Software development is an enormous and diverse field that offers a lot of creativity, while at the same time it is demanding and extremely rewarding. Most computer science or software engineering students aim to join the software industry considering factors such as job flexibility, rewarding career options and incredible growth.
Many multinational companies and start-ups hire software engineers as programmers, developers and automation testers. The massive amount of opportunities experienced in the software industry makes it a great career option for most engineering students.
By the end of 2023, India has been predicted to have the largest pool of software engineers. Back in 2017, India had an estimated 2.75 million software engineers but by the end of 2023, this number is expected to hit a colossal 5.2 million in number.
India’s own four largest IT companies have collectively initiated a vigorous hiring plan as they project an increase in India’s GDP during the financial year of 2022 after a small dent during 2021 due to the COVID-19 situation. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, HCL, and Wipro wish to hire at least 91,000 software engineers by 2022.
Top Perks of Becoming A Software Engineer
The software engineering industry started expanding in the early 60s and since then, has always been considered a lucrative career path. Even though there have been irregularities in the IT and software market, the number of college graduates with CS oriented engineering degrees has seen a steady increase.
There is no real surprise that so many students opted to pursue Software Engineering as a career choice, with many advantages and an influx of job opportunities or placements. Why should you strive to be a software engineer?
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The job roles are fun and here are eight more reasons that will definitely make you consider becoming an expert in software.
1. Availability of Jobs: Unemployment is the last thing you want to experience after working hard to earn higher degrees. However, this doesn’t appear to be a major concern if you are pursuing your career as a software engineer with software or IT-oriented degrees. The growth in the software engineering industry is much higher compared to other industries combined.
2. Scope for creativity with job satisfaction: The job of a software engineer is creative in its own way. For a given problem, creating the most optimal solution requires creative thinking. Also, you need to think from the client or end-user point of view and design your software according to their convenience.
You always have to come up with innovative and efficient solutions that will make life easier for the end-user as well as your life as a developer. To start with a blank screen and some ideas or requirements and convert them into a well-constructed software application requires a lot of creativity and innovative thinking.
3. Astonishingly vast and diverse field: The software engineering field is so extensive and covers a variety of roles related to both computer applications and systems. This enables you to work in areas that interest you the most.
For instance, you can do coding for the front end, back end, the database side or one can simply get involved with cybersecurity or cloud computing. Moreover, in each of these areas, you can work with different technologies or programming languages.
Since software engineering is not only confined to the IT industry and all modern-day industries use external or their own software to some extent, software engineers are able to work in any sort of industry including banking, insurance, healthcare, entertainment. Fundamentally, in any industry you name, software engineers have a role to play.
4. Structured working environment: As a software engineer you could be working in development, maintenance or support projects and each type of project can be said to have its own structure during deployment and delivery. Though all the projects work towards this generic goal, project structure varies from project to project based on the project type and requirement.
However, all successful projects have a well-defined structure. For example, development projects most commonly use four software development methodologies such as waterfall, rapid application, agile, and DevOps. Hence, you learn to work under different structures and develop a sense of understanding which will suit your goal.
5. Continuous learning opportunities: Technologies are ever-changing, hence, software engineers need to learn and adapt to continuously changing demands and requirements. Alongside learning new technologies or programming languages, a software engineer often needs to upgrade their domain knowledge, as the way businesses work is also ever-changing.
When one can keep up with these constant changes, this turns out to be a wonderful learning curve, this keeps your job interesting as well as keeps your mind fresh.
6. Teamwork: If working alone is not your thing, then pursue Software Engineering as it is the correct career for you. Software engineers mostly work as a team. However, few soft skills, like being empathetic, having good listening skills and the ability to adapt and accept criticism are essential to becoming a better team player.
7. Sharpening troubleshooting or problem-solving abilities: Any kind of project you are working on, regardless of it being development, maintenance or support oriented, you will come across situations where the systems or applications are not working as intended and need you to troubleshoot them.
If you are one of those computer enthusiasts who like to analyse the issue in portions, dig into each component, understand the issues and then proceed to provide solutions, then software engineering as a profession is an absolute goldmine for you.
8. Rewarding Career: Most software MNCs in India offer freshers with an engineering degree an average salary of 3.5 lakh per annum. And with the right education and experience, one can reach a 6 figure salary within a lesser duration. Moreover, with the software industry spreading across the globe, if you fancy working in a different country, this profession can offer you many opportunities to do so.
Once you have adequate knowledge of the technology or domain, you can leave your routine job and start working as a freelancer. Moreover, you can start your own company or start-up as an entrepreneur.
Challenges of a software engineer
With amazing opportunities and job satisfaction comes the need to put in some hard work. Here are a few challenges that you might face when aiming to pursue Software Engineering.
Lifelong Learning: For some, this may be stressful. You have to keep on learning because technology is ever-changing. Moreover, sometimes you have to learn and deliver in parallel and mostly you have to put additional effort into learning something new besides working hours.
Additional Work: The job of a software engineer doesn’t always involve programming or troubleshooting. Sometimes you have to attend long calls, business meetings, prepare documentation and give presentations. Sometimes these may appear unappealing.
Getting Stuck: If you don’t learn new technology, you won’t be able to progress even a bit. You might be stuck in the same job for years and eventually might lose one too.
Stress: This job demands a lot as we know coding can be stressful. The pressure of delivery under strict deadlines adds a lot of stress. Keeping cool under pressure is a key quality a software engineer should possess.
Highly Competitive: Since it’s a rewarding career, naturally, competition is pretty high. However, if you can remain focused and determined, be up to date with ever-changing technologies, learn new technologies and programming languages, you can separate yourself from others in this market.
Affected Social Life: High pressure and time-consuming nature of work with rotational shifts affect family and social life.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The most traditional way would be to pursue a four-year engineering Bachelor degree in computer science. Most companies allow engineering students with Bachelor degrees from different streams as well. BCA and MCA degree holders also get a chance to work in this field. However, these are not the only way.
You can take some coding classes from Bootcamp or online or offline coding classes and pursue a career in the software field. One thing to note, many companies demand a specific degree as the eligibility criteria.
Following the traditional way, which is earning an engineering Bachelor degree in computer science, will take four years to complete the course. Getting a BCA degree will take three years, an additional MCA degree will take two more years.
There are jobs in the software industry that require no direct coding or require less coding. However, to achieve steady progress in a career graph it’s important to have a clear understanding of algorithms, database, SDLC, data structure, web technology, networking and most importantly more than one programming language.
It is not very easy but it’s not as hard as it sounds. However, if you love programming and find different aspects of software development interesting then the job becomes much easier. If you spend regular time learning programming, you can become a good software developer.
Given the software market is ever-changing and one needs to work under strict deadlines, sometimes additional work stretches make the job of a software engineer stressful. However, with proper skill upgrade and proper utilising of soft skills like time and stress management you can eliminate most of it. Proper knowledge and a good skill set allow life to be much easier and satisfactory.
Knowledge and experience with programming languages will give you an edge as a software engineer. Though knowing more than one is always advisable, however, the recommendation would be to get well versed with one then go for others.
Then the 2nd or 3rd one will appear easier than the first one. Alongside coding, it’s always recommended to get a better understanding of algorithms, database and overall design. Besides technical knowledge, soft skills like communication, public speaking, good listening skill, stress management give you an additional edge as a successful software engineer.
The software industry is a highly competitive and ever-changing industry. You can observe certain ups and downs in the market from time to time. However, if you can keep yourself up to date by learning new technologies and programming languages you can always be assured of job security.
Most service-based MNCs offer a fresher with a four-year engineering bachelor degree a package of an average of 3.5 lakh per annum. The more you gain experience and upgrade your skills, the more it could accelerate very quickly, however that depends entirely on your effort and performance.
It’s actually the opposite. Since more and more business sectors are becoming more software application dependent, the market is even wider than it was a few years back. However, like mentioned earlier, the landscape is ever-changing, hence the requirement from software engineers has changed as well. To progress as a professional nowadays, it’s more important to have exposure to multiple sides of the software development life cycle.
Software engineers develop, maintain, or provide support for many types of solutions such as web and desktop applications, AI, games, mobile apps, robots, operating systems, network systems, etc. Whenever these applications are not working as intended, they need to troubleshoot. Software engineers use frameworks, programming languages, cloud technologies, databases and servers to power solutions.
Students who wish to pursue other fields of engineering also get the opportunity to get involved in IT or with software companies. However, the specialised field while you pursue Software Engineering brings skilled human assets many benefits and advantages.
Alongside the massive amount of growth observed in software companies and the immense placement/job opportunities, pursue Software Engineering also because it brings extraordinary job satisfaction. Software engineering is especially great for people who love computing or programming.
The ability to create or support applications and systems which other employees, consumers, and clients will use is rewarding in itself. One also enjoys a sense of pride when creating something new or fixing problems that are haunting massive companies or even smaller organizations.
Software engineering is a great field and one can definitely consider Pursue Software Engineering to enhance their life.