Career Detail


Computer Software Engineer
“Technology Unlimited”
Software engineers can be involved in the design and development of many types of software, including computer games, visual effects, word processing and business applications, and operating systems.
Average Pay: $85,430    Qualifications: Certification or higher
The Job
Computer software engineers apply the principles of computer science and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that make computers work. They begin by analyzing users' needs, and then develop software to meet those needs. During this process they create the detailed sets of instructions, called algorithms, that tell the computer what to do. Working within an organization, computer system software engineers coordinate each department's computer needs-ordering, inventory, billing, and payroll recordkeeping, and networks that link computers and communications within the organizations different departments. Computer software engineers often work as part of a team that designs new hardware, software, and systems. A core team may comprise engineering, marketing, manufacturing, and design people, who work together to release a product. Most software engineers work at least 40 hours a week, but about 17 percent work more than 50 hours a week.
Work Environment
Computer software engineers normally work in offices or where computer equipment is located. Those who work for software vendors and consulting firms frequently travel to different locations.
College Majors
computer science, software engineering
Minimum Qualifications
Most employers prefer applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree and broad knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of computer systems and technologies. Systems software engineers often study computer science or computer information systems.
Personality traits helpful for this career
strong problem-solving and analytical skills, be able to concentrate and pay close attention to detail.
Quick Facts
  • Students seeking software engineering jobs enhance their employment opportunities by participating in internships or co-ops.
  • Computer software engineers are one of the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2006-16 decade.
  • Master's Degrees are preferred for more complex jobs.
  • More Info: Association for Computing Machinery, Internet: http://www.acm.org
Compensation and Outlook
In May 2008, median annual wages of wage-and-salary computer applications software engineers were $85,430. The middle 50 percent earned between $67,790 and $104,870. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $53,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $128,870.
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