If you’re considering pursuing a degree in software engineering, don’t let anyone talk you out of it! Yes, the field has undergone major changes in recent years, especially with the emergence of coding boot camps and other alternative training programs that do not require the time and money that formal education takes to complete. However, you’ll be missing out on some important benefits if you decide not to go this route and get a software engineering degree from an accredited university or college instead.
1) Software engineers make more money
If you’re one of those people who would rather be paid more money to do what you love, software engineering is one of your best bets. According to Payscale, software engineers have some of the highest starting salaries among all degrees and certifications. Software engineers can earn up to $68,700 annually with only a bachelor’s degree, or $85,000 for those with advanced degrees in their field. This is over twice as much as most healthcare workers or employees working in education can expect to make at entry-level positions.
If your goal is simply to make more money right out of school, then there’s no better degree than a software engineering degree. Software engineers also have high job satisfaction: Software engineering jobs are some of the most highly sought after by new graduates because they offer top dollar while also providing lots of opportunities for growth and advancement.
When you combine these factors with high job satisfaction rates, it’s easy to see why software engineer jobs are so desirable. A recent survey found that 73% of software developers were satisfied with their current jobs, which is 10% higher than any other profession surveyed. Software engineers often enjoy flexible hours: Software development jobs typically don’t require strict office hours—in fact, many software companies prefer remote work arrangements so that they don’t need to pay for office space or waste time on unnecessary meetings.
2) The field is growing
A software engineering degree teaches students how to think through problems, analyze them and find solutions. Once you’ve learned these skills, they’re transferable to other career fields, whether you work in technology or elsewhere. In fact, 40 percent of 2016 computer science graduates who were surveyed were working in non-computer science jobs. This is expected to increase as automation takes over more low-skilled jobs and businesses require more tech-savvy employees across all industries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2020 there will be 1 million more computing job openings than applicants qualified for those positions, so it’s safe to say that there will always be room for skilled engineers. If you choose to enter into business with your software company, a background in programming can make your business much more valuable.
It also helps if you have an understanding of business practices because even though programming knowledge is important, most companies need developers who are also strong communicators.
There are many options available for people with computer science degrees. Here are some common job titles:
Software Engineer – Companies often hire individuals with computer science degrees to write code for websites and applications used by customers or employees.
3) The skills learned to apply to many fields
When you pursue a software engineering degree, you’re working with one of today’s most useful and in-demand skills. There are many careers for software engineers: They can be found in gaming, research, and development, big business, or even education. Many people find that their undergraduate training translates well into any number of professional fields after graduating. Even if you don’t know what career path to take immediately after college, pursuing a software engineering degree will give you an excellent foundation for future success.
You have a chance to network with others who have similar interests: You might think that your classmates won’t have much in common with you, but once you get involved on campus and start making friends outside of class, you might discover that there are plenty of people who share your passion for technology. In addition to making connections during your time at school, keep networking opportunities open after graduation by joining online communities and going to conferences where like-minded professionals gather.
You could also join associations such as ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) or IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Networking is about connecting with others—not just professionally but personally as well—and these groups provide great opportunities for both types of connections.
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