How to Become a Software Developer

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions need bachelors degree in computer programming, software engineering, or software programming. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a masters’s degree along with  earning specific certification degrees can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started in software developer.

How Much Does a Software Developer Make?
$93,350 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Engineering, project management, management, mobile applications, and computer applicaitons

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS software developer page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Software Developer

As expected, California is currently the top state for employment opportunities and annual wages, with over 78,000 jobs being occupied in the field, and a yearly average salary of $119,180. Surprisingly, Texas is second, with 34,500 jobs and an annual mean wage of $99,530.

The following table shows the industries where software developers are most commonly employed.

  • Computer systems design and related services 32%
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing 10%
  • Finance and insurance 8%
  • Software publishers 7%

Employment and Salary Information by State for Software Developers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Software Development. All data has been derived from the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment and Information Data for Software Developer

Why Become a Software Programmer or Developer?

The current demand for software developers is expected to increase as new jobs will grow 30% from now until 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the demand for new computer software programs and apps continue across multiple platforms such as mobile, a need for qualified software engineers is higher than ever. And, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industries increasing use of computer applications will also drive industry growth.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Software Developer

  • Intensive Introduction to Computer Science
  • Abstraction and Design in Computation
  • Systems Programming and Machine Organization
  • Unix/Linux Systems Programming
  • Building Mobile Applications
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Programming Languages
  • Computing Foundations of Computational Science
  • Programming Microsoft .NET
  • Software Design: Principles, Models, and Patterns

Degrees for Software Development Careers

Students can jump into the basics in a certificate program that features many different type software programming courses. These basics provide important skills necessary in the development of both web and mobile apps.

Bachelor’s Degree
Typically these four-year degrees in computer science offers students a solid background in many programming languages.

Master’s Degree
Software developers that have completed an undergraduate degree are eligible for advanced graduate programs that often prepare individuals for work at larger organizations that often require a more sophisticated development skills because of the extensive size and complexities of their systems.