Members of Generation Z—those born from 1997 and onward—are the latest entering the job market. The oldest members of Gen Zare entering the market during an interesting time, with the US unemployment rate at an impressive low and employers fighting to attain and retain lucrative talent.
However, this young talent is chasing one profession in particular: Software engineering. Software engineer applications accounted for 19% of all job applications from Gen Zers in the US, making it the most in-demand job among that generation, according to a recent Glassdoor report.
To help those interested in the industry figure out how to launch a career in software engineering, we compiled the most important details and resources. This guide on how to become a software engineer will be updated on a regular basis.
Why is there an increased demand for software engineers?
Software engineer and developer job positions dominated Glassdoor’s list of the 10 most in-demand tech jobs of 2019. The global demand for engineers is skyrocketing year over year, with demand for blockchain engineers increasing at 517% and security engineers at 132%, according to Hired’s 2019 State of Software Engineers report.
The demand for software engineers correlates with the ebbs and flows of new technology. For example, the explosion of blockchain in the past year has resulted in a need for software engineers with blockchain skills, the report found.
Most companies are trying to stay competitive, resulting in a greater investment in technology, across all sectors, according to Glassdoor’s Economic Research Blog. As more companies are trying to transform into tech companies, software engineers are needed in those industries (retail, finance, manufacturing, etc.) to plan, manage, and launch the software.
What does a software engineer do?
Software engineers are responsible for building, developing, launching, and maintaining software products and systems, according to Indeed’s career guide. Software systems include operating systems, business applications, connected hardware, networking systems, and mobile and web applications.
Software engineers and software developers are interconnected, but mutually exclusive. Software developers help maintain existing software performance, recommend improvements, and develop updates or new software programs in code. The key difference is in the word “engineer,” because engineers are involved in the development of software, but developers don’t necessarily have the engineering background to be involved in that part of the process.
What are some software engineer job roles?
Software engineers can choose from a number of different career paths. Here are the nine most popular software engineering jobs, and their growth rates year over year, according to the Hired report.
- Blockchain engineer (517%)
- Security engineer (132%)
- Embedded engineer (76%)
- Data engineer (38%)
- Back end engineer (33%)
- Machine learning engineer (27%)
- Mobile engineer (15%)
- Full stack engineer (7%)
- Front end engineer (4%)
What programming languages or other skills are best to learn to become a software engineer?
Software engineers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or information technology. Those in the field are often well versed in software development, and have extensive experience working with various programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++.
The fastest-growing skills in 2019 for software engineers include experience with Flutter, Android design, NUXT.JS, continuous integration and development, and angular material, according to aLinkedIn report.
For software engineers in management positions, or those trying to reach management level, soft skills are becoming increasingly important. To fuel high-performing teams, software engineering managers skill sets must include people management, leadership, team management, team building, and strategic planning, the LinkedIn report found.