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Software Engineering Overview - Preparation - Specialty Areas -
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Employment 
Computer software engineers and computer programmers hold about 1.3 million jobs in the United States. Approximately 514,800 are computer applications software engineers, about 394,800 were computer systems software engineers, and about 426,700 were computer programmers. Although computer software engineers and computer programmers can be found in a wide range of industries, about 32 percent were employed in computer systems design and related services. Many also worked for software publishers, manufacturers of computers and related electronic equipment, financial institutions, and insurance providers. About 48,200 computer software engineers and computer programmers are self-employed.

Employers of computer software engineers range from startup companies to established industry leaders. The proliferation of Internet, e-mail, and other communications systems is expanding electronics to engineering firms that are traditionally associated with unrelated disciplines. Engineering firms specializing in building bridges and power plants, for example, hire computer software engineers to design and develop new geographic data systems and automated drafting systems.

Communications firms need computer software engineers to tap into growth in the personal communications market. Major communications companies have many job openings for both computer software applications engineers and computer systems engineers.

As is the case with most occupations, advancement opportunities for computer software engineers increase with experience. Entry-level computer software engineers are likely to test and verify ongoing designs. As they become more experienced, they may become involved in designing and developing software. Eventually, they may advance to become a project manager, manager of information systems, or chief information officer. Some computer software engineers with several years of experience or expertise find lucrative opportunities working as systems designers or independent consultants or starting their own computer consulting firms.

The following is a partial list of employers of computer software engineers:

Technology Intensive Firms U.S. Federal Government and State and Local Affiliates Other Firms

Other Employers

  • Colleges and Universities
  • K-12 Schools
  • Professional Associations
  • Temporary Firms
  • Consultants

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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