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Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.Education
Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.
Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.
Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.Other Experience
Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.
Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.Advancement
Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.
Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.
Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.
Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.
Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.
Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.
Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Design, Development
Top Careers After Design, Development
Hispanic or Latino9.1%
Black or African American1.0%
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Savannah College of Art and Design7.5%
Fashion Institute of Technology7.5%
University of Phoenix7.2%
Arizona State University6.1%
Rochester Institute of Technology5.2%
Full Sail University5.2%
Art Institute of Pittsburgh4.9%
Wayne State University4.6%
Florida State University4.3%
University of Florida4.3%
University of Washington4.3%
More Tech Institute4.3%
Michigan State University4.0%
Pennsylvania State University4.0%
University of Texas at Austin4.0%
University of Central Florida4.0%
University of Houston4.0%
George Washington University3.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|VP, System Design and Development||Tribune Publishing Company||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 03, 2016||$175,000 -
|Information Officer, Systems Design & Development||AIG Claims, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Nov 07, 2016||$161,000|
|Manager, Systems Design & Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Jul 18, 2016||$155,000|
|Senior Design Developer||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||May 30, 2016||$150,000|
|Information Officer, System Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Apr 18, 2016||$148,000|
|Manager-System Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Jan 01, 2016||$146,000|
|Manager-Systems Design and Development||AIG Technologies, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Jun 20, 2016||$146,000|
|ERP Technical Design & Development/Delivery Lead||Johnson Controls, Inc.||West Allis, WI||Dec 21, 2016||$136,781 -
|Project Manager-Systems Design and Development||AIG PC Global Services, Inc.||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Jan 26, 2016||$136,500|
|Enterprise ERP Technical Design & Development Lead||Johnson Controls, Inc.||West Allis, WI||Sep 30, 2016||$136,406 -
|Design Developer||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Sep 01, 2015||$136,143|
|Manager, Systems Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Jersey City, NJ||Apr 19, 2016||$135,200|
|Manager-Systems Design and Development||AIG Global Claims Services, Inc.||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Jun 01, 2015||$135,000|
|Manager-System Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Apr 18, 2016||$116,000|
|Project Manager, Systems Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||May 09, 2016||$115,560|
|Manager, Systems Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Berkeley Heights, NJ||Jan 01, 2016||$115,000|
|Project Manager-Systems Design and Development||American International Group, Inc.||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Jan 20, 2015||$115,000|
|Project Manager-Systems Design and Development||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Jan 01, 2016||$115,000|
|Project Manager, Systems Design & Development||AIG Claims, Inc.||Charlotte, NC||May 08, 2016||$115,000|
|Project Manager-Systems Design and Development||AIG Technologies, Inc.||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ||Feb 16, 2016||$115,000|
|Project Manager-Systems Design and Development||AIG Claims, Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Mar 11, 2016||$115,000|
|Industry Consultant-GIS Software Design and Development||IBM India Private Limited||Charlotte, NC||Jun 30, 2015||$85,020|
|Engineer II, Real Time Control Software Design & Development||Xerox Corporation||Webster, NY||Sep 10, 2015||$84,893|
|Engineer II, Real Time Control Software Design & Development||Xerox Corporation||Webster, NY||Oct 09, 2015||$84,893|
|Engineer II, Marking Process Design and Development||Xerox Corporation||Webster, NY||Sep 10, 2015||$83,224|
|Engineer II, Marking Process Design and Development||Xerox Corporation||Webster, NY||Oct 09, 2015||$83,224|
|Engineer II, Real Time Control/Software Design & Development||Xerox Corporation||Webster, NY||Aug 17, 2016||$80,850|
|Tibco Designer & Developer||IBM India Pvt Ltd||San Diego, CA||Sep 01, 2015||$77,273|
|Tibco Designer & Developer||IBM India Pvt Ltd||San Diego, CA||Aug 26, 2015||$77,273|
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