Is software engineering a good job

Software engineer: Everything about jobs, salary, training

Software maps processes. That's the job of software developers. They take a close look at processes and then reflect them in programs. They do less and less programming themselves. They are increasingly developing models, which requires a high degree of abstraction ability.


by Peter Ilg





Tasks of a software developer

Software developers implement processes in software. To do this, they analyze a process and map it in the form of software. In addition to programming knowledge, this requires logical thinking and abstraction skills. According to the Bitkom computer association, an industrial revolution is currently taking place in software development: the young IT sector is adopting tried and tested approaches from established industries in order to be able to develop software more cost-effectively. This includes the application of techniques such as standardization and automation in the creation of components and the reuse of standard components. This requires a higher level of abstraction from software developers. And your job gains in quality when programs are created in the generator at the push of a button. Modern software developers develop models, not modules.


There are two apprenticeships that have to do with software development. These are the IT specialist specializing in application development and the mathematical-technical software developer. While IT specialists are usually employed in a user-oriented manner, mathematical-technical software developers tend to work in the field of science. In both cases, the training lasts three years. Good knowledge of mathematics and English as well as an ability to abstract and, of course, an interest in information technology are important prerequisites. There are significantly more IT specialists than mathematical-technical software developers.

Software developers with a university degree usually studied computer science. As in many other subjects, there are also specializations, such as the architecture of application systems. Regardless of the focus, software dominates with around a third of the entire course content. Software developers need analytical thinking skills, must be able to work constructively and in a disciplined manner in a team and be familiar with both old and new programming languages. That doesn't seem to be a big problem, because experts say: Once you've learned a programming language, you can easily learn a second or third one.

Whether it is an apprenticeship or a degree, learning does not end with graduation. Computer science is a fast-moving area that is subject to rapid technological change. Continuing education and training are therefore a very important topic in this area.

Alternative training paths

It doesn't necessarily have to be computer scientists who work as software developers. Engineers, mathematicians, physicists or other natural scientists who are thoroughly familiar with programming languages ​​are also eligible. It is crucial for software development that the tasks are approached in a structured and logical manner. Software developers are also known as software engineers.

Career changers

Software development can either be learned in an apprenticeship, during studies or in practice. And because the IT sector is already an industry in which there are many lateral entrants, many also develop software that have not learned it from scratch. But with increasing numbers of apprentices and graduates in information technology subjects, there are fewer lateral entrants and more trained software developers. This has above all to do with the increasing demands on the profession of software developer.

To the software developer application package with sample résumé, cover letter and further information

What does a software engineer earn?

As the study by IG Metall "Remuneration in the ITC Industry 2011" shows, incomes in typical IT professions as well as starting salaries after completing training in 2011 have risen by 1.5 percent compared to the previous year. The study is based on 27,000 individual data from 118 companies.

According to this, the annual starting salary of an IT specialist is around 32,000 euros. A software developer with a degree in computer science receives an average starting salary of 41,000 euros. According to the union study, a software engineering department head earns almost 92,000 euros.

labour marketfor software developers

At the computer fair Cebit in spring 2011, the IT industry association Bitkom announced 28,000 vacancies in the IT industry. Around 10,000 new jobs are to be created this year, most of them in the software and IT services sectors. The IT industry has around 843,000 employees and Bitkom expects sales to grow by two percent in 2011 compared to the previous year. The megatrend in the IT sector is currently cloud computing. IT services are provided in real time via data networks instead of on local computers. The association predicts immense growth figures for this technology and thus increasing numbers of employees.

Promotion opportunities

There are career opportunities for software developers in the computer industry itself as well as in user companies. IT specialists with vocational training can study computer science with the necessary entry requirements and thus have the opportunity to make a career, for example as head of the software department. This usually requires a degree. One option for a professional career is specialization, for example with regard to IT security. Software knowledge is also necessary here. Anyone who as a software developer also has business management knowledge can also make it to the position of managing director. An MBA is not uncommon in such cases.


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