A career as a software engineer is perfect for you if you enjoy variation in your tasks and clients and you are good at sharing your knowledge to teach others.
Qualifications and Requirements
Most companies require candidates to have a degree, preferably one in IT and programming, mathematics or electronics subjects. If your degree is not in one of these subjects, there are postgraduate IT conversion courses available, which would be worth applying for.
Work experience relating to programming and software engineering will also be beneficial. The Information Systems Examinations Board offers a specific qualification, which is the Diploma in Business Analysis.
Relevant programming knowledge is expected. Lots of employers expect employees to gain high results in programming aptitude tests.
Desirable skills for being a software engineer include sound understanding of programming languages and operating systems e.g. SQL, Java, C++, C# and .NET.
In terms of personal skills, you must be focussed and be able to establish clear objectives. You must be a thinker and a problem-solver but be excellent at communicating ideas tactfully. You must be logical and objective in your work.
Typical duties include: researching and analysing current applications; communicating with software users; costing new and modified systems. You would be writing new software and operating manuals and testing software to ensure it works efficiently and well. The job also requires you to train the client in using new software or in using current software correctly.
Careers and Prospects
You can progress your career by looking for jobs with larger and more successful names in the industry. Most people who have gained 20 years experience in this job often then move on to other careers.
On average, Software Engineers earn a salary of £32,129 per year. The average starting salary is £22,848; the average top salary is £51,981(in 2014). Pay tends to have a steady increase from entry level to experienced, late career.
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