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Software Engineering Jobs: How to Get Your Foot in the Door

The state of software engineering jobs will continue to thrive as we rely more and more on computers. Here's a guide to putting yourself on such a career path.


Computers have become an everyday part of the personal and working life of many people, and there are a variety of options for a career in the IT industry these days. Software engineering jobs can be a good option to choose and these typically involve writing and developing the software and programs on which computers run. For those considering a career in software engineering, there are a few things that should be considered to help get your foot in the door.

High School

Software engineering jobs typically involve the application of computer science and mathematical analysis to the design, development and testing of programs to perform a specific task on a computer. An excellent grasp of math is therefore considered a prerequisite of working in the industry and concentrating on this subject in high school can help in terms of pursuing a career in software programming. Making the effort to advance to college level math prior to finishing high school is an option to consider.

Bachelors Degree

While there are a number of stories of college dropouts going on to success and riches in the computer industry, the reality of the situation these days is that even entry level software engineering jobs will typically need a Bachelors degree. The majority of applicants for a job in software programming will most likely have completed a degree course and those without this qualification will find it much harder, if not impossible, to successfully land a job. Completing a Bachelors degree course is therefore typically considered a minimum requirement for getting your foot in the door of the industry. There are a variety of options available and these can include courses in Computer Science, Software Engineering or Management Information Systems. A course should typically be chosen to best suit the type of work you are interested in doing once graduated.

Masters Degree

For those looking to improve their chances of finding work in software engineering, a Master degree is an option to consider. While this involves a further period of study, the additional qualifications gained can stand you out from the competition when applying for software engineering jobs.

Supplemental Studying

While a college degree will teach a lot of what is required to work in software engineering, it is a fast moving industry with new technologies, computer languages and design practices evolving all the time. These may not always be included in a college course, and keeping up to date with current best practices and learning about these can help in terms of finding work and advancing a career. Those that take the time to study and understand the latest developments will typically place themselves in a better position to find work. Continuing education to keep up with current trends is therefore something that all software engineers have to consider.

Work Experience

Having some work experience, even for entry level software engineering jobs, can greatly enhance the chances of landing a job. For those at college, therefore, finding some form of work experience is something to consider for getting your foot in the door of the software programming industry. A number of companies offer summer internships to students and this can be way to get some actual programming experience in a working environment. Companies can visit a campus with a view to hiring interns and this can be a way to land a summer job. However, approaching companies yourself with a cover letter and resume is also an option which may lead to a summer job and the opportunity for work experience. Landing an internship has a couple of benefits in that it enables contacts to be made, which potentially may lead to a permanent position on completing a degree, and also enables some programming experience to be included on a resume which can assist when looking for a job following graduation.

With computers being an integral part of both personal and business life these days, software engineering jobs have good prospects and it can be an excellent career path to choose. There is plenty that can be done with a view to getting your foot in the door of the IT industry and the information above shows some of the options to consider for those interested in a career in software engineering.

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