Why Software Developer Is The Best-Rated Career for 2019

By: Amandine Aman, Director of Marketing and Brand at Holberton School
Last Updated: June 13, 2019

What's the big deal around becoming a software developer?

According to U.S. News and World's Report, "Software Developer" is one of the top jobs of 2019, with a median salary of over 100K and a stunningly low 1.9% unemployment rate. With over 250,000 current openings in the field and with a future growth estimate of over 250,000 more jobs being created in the next seven years, the outlook is great for anyone who has the skills and ability to take on one of these roles.

Not only that, CNBC reported that software developers and engineers are now more valuable to companies than money, and tech giants like Cisco and Amazon are making expansion decisions based on where software talent is. A recent Gartner survey shows talent shortage is now the top risk for companies, simply because the demand for well trained and capable tech workers simply outstrips the available supply of talent.

Why You Should Consider Becoming a Software Engineer

So, after reading about the high job demand, high median salary, and long term job growth of the field, did you start to wonder if you have what it takes to become a software engineer? Well, we'd say that's natural. But, while thinking about your future, did you stop yourself and think that your background, your current training, or education hasn't put you on the path to a future in coding? Well, we've found that people from all backgrounds and walks of life have made amazing software engineers, including recent high-school graduates, former guitar teachers, former cashiers, and even former psychological counselors.

These are the big questions to ask yourself: Do you like to solve puzzles? Are you patient and team-oriented? Do you like to constantly learn new things? If you answered yes to those questions, it's highly likely that you will love coding.

On top of being a fun, rewarding, and exciting career, being a software engineer pays quite well, with an average salary of $107,000.

How to Get Started Coding

It's easy to get a feeling if software engineer would be a future career for you. To start, the Internet is full of free resources that will guide you through the basics. One option is to start with HTML and CSS using the tutorial from W3schools. YouTube and Massive Open Online Courses (known as MOOCs) are also useful resources for learning how to code. And for younger students, code.org offers great age-appropriate tutorials.

After getting your feet wet, take stock of your experience. If you enjoyed dabbling in coding, particularly the problem solving and the creation of something new, it's time to get serious and consider the next step.

One option available are coding bootcamps. These are more limited, in both time and scope, but they can rapidly give you a lot of skills in a particular subset of coding or software engineering. Often these classes run about 12 weeks, and teach one or two primary languages or technologies, and they can help you get a foundation in software engineering that will prepare you for an entry-level coding job.

That said, if you are serious about having a career in software engineering and you want to work for a top company like Facebook or LinkedIn, you may want to opt for a longer and more exhaustive program. These programs are often called "Full-Stack" programs, and they focus on a whole spectrum of software development. Unlike bootcamps, the education in these longer programs teaches you a much larger spectrum of technologies, enabling you to take on more opportunities and maybe focus on a specific type of development that is well suited for your personality, creativity, and resourcefulness. The big benefit found in these programs (like what's offered at Holberton School), is that not only do you learn a whole suite of technologies to excel at, but you're trained in how to be nimble in adopting new and future languages and skill sets as they become relevant in the workplace.

Holberton School is also unique, as we not only have two physical campuses in North America, but our project-based curriculum helps students tackle real-world applications of knowledge. We also help our students develop lifelong learning and peer leadership skills through our peer learning method, which helps students develop their skills while working with a team of peers. This peer learning method helps our students develop the very same techniques that the best programmers use to stay at the top of their game, leading to a lifetime of success for whatever type of development our students pursue.

Software developers work in finance, retail, health, transportation, education, defense, media, and tons of other industries. Given the wide variety of work options and ways that you could make your own professional impact, we recommend speaking to a few different software engineers to get a sense of what their day-to-day lives are like. Holberton School also offers Open Houses where you can stop by our campus in San Francisco, CA or New Haven, CT and ask current students and students who have completed our program what they think. Wherever you are, there is a good chance that there is a software engineer in your neighborhood – 90% of them actually work outside of Silicon Valley!

So regardless of your current industry or interests, and regardless of your current skill set or resume, there is coding to be done and you could be the one doing it. First, you should start by getting your feet wet and see what you think. It's easy to start, and you may fall in love with one of today's fastest growing careers. And if you find that your new love of programming is something you'd want to take further and want to get a Full-Stack education to be prepared for the technologies of today and tomorrow, a place like Holberton School might be what's right for you! Applications are currently open for the next cohort, so start your application today!

This post was sponsored by Holberton School.

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