Engineering - Software School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Think you're on top of the latest trends? Software engineers are probably ten steps ahead of you.software engineering

Using computer software is pretty common these days – even if you don't do much more on a computer than talk to your friends and write papers for school, each of those has a programme that a group of people designed to be easy to use, and that will do what you want it to. Ever wondered how software gets from someone's bright idea to the disk on your desk? Interested in writing your own programmes? Maybe the next best software idea in the computing world could be yours!

What’s it all about?TOP ^

Software engineers have their fingers on the pulse of trends in computing. They use their engineering skills to recognise needs and write programmes that not only fill the hole, but are also easy for people to use. Changing with the times is part of a normal day for a software engineer because new technology keeps coming out, so it's important that you keep an open mind about what sort of programmes you're involved with.

The software engineering industry will probably be completely different between when you start as a new software engineer to five years down the road, and if you're going to be successful, you need to adapt with it.

Software development/systems development is detailed, analytical work that requires more than just being good at writing code. You'll usually have a team of people that you work with, so you'll need to rely on them just as much as they'll need to rely on you to meet a deadline or solve a problem. Hours are fairly regular unless there's a problem to sort out, which may mean staying late in order to satisfy a client's requirements.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Graduates can start off with a salary around £25,000. Experienced software engineers can earn from £35,000 to over £50,000.

Where can I work? TOP ^

Getting a Software Engineering degree, or studying computer sciences will give you more options when it comes to finding a job and is vital if you want to get onto a graduate training programmes.

You can also specialise in certain technical aspect of software writing through apprenticeships and further qualifications.
Software engineers generally aim to work in specialist IT firms, such as consultancies, IT providers and software developers, but roles are open anywhere that uses IT systems and needs support and development.

What skills will I need in software engineering? TOP ^

A lot of software engineering work is done on a team, so you have to be able to work well with people. Self-motivation and a good work ethic will impress your managers, as you’ll show that you can handle more responsibility.

Essential skills for working in software engineering include having an analytical mind, good mathematical and problem solving skills and having a logical mind. Aside from this, though, there are interpersonal skills that are also essential if you are to excel in a business that involves a large amount of teamwork and communication.

Employers in software engineering look for the following skills:

What entry level software engineering jobs can I do? TOP ^

Most software engineering jobs will require you to have a degree, but you may be able to enter the industry with a lower level qualification like an HND or some related experience.

Some entry level software engineering jobs include:

  • Systems developer
  • Software engineer
  • Database administrator
  • Applications developer
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