8 In Demand Career Options for Software Engineers

As a Software Engineer, I believe the industry is on the brink of exponential growth. The increasing importance of data science, software development, and cybersecurity fuels this growth. 

Technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, automation, virtual reality, and cryptocurrency are creating a surge in demand for engineering, product development, data science, marketing, and sales professionals. Across various sectors, traditional organizations are adopting advanced technologies to enhance efficiency. 

As a skilled software developer, I understand our critical role in building software from scratch, identifying and resolving issues, and ensuring quality through thorough testing. Whether developing internal tools or marketable products, software engineers are indispensable to organizational success.  

I encourage fellow professionals to explore the diverse career options for software engineers in our field and seize the opportunities this rapid growth presents. 

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Top Career Options for Software Engineers

1. Data Scientist

Companies hiring Data Scientist

Termed as the #1 In-Demand Career profile for three consecutive years in USA, data science is a stream in software engineering which revolves around the creation of relevant data based on enormous amounts of data of user behaviour, market trends, etc. This study has proved to be revolutionary in the e-commerce, health, and financial industries.

Using statistics and software engineering aptitude, the experts gather, analyze and represent the data to collect relevant insights which, when taken into consideration in decision making, can boost the organization’s yield and individual returns. Few people understand that Machine Learning is also a subset of the data science branch- that is used to make predictions about the trends based on data recovered in the past, put it to the accuracy test and finally optimize the algorithms to enhance the process of further predictions. Since such intricate scope of work requires a lot (or the best of) software, coding, and mathematics in each step, career options for Software Engineers are the first choice in such scenarios by the organizations, highlighting their indispensable role and diverse opportunities within the industry.

Data science is a growing field, and its market size is rapidly increasing. Its market is expected to reach USD 25.94 billion by 2026 (Source). Additionally, it is considered one of the high-paying careers in today’s times. 

Data is the new oil, and it is everywhere around us. In the practical world, businesses want to organise their huge data and make sense of it. There are various reasons behind one of those: to at faster to the user’s demands. Understanding the complexity of data requires a skilled professional, and data scientists play that role. 

The application of data science is far-reaching in education, e-commerce, healthcare, banking, finance, IT, and many more. For example, in the healthcare sector data science can understand the data and predict the disease which reduces the time to diagnose, bring accuracy and eventually personalise the healthcare process.

A data scientist could be well acquainted with probability and statistics, cloud computing, programming languages, database management systems, machine learning algorithms, etc.

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2. Cybersecurity Engineer

In recent times, industry leaders are prone to and witnessing all kinds of data breach issues and threats, highlighting the ever-growing importance of careers options for Software Engineers. As organizations put a keen interest in making their products and services resistant and foolproof to such potential dangers, the demand for skilled professionals in this field has surged.

Internet of Things security has become essential in every field as we are now surrounded by grids of connected devices all around us, thus making the system more vulnerable to exploitation. Companies are always on the lookout for resourceful software engineers who can ensure them a stronger and more active layer of security without compromising on the quality.

Cyber security is a growing industry, and its market is expanding. The market is expected to reach  US$298.70bn by 2027 (Source). The reason behind the growing market is to prevent data breaches.

With data being the core of any organization, it needs to be protected from any possible threat. Some of the data is confidential, and the organizations cannot afford to have their data leaked as this could directly impact their business negatively.

Cybersecurity engineers are trained professionals in mitigating the threat to data.  They have the skills to identify the databases, networks, hardware, etc. They can handle attacks that are already happened and prevent possible attacks as well.

Skills that are required from a cybersecurity engineer are-

  1. Scripting
  2. Network security control
  3. Splunk
  4. Cloud
  5. DevOps
  6. Breach detection
  7. Communication

In order to enter the field of cybersecurity, one must invest their time in acquiring the skills that accelerate growth. There is various software developer course one must engage themselves with in order to get a better understanding of the concept.

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3. Machine Learning Engineer

This is one of the core areas of Artificial Intelligence which empowers computers to grow self-aware and to stay in self-learning mode without being explicitly programmed. As the equipment is exposed to new sets of data, they learn, grow, change and develop insights and data by themselves.

For example, Machine Learning works in the cases of the self-driving Google car, cyber fraud detection, friend suggestions on Facebook, Netflix showcasing the movies and shows you might like and Amazon showing product suggestions for you!

Machine learning engineers can draw valuable data from analyzing web search results, real-time ads on devices, email spam filtering, and pattern and image recognition. Such detailed processes rule out the old ways of data analysis (which is basically on hit and trial) – Machine learning holds the stopper to the chaotic data process by developing fast, efficient algorithms and real-time data models to deliver accurate targets and analysis.

Such skill requires a poignant knowledge of technology, coding and even at times mathematics. All three fields are some of the essentialities of every software engineer.

In-Demand Software Development Skills

4. Full Stack Developer

As per Indeed, full stack developer is one of the most in-demand job postings categories by employers of recent times. Full Stack Developers cater to the entire project right from designing the concepts to deploying the product appropriately – rather than having separate backend and frontend teams assigned to it.

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The front end layer primarily focuses on the client’s experience at first and then the following user response, while the backend focuses on the logic of the web app. From writing the right backend languages to ensuring a relevant thesis to it all, this is the server side of the application. And finally, database development and maintenance.

Full stack developers carry out complex tasks and take ownership of the whole structure. With the rise in digital platforms, it has become imperative for businesses to have a soldering digital presence. These digital applications represent the business, tell its story, and USP, differentiate it from the competitors, and most importantly are a direct channel of communication with their users.

The full stack developers facilitate this whole process by building a robust application for the business and integrating modern technologies, designing the applications to be easier to navigate and making them interactive.

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There are various software engineer jobs in the market, such as-

  1. Full-stack WordPress developer
  2. Full-stack Ruby developer
  3. Full-stack Java developer
  4. Full-stack PHP developer
  5. Full-stack Javascript developer

5. Python Developer

Source – Payscale US

With the rise of AI and Machine Learning technologies, Python as a language is on-demand for its flexibility, and ease of learning, and has large developer community and brevity – making it easier to write great code. According to studies, it has been observed that Python codes can cut development time by up to half. This is one prominent reason companies are turning to Python in more significant numbers every day. Additionally, Python supports many styles of programming, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural. Such a wide array of libraries exists to help machine learning as well as data analysis and visualization – all vital features in an IT industry increasingly impacted by data science.

In recent times, more and more startups and new apps are looking for Python rather than PHP. A recent study by the European tech talent landscape says that engineering positions were ranked as the most difficult to fill, and 43 percent of survey respondents said that it was because of the lack of any specialist or technical skills. Python developers emphasize code readability and increase productivity while used for desktop apps, web apps, and data mining. For example, in October 2016, Microsoft launched the beta version 2.0 of its Cognitive Toolkit open-source deep-learning framework, that includes support for Python.

You can also check out our free courses offered by upGrad in Management, Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, and Technology. All of these courses have top-notch learning resources, weekly live lectures, industry assignments, and a certificate of course completion – all free of cost!

6. Java Developer

Oracle reports confirm that there are more than 9 million Java developers across the world- as Java continues to dominate the enterprise and because of the growing cloud technologies. Java, just like Python, is easy to learn as well as quick to write, compile, debug, and learn when compared to other programming languages. This prevalence of Java not only showcases its importance in current tech ecosystems but also highlights the Careers Options for Software Engineers who specialize or wish to specialize in Java.

Be it FinTech, Big Data, Banking, Stock Markets, Retail, or Android industries, Java is present everywhere and is a relatively secure language as there are no explicit pointers used, and all the programs are run inside the sandbox to protect them from any untrustworthy sources. Java develops a virus-free system and converts all the codes into byte codes which are not easily readable by humans. Apart from the same, Java is known for its portability, which can efficiently execute on several operating systems without any further installations.

Java developers are in high demand because of the platform’s independence. The developers could easily transition from one platform to another. This makes Java a convenient and versatile language as compared to other languages.

It is considered a high-paying career, and the employability does not show any limitations. The average software engineer salary is 4.2 LPA, and it can exceed 8.5 LPA (Source).  The salary could exceed to higher bracket owing to skillset, experience and how well upskilled one’s skills are.

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7. Cloud Engineer

Since 2015, the job postings remain up for employers according to Indeed, as in recent times everything follows cloud services. According to Forbes, the worldwide expenditure on cloud computing services has risen at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from nearly $70B in 2015 to more than $141B in 2019. Such a booming industry would require a higher layer of security with it. Cloud security is one such shared responsibility between the cloud providers and the users who can leverage the cloud security tools offered by Microsoft and AWS, and it only increased in 2019 as more and more IT companies are now cloud service providers as well as providing a vast range of career opportunities in 2019 and in the coming years.

A cloud engineer should be well versed in certain skills, some of which are mentioned below-

  1. Linux
  2. DevOps
  3. Virtualisation
  4. Programming
  5. Networking
  6. Containerisation
  7. Database management
  8. APIs
  9. Web Services

8. Scrum Master

In 2019, agile methodologies were all that are gaining popularity among IT enterprises, and these like the Scrum have contributed to faster market times, greater flexibility, higher quality products, and customer satisfaction. This methodology includes the product owner creating a wishlist, and the project team could break the list down to smaller pieces which should result in project deliverables being ready to be shipped to the customer.

The team repeats this process over several sprints. This is where the scrum master comes in and stays at the centre of all activities, right from coordination to linking customers and different teams of the project. As the scrum master takes care of such a diverse array of roles, attributes, and responsibilities, organizations have been hiring them to get a good ROI and high-quality project deliveries.

It is a high-paying field where one needs to be well equipped with good skill sets in order for the doors to be open for them. The average salary of a scrum master is 14.7 LPA, and the salary may exceed 25.0 LPA (Source). With more experience and skill sets, the salary bracket would keep increasing.

A software engineer must possess the skill sets for them to be more employable. Some of the skills are mentioned below-

  1. Agile development
  2. Organisational skills
  3. Cloud technologies
  4. Conflict resolution

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The demand for highly skilled software engineers remains strong in the thriving IT industry. To stay competitive, it’s crucial to leverage our strengths and interests effectively. This ensures we can achieve greater success in our chosen field. 

For those interested in delving deeper into full-stack software development, I recommend exploring upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive PG Programme in Software Development – Specialization in Full Stack Development. Tailored for working professionals, this program offers over 500 hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects, and job assistance with top firms. 

By investing in continuous learning and specialized training, we can unlock new career opportunities and stay ahead in the dynamic world of software engineering. Explore the diverse career options for software engineers available and seize the chance to elevate your skills and career prospects. 

Which software engineer is most in-demand?

Some of the in-demand software engineers are mentioned below- 1) Front- end developer, 2) Full stack developer, 3) DevOps engineer, 4) Cloud engineer, 5) Data Scientist,

How can software engineers get high salary?

The software engineers can get high salary by investing in acquiring more skills and practicing them in order to get better at them. The software engineers can learn widely used programming languages such as R, Python, etc. This will allow them to get more opportunities.

Where can I work as a software engineer?

Software engineers can make a good space anywhere as their relevancy is not limited to one domain. They can work with startups, established companies and small businesses as well.

How can I grow in software career?

In order to grow in software career, one needs to land a job to gain experience. Invest in acquiring skill sets, undertaking projects, learn more languages, network and keep upskilling and learning about new developments.

Is software engineering hard?

Software engineering is not the most easiest industry. It can be hard imtiitally but once the foundation has been built professionals find it easier to navigate through.

What jobs can I do with coding?

With coding as a skill, one can get into software engineering and get jobs into computer science, data science, software development, product management and more.

Why are there so many software engineers?

The software engineers are in-demand because of rise in technology sector. With the rise in more innovation in technology and digital development there is a surge in professionals who can develop robust software.

Will software engineers be needed in the future?

Yes, software engineers will be needed in the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities in software engineering are going to increase 22% from 2020 to 2030.

Why is software engineering such a popular career choice in India?

Every year, lakhs of students in India graduate from engineering institutions, in hopes of getting a high-paying job in the IT industry. This comes as no surprise – the software industry is worth over 3 trillion USD and is set to expand by nearly a quarter in the next five years. But is there any specific reason why Indians flock to engineering with such enthusiasm? For one, we have a society that deeply values math and science as fields of study. We also have a huge English-speaking population, which makes communication, collaboration, and learning a lot easier. Our demographic advantage means that we have a youthful population eager to work at competitive rates, making India a prime destination for outsourcing.

How does one stay relevant in today’s market?

The IT industry by its very nature is highly dynamic. It is a never-ending quest to increase convenience, speed, efficiency, and automation. As a result, people working in this field must always have an inquisitive mind and learn new technologies and tools as they come. It also helps to visit trade shows and expos, to gain valuable hands-on exposure to the newest advancements. Read the news regularly to identify patterns in the industry and predict how they might change. Always pay close attention to your customers’ needs, and predict what they might want even if they do not mention it explicitly.

Which areas within the IT industry are growing the fastest?

The IT industry is growing at an exponential pace at the moment, and there has never been a better time to get into computers. However, some sectors have proved to be exceptionally lucrative. In 2020, the FinTech sector received a total investment of 44 billion USD. This area of technology includes banking, wealth management, payment services, and more. It is no surprise that the area of healthcare technology has also been doing really well lately, with the ongoing pandemic situation. Other examples include cybersecurity and virtual reality.

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