems software engineers coordinate the needs of departments within a company and offer suggestions for the overall technical direction to construct, maintain, and expand the company's computer systems.

Most software engineers work 40 hours a week, but seventeen percent worked over 50 hours each week in 2006. Some software engineers travel frequently to meet with customers, though telecommuting is becoming increasingly common.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Computer Software Engineer?

As technology continues to change and advance, employers will need computer software engineers with the most current skills. Therefore, software engineers need to be dedicated to continue their training and education throughout their careers. Software engineers are also generally responsible for several tasks at once making the ability to pay attention to detail, even when multi-tasking, essential. Individuals who are successful in this field also have strong analytical and problem solving skills while being able to communicate effectively with team members.

How much does a Computer Software Engineer make?

Computer software engineers can expect to be well paid. In 2006, $79,780 was the median annual earnings of applications software engineers, and $85,370 was the median annual earnings of systems software engineers. The middle fifty percent of applications engineers earned between $62,830 and $98,470 per year. The middle fifty percent of systems engineers earned between $67,620 and $105,330 per year. Job prospects for aspiring computer software engineers are excellent, with an amazing thirty eight percent increase in employment projected for this field between now and 2016.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976 when he made an easily affordable personal computer become a reality for many households across the United States. In the early years of Apple, Jobs was among the first to realize the commercial potential of a mouse driven user interface. In 1985, Jobs founded NeXT, a computer development company that marketed to the business and higher education communities. He has focused on developing products that have aesthetic appeal as well as functionality. Fortune Magazine named Jobs the Most Powerful Businessman of 2007.

Bill Gates is the chairman of Microsoft Corporation, which he co-founded in 1975. He developed software for personal computers based on his belief that computers would one day become a vital part of every work and home. Gates has always been determined to improve software to make it easier and more enjoyable to use. He has authored and co-authored several books, notably Business @ the Speed of Thought which has been printed in 25 languages in more than 60 countries. As philanthropy is also very important to Gates, he and his wife, Melinda, founded The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 to help reduce inequities within the United States and globally.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The Association for Computing Machinery, or ACM, is the world's largest computing society devoted to advancing computing as a science and profession. ACM has more than 82,000 members from industry, academia, and government organizations world-wide. ACM offers its members professional growth through career development, networking, and learning opportunities. In addition to sponsoring over 120 conferences each year, this organization puts out over 40 publications that contain original research and first hand perspectives from the world's leaders in information technology.

NWCET (National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies) is based out of Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. This organization is dedicated to creating national and local leadership in an effort to develop innovative, researched based curricula for information technology education.

What are the top cities for Computer Software Engineering jobs?

Computer software engineers are employed in large numbers all over the United States. Currently, aspiring software engineers can find several openings in New York City. Chicago, Illinois also has a large amount of openings. In Texas, Houston and Dallas both have many openings. Farther to the east, those hoping to enter this field should find positions available in Atlanta, Georgia.

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