The Software Engineering Career Outlook: Here’s What the Job Market Looks Like

Software Engineering Career Outlook
Software Engineering Career Outlook

Software brings to life the devices and computers that we rely on every day. There are currently more than two billion computers and 14 billion mobile devices in use around the world. From healthcare to mobile gaming, software allows us to live in our modern world.

Tech innovations and emerging challenges lead to a growth in software engineer jobs and demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 22% growth in software development jobs by 2029. You can learn the skills needed to make the most out of your software career with a graduate degree in software engineering.

Explaining the Demand for Software Engineers

The global use of technology driven by software is a general explanation for the state of software engineer jobs and demand. You’ll need additional information to plan a meaningful and successful career in the field. Mehul Patel, CEO of recruiting firm Hired, offers a good explanation for the demand for software engineers:

“Every company is a tech company now. Even if you’re Capital One or Disney or American Express, you have to hire tech talent, and you have to focus on building an employer brand and creating a funnel for talent.”

The silos between tech and non-tech industries have been knocked down as software becomes essential to the simplest interactions. An advanced degree in software engineering unlocks industries that previous generations of developers could not access.

Building Skills Needed in the Software Engineer Job Market

We know why there are plenty of software engineer jobs and demand for talent. It is natural to ask, “Why can’t we find the talent to fill these critical roles?” Thanh Pham, CEO of Saigon Technology, offers a succinct explanation for this deficit:

“Usually, the shortage plays out in two ways: the scarcity of in-demand skills and particular positions that are difficult to fill. The scarcity of in-demand skills correlates with the trendy, new tech languages and the latest emerging technologies.”

There aren’t enough professionals with dynamic skill sets necessary for the constantly evolving tech industry. iCIMS notes there were 43 applicants for each tech opening in 2018 compared to 21 applicants for all vacancies. Employers are receiving plenty of applications but not finding the talent they need to grow.

This is an opportunity for driven professionals to fill critical roles and quickly move into leadership positions. You can make yourself indispensable to future employers by building a diverse set of in-demand skills. 

Burning Glass Technologies studied software engineer jobs and demand over a one-year period. Their two-year projections of the biggest growth in engineering skill demands include: 

  • Docker (61.9%)
  • DevOps (39.9%)
  • AngularJS (26.8%)
  • Continuous Integration (26.8%)
  • Git (26.1%)
  • Python (24.1%)

Focusing on developing these skills can help you stand out in the software engineer job market. The next step is figuring out what area of software engineering fits your goals and interests.

Choosing Your Software Engineering Career Path

Software engineering is a broader term for a number of roles that turn designs into real-world programs. Guidance from graduate program faculty and advisors identifies the right options for your career. We can look at Hired’s 2021 State of Software Engineering Report to see which roles are in highest demand.

The report studied software engineering interview requests through its hiring platform. Hired found the following roles received the most requests with some overlap between roles:

  • Backend
  • Full Stack
  • Frontend
  • Data
  • Mobile

A reassuring detail in the report is the 3% unemployment rate for software engineers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows that skills and the drive to develop world-class software can keep software engineers employed even in tough times. With a graduate degree in hand, you are ready to make a difference in any industry.

Reaping the Rewards of Software Engineering Jobs

An abundance of software engineer jobs and demand means a lucrative career for skilled practitioners. Completing a graduate program demonstrates the skills and analytical thinking to solve thorny problems. A software engineering career can also improve your community and the world. Software engineering has a significant impact on how businesses get easier to manage, for example. It can lead to advancements in every industry, from defense to fuel. It has changed the nature of communication and transportation, directly affecting every aspect of our lives, and also helps build future technologies that can exact positive change in society.

Demand for Software Engineers Leads to High Salaries

The BLS lists an average salary of $110,140 for software development positions, as of May 2020. Advanced tech skills can lead to annual earnings that are more than double the national average of $41,950 for all occupations. 

Hired tracked the average salaries for software engineering jobs in San Francisco for 2019 and 2020. These in-demand jobs yielded salaries that are far above the national average:

  • AR/VR ($180,000)
  • Engineering Manager ($174,000)
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming ($172,000)
  • Machine Learning ($171,000)
  • Search ($169,000)

Getting the Most from Your Software Engineering Career

In a Hired’s survey, the throughline among Soft Engineering respondents was passion for their jobs. 54% of respondents learned new programming languages for personal rather than professional reasons. Hired also found 83% of participating engineers entered the profession because they want ongoing challenges and opportunities for learning.

Software touches most of our lives and presents opportunities to create a better future. Software engineers surveyed by Hired were most passionate about the following issues:

  • Economic opportunity and unemployment (23%)
  • Public health (21%)
  • Climate change (17%)

A purpose-driven professional life is important to getting the most out of your career. Imperative’s 2019 Workforce Purpose Index found 84% of respondents have a purpose mindset at work. You can start a rewarding software engineering career with an innovative graduate degree program.

Preparing for the Software Engineering Job Market at Baylor

Baylor University’s Online Masters in Computer Science helps to turn tech-savvy professionals into industry leaders. Dedicated faculty members who are experts in the field prepare students for the software engineering job market. Every candidate builds their core knowledge with initial courses in: 

  • Intro to Computation Theory
  • Advanced Algorithms
  • Advanced Data Communications
  • Advanced Databases
  • Intro to Machine Learning

This entirely online program further customizes student experiences with two areas of concentration. The Data Science track provides advanced lessons on how to turn raw data into useful insights. Baylor University also offers a Software Engineering track with courses in:

  • Advanced Object-Oriented Development
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Distributed Systems Development
  • Software Verification & Validation

A graduate degree from a leading university can help you make the most out of software engineer jobs and demand. U.S. News & World Report ranks Baylor No. 76 in its 2021 National Universities list, placing the university among the top 10% of Best Universities in the nation. Niche gave Baylor an A grade and a No. 117 in Colleges with the Best Academics in America in 2021.

Finding a Community of Learning at Baylor University

The Online Masters in Computer Science is geared to fit your personal and professional life. You don’t need a GRE score to apply and there are three intakes per year. An assigned Student Success Advisor guides your experience from orientation to graduation. 

Graduates of every Baylor University program carry forward its long-standing mission. Your computer science courses are infused with the following values

“Baylor encourages all of its students to cultivate their capacity to think critically, to assess information from a Christian perspective, to arrive at informed and reasoned conclusions, and to become lifelong learners.”

Get your free Baylor Online Masters in Computer Science program guide here or chat with an enrollment advisor today to find the right track for your software engineering career.