By University of Phoenix
Companies are increasingly relying on digital tools for operation, and the market for IT professionals is growing accordingly. The demand for computer and IT specialists is projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is an anticipated 682,800 new jobs over the decade.
However, the demand for software developers is projected to grow at an even higher rate: 25% from 2021 to 2031. The open positions for computer programmers are expected to decline 10% from 2021 to 2031.
These projections indicate promising growth in the field of IT overall despite the predicted decline in computer programming roles. Here, we’ll delve into two branches of the IT tree: programming and software engineering.
BLS Occupational Employment Projections, 2021-2031 is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.
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You might wonder which IT career path is best for you. An IT degree can lay the foundation for a computer-related career, preparing you to work with networks, databases, cloud platforms and other growing tech specialties.
Because of the rapid growth of computer and IT fields, many positions require specialized skills. This can make it tough to decide what to focus on during your training. The difference between a programmer and a software engineer is a prime example of this. Though these two positions have an overlapping skill set, they have different overall foci and require particular abilities.
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between careers in programming and software engineering.
Programmers write computer code necessary to build functioning software, applications and systems. They’re usually responsible for testing and debugging new and existing programs and handling updates, security patches and other fixes.
Entry-level positions typically require a technology degree, such as a bachelor’s in IT or computer science. It’s also possible to study a related subject, such as math or science, and learn programming languages independently or through a continuing education or certification program.
Programmers usually work as part of a development team. They handle coding and testing duties while software engineers or architects focus on the design and overall project management.
Programmers work on different types of software and applications, and they tend to focus on different coding languages, but their responsibilities are similar regardless of their specialization.
Here’s a look at programmers’ professional duties:
Programmers work closely with software engineers and developers. Depending on the type of work arrangement and development philosophy, they might also take on design or project management duties.
Programmers need a variety of hard and soft skills to succeed. Here’s a look at what programming abilities to develop as you progress along this career path.
When studying, seek a program that allows you to develop hard skills and gain the hands-on experience necessary for strengthening soft skills like communication.
Programmers work in a variety of settings. When looking at where to find careers in the IT sector for programmers, try searching for the following titles:
In all these positions, programmers work alongside other IT specialists, including software engineers.
Software engineers are involved in all aspects of software creation and typically take a broader role in development projects. They may create overall designs and concepts for software or applications and figure out ways to use programs to solve specific problems.
They’re also involved in the actual coding and development stages and might oversee testing to ensure the programs meet their goals. Engineers typically understand computer languages, such as Python, C++ and Java. Coding might be part of some engineering job descriptions, while other roles may not demand the nuanced computer language skills of programmers.
Because of the broader focus, software engineers need a strong knowledge base, which they can get through a bachelor’s in computer science program.
Here are some of the duties a software engineer would likely encounter:
Depending on the needs of an employer or client, a software engineer can act as a kind of project manager responsible for ensuring the final product is delivered according to the design and specifications.
You’ll need to develop specific skills and a strong knowledge base to embark on a software engineer or software developer career path.
Like programmers, software engineers can flourish in a variety of roles if they have a diverse set of hard and soft skills.
Like their programming counterparts, software engineers work in a variety of positions:
If you’re interested in pursuing a job in information technology or learning more about computer science, University of Phoenix offers online degrees and certificates in the following fields of study.
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