Software Developer at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Software Developer

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Software Developer

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Software Developer

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
California 80,130 $115,440 $55
Virginia 30,680 $113,020 $54
Massachusetts 29,220 $110,600 $53

Becoming a Software Developer

A bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field is typically required for careers in software development. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master's degree. Computer science programs typically include extensive study in mathematics, computer programming, data structures, algorithm design, and technical communication. Since computer science covers a wide range of topics you should select courses specific to software engineering or development to prepare yourself for a software development career. Software engineering programs, on the other hand, feature courses closely related to what developers do on a day-to-day basis, such as software testing, software project management, and software construction. Computer science and software engineering programs offer students ample opportunities to get hands-on experience with software design and programming. This may include modeling and designing software or writing code for a computer program. Some curriculum include internships or practicums that are designed to give students professional experience before they graduate. In addition to design and programming skills, software developers need to have strong analytical, communication, problem-solving, and customer-service skills, according to the BLS.
  • Software Architecture and Design
  • Software Project Management
  • Software Construction and User Interfaces
  • Software Testing
Software developers are typically required to stay informed about new technological developments or updates to existing computer programming languages. This can be done through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which offers online courses in Java, Visual C#, project management, and Cisco. The IEEE also offers two software developer credentials: the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) and the Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP). The CSDA is intended for recent graduates who want to give themselves a competitive advantage over their peers for entry-level positions. Meanwhile, the CSDP is for developers who have a bachelor's degree and some work experience. Both certificates are meant to demonstrate a proficiency in established software development practices but aren't always required by employers.