Why There Are Over 110,000 Job Listings on LinkedIn for Software Engineers
By Scott Hansen
There are over 110,000 job listings on LinkedIn for software engineers
The career aspects of software engineer engineer look to be very favorable
Being a software engineer is MUCH easier than you think
There are a plethora of free and open online resources to help those interested in programming start in the field
As of writing this article, there are about 225,000 jobs open under the title of “Software Engineer” on LinkedIn. This is a shocking number, and what’s even more shocking is that almost half of those listings are within the United States. This number, 110,000 is more than the number of U.S. listings for business analyst, accountant, and account manager combined. With such a high number of job offerings in computer science, companies cannot find enough talent to fill these positions. When demand for this trade rises and the supply falls, the market brings the wages for software engineers soaring. The median pay for the occupation of software developers is over $102,000 per year, which is greater than $65,000 more than that the national median pay.
Money’s great and all, but many people can’t see themselves in the role of a software engineer. What does a software engineer even do? In short, software engineering is the fancy way of saying problem solver. A software developer writes very simple and specific instructions to a computer to solve larger problems. Contrary to the belief that this is really difficult and complex to do, programming is something that anyone can learn. Writing code is a skill, like woodworking, and while there is a bit of a learning curve, it can be easily taught. If your problem to solve is having “hello” appear on the screen, it can be as simple as typing in the “print(‘hello’)” and clicking enter. That example was from the programming language called Python, a very easy language to start with. Anyone can do it, and for most programming, you don’t even need an expensive machine — any old desktop or laptop computer will do. The only requirement is patience and the desire to learn. There’s plenty of online resources to help you do just that.
The great thing about a lot of people who program is that they are willing to share it for free with anyone who wants to learn on the open internet. Within the coding community, I have noticed a subculture of freedom of knowledge and a willingness to share expertise. If you need help, just post a question in an online forum, and there are a lot of people who are willing to help you. There are also a number of great online tools. Codecademy is a website that features a great number of free programming courses with interactive walkthroughs. While they have recently added a paid tier for premium features, the free tier is sufficient for learning. Another great place to learn is by searching on YouTube for whatever language or topic that you’re interested in. If you want to learn more of the theory behind computers, some of the most prestigious institutions in the country offer it completely free of charge online. MIT and Harvard have a lot of offerings online that can aid any person in his or her path to learning. More professional training is available through paid websites like Lynda.com and Pluralsight.com, both of which offer hundreds of courses in software development.
If you know what you are doing, you don’t even need a degree to get a great job in software engineering. A 2016 stack overflow survey shows that over half of the people in software engineering were self-taught. Some companies may have strict degree requirements, but a great deal of them do not. Of the jobs listed on the StackOverflow website, just under half of them in 2016 did not list a degree requirement. If you are in college right now, don’t drop out, even if your degree in computer science or some other technical field. A degree, regardless of field of study, can get expand your job market opportunities significantly and opens the doors to higher pay.
Simply put, if you find the topic interesting, or if you just want to take advantage of the computer engineer trend, don’t be discouraged from applying to places without a specific degree in computer science. There’s a lot of money in technology, and the job outlook is expected to grow at a very fast rate. Talk to people in the field and try it out for yourself, and if you like it, there’s certainly enough demand to get a well-paying job wherever it leads you.