Entry-Level Software Engineer Job Description
Jobs are being created daily due to the explosive growth of digital technologies, and companies everywhere are hiring software engineers to meet the growing demand for new computer software systems.
Snagging an entry-level job is the right place to start for a rewarding career as a software engineer. The best way - if not the only way - to get such a job is to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering, which is required for just about all entry-level engineering jobs.
If your college doesn't offer a specific software engineering major, getting a computer science degree with a specialization in software engineering is a good way to go. Either way, you should expect coursework in the principles and techniques of computer science as well as mathematical analysis for the design, development and evaluation of systems.
So, once you've earned a bachelor's degree and snagged your first job, what can you expect with an entry-level software engineer job?
A good salary
Mean annual earnings for computer software engineers come to $96,620, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, you can't expect to earn that kind of money in an entry-level position, but salaries do rise quickly in this high-demand field.
Computer software engineers research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications.
Long hours at the office
Working on a project with a group of people to create systems applications means you'll be part of a team working toward a deadline. When a project is in full swing, you can expect to spend some nights and weekends at the office. For a job like this, you've got to love sitting at a desk and staring at a screen for hours at a time. Or, better yet, you've got to love the deep thought and analysis so much that you don't mind sitting at a desk and staring at a screen.
Great employment prospects when you start looking for your next job
Jobs for computer software engineers are projected to increase 38% between 2006 and 2016 - which is faster than the growth rate anticipated for any other profession. So, if you're in the mood to move on after putting in a couple of years with your first company, start brushing up your resume. There's plenty of opportunity out there.
Joyce Hanson is a Brooklyn, New York-based writer, editor and long-time blogger who has written about small business and careers for Crain's New York Business.