How to Get a Software Engineering Job: Experience and Education Needed

How to Get a Software Engineering Job: Experience and Education Needed

For software engineers, the field is growing, creating more job opportunities in the process.

For software engineers, the field is growing, creating more job opportunities in the process.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology job opportunities are growing faster than other industries. Half a million jobs will be added over the next 10 years.

This is one of the best fields to explore, whether you're just starting in the workforce or changing your career path.

Read on to learn how to get a software engineering job.

Educational Requirements

Do I need a degree to be a software engineer or can I teach myself? There are pros and cons to either path, but for most people, earning a degree is the best path.

If you're self-motivated and goal-oriented, you may be able to teach yourself the knowledge and skills for the job. In this case, you'll need to do the research and build your own curriculum. And you'll need to find the teaching tools that work best for you.

However, holding a degree is a valued qualification in the eyes of almost any employer. Many employers will require a degree in computer science or a related field.  

So if you're seeking more employment opportunities, a degree will boost your prospects. But if you want to be self-employed or work on a freelance basis, you might consider other pathways to save on the increasing cost of college. This can include attending coding boot camps and taking free online coding classes.

What to Look for in Your Degree Program

Most software engineers have a bachelor's degree in computer science. Ideally, you'd want a degree with a concentration in software engineering, software development or computer programing.

When you're reviewing a program, get an idea for the kind of projects you'll be doing. Especially look into what the capstone project entails. By the time you graduate you should have engineered a software, which you can use to demonstrate your ability to potential employers.

Gaining Important Experience and Skills

Relevant experience is key to catching a potential employer's eye. While you're still in school, do all you can to find work as a software engineering intern. Here, you'll work under experienced engineers, and you'll learn a lot about the job from them.

Besides gaining some experience, aim to nurture the skills required to become a well-rounded software engineer.

For instance, you need superior analytical thinking and problem-solving skills to evaluate client problems and engineer effective solutions. Teamwork and communication skills are also vital, since software engineers typically collaborate with other professionals, such as programmers.  

Look for opportunities outside of class to gain these skills. You can work at home, in your free time, to develop that app you always wished you had. In campus, be sure to join groups developing their pet projects.

That's How to Get a Software Engineering Job!

So let's recap what you've learned about how to get a software engineering job:

  • You'll likely want to earn a bachelor's degree
  • Choose your degree program, in part, by looking at the work you'll accomplish
  • Take additional steps to develop the right occupational skills and some real-world experience.

Once you're ready, keep an eye on industry job boards and find an opening that suits you.