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Is A Degree In Software Development Worth It?
We often take for granted how much information is available at our fingertips. Just think about it for a second: a wealth of knowledge is available for us to access at any time, and with the world becoming a digital space, this knowledge exists in the digital sphere.
Think about when was the last time you actually opened a dictionary to look up the meaning of a word? Or when was the last time you opened up an encyclopedia for research purposes? This wealth of knowledge that is available in the digital sphere is all thanks to software developers. But it doesn't stop there, software developers are responsible for creating, designing, testing, and maintaining software applications, whether they hold knowledge, they conduct calculations, and everything else in between, using digital engineering practices.
As a branch of computer science, the pool and demand for software developers are endless. There will always be a need and a purpose for individuals in this field.
If you were wondering if a degree in software development would be worth it, the benefits it poses for the holder are endless. With a lucrative career path, job stability, great flexibility, stable income, and a career that is guaranteed to always be in demand, having a degree in software development is extremely worth it.
Let us take a closer look at the degree in software development and the career that one could follow with this degree.
What Is A Software Development Degree?
We know that the world exists almost entirely on a digital interface, and because of this, operating systems need to be designed to accommodate every function that we need and use. From games that are used purely for our entertainment, to digital planners and organizers to make sure that we are always on top of our game, and even to financial applications that allow us to manage our money with just a touch of a button, each digital interface needs to be designed from scratch.
This is only made possible by software engineers. Software developers or software engineers form part of a branch within the field of computer science. To know what a software developer is, we need to know what software is. Hardware is all the physical elements that make up a device. Software is the unseen digital aspect that usually appears as if out of nowhere. It is the magical aspect of your device that seems to hold infinite knowledge and power.
Every element of software doesn't just exist but rather needs to be created by an individual who understands how to code data and create a digital operation to carry out specific functions.
Software engineering entails many different aspects such as designing, developing, testing, updating, and maintaining software applications. Through engineering concepts, software developers are able to design user interfaces and digital structures that exist on many different types of devices.
Through this unique function, we have access to business applications, spreadsheets, operating systems, graphic design and creative elements, mobile and computer applications, websites, and every other digital concept you can think of.
When you consider that everything in the digital sphere needs to be created from somewhere; when you consider that there are so many interfaces that require software developments such as smart TVs, computers, phones, tablets, business operating systems, and much more; and when you consider that these developments are probably going to be needed for the remainder of the time of civilization, you quickly realize just how important the role of software developers are.
Do I Need A Degree For Software Development?
By mere virtue of software development, pursuing a degree in software development in the traditional sense has become somewhat obsolete. Much like a trade, software development is a practical skill that needs to be learned and a formal college degree that may focus on the traditional and theoretical transmission of knowledge may not be necessary given the direction in which digital interfaces are moving.
Staying abreast of digital developments means that traditional ways of acquiring college degrees and traditional college degrees in software development may be outdated. Instead, it is a skill that you would acquire and that you would constantly work on developing and enhancing, sometimes being at the forefront of new technological developments. This is one of the reasons why this field of study is so lucrative – it is constantly developing and evolving.
With that said, while you may not need to pursue a software development degree in the traditional sense of the word, you can obtain a professional qualification from specialized IT colleges, online courses, and other resources and skill training opportunities that have been made available also by software developers and engineers.
Types Of Software Engineering Degrees
The reality is, considering how extensive and how many subfields and specialization opportunities exist within software development, there is rarely one person who will know everything there is to know about software development. Instead, many people choose different fields of focus and different sub-fields to specialize in.
But there are multiple degree options that you can pursue including a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in software engineering. However, multiple organizations and companies recognize online and boot camp programs, as well as formal certifications in the field.
If you are skilled at coding and find great fascination within this field, practical knowledge and understanding are as important, if not greater than a theoretical knowledge of coding and software development.
Why Should You Consider Getting A Degree In Software Development?
For the most part, the biggest motivating factor that you should consider when pursuing a software developer position is that, with the constant developments in technology, there will always be a demand for your job. Additionally, as long as you are constantly advancing and updating your working knowledge, you are guaranteed to meet the industry demands that come with this role.
Many people have concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) making the roles of software developers obsolete, but this is unlikely to occur and even if it does occur, it will not be anytime soon. AI is something that has been created by software developers. For AI to overtake the role of software developers, it would need to be able to create itself. As of yet, this has not happened, and the human element is intrinsically required for the success of AI.
Being a software developer allows you career freedom. Not only can you work for software and technology companies, but you can also work for yourself and establish your own organization.
Considering the mental demands of the role, being a software developer is one of the few roles that make use of both your creative and critical thinking elements allowing you to flex both aspects of your intelligence at the same time.
What Is The Return On Investment?
Considering that there are different software development courses that you can pursue, it is also safe to say that the cost of these courses will vary greatly depending on the qualification, the institution, and the type of course you are pursuing.
On average, you could probably expect to pay anywhere between $8,500 and $30,000 for a software development boot camp course, with the average fees coming in at $15,000. On the other hand, a degree in this field could range between $37,000 and $91,000.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers earn a median annual salary of $109,020 which is an impressive return on investment, to say the least.
What Is The Job Outlook For Software Developers?
The BLS states that the overall employment for software developers expects to see a projected growth of 25% over the next decade which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Considering this, with such great demand, having a qualification in software development will always prove to be worth it and in demand.
Will I Be Able To Find A Job With A Software Engineering Degree?
You most certainly will be able to find a high-paying role in software development or software engineering, especially considering the demand for such roles.
When you find yourself asking and wondering if a degree and career in software development can be useful, it ultimately depends on what you do with it. However, there will always be a demand for such roles and a need for such roles. As a career that will not be obsolete, it is a great one to consider for your future.
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