how to become a software engineer (2024 Guide)

How Long Does it Take to Become a Software Engineer?

BrainStation’s Software Engineer career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a career in software engineering. Read on to explore how long it takes to get the skills and experience necessary to become a Software Engineer.

Become a Software Engineer

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It can take anywhere from three months to four years to become a Software Engineer, depending on your technical experience, professional background, and career path.

Although roughly three-quarters of Software Engineers do possess at least a bachelor’s degree (and many go on to earn a master’s degree), it is not essential to have a computer science degree or an even rarer software engineering degree to become a Software Engineer.

A computer science education or a college degree in an area related to the software engineering field would certainly be helpful in proving that a job candidate has the right fundamental training in computer science and math to understand core software engineering concepts. Degrees that could prove useful for a Software Engineer career would include such disciplines as information technology, computer and information systems, or computer science.

Still, the truth is a bachelor’s degree in many different programs would suffice for aspiring Software Developers who have developed the right skills and understanding of web development and software engineering principles, excel at a variety of programming languages, and have real world experience managing projects and coding web applications, computer software, and other web products.

Some Web Developers go for the self taught route and thrive, but most might look into a coding or programming course. These programs give students up and running the new skills necessary to land entry level software engineering jobs in as little as a dozen weeks. And although learning coding is just one of many steps to becoming a Software Developer or Software Engineer, it tends to be one of the most important areas for anyone looking for full-time software development or software engineering careers.

Fortunately, many aspiring Software Engineers likely already have some skills in this area to build on – now that the programming language Python is taught to students widely at the high school level, most people have some degree of experience with programming even if they haven’t had the chance to complete any major projects.

Both students pursuing a formal education in programming and those looking to learn the core principles of software development on their own should invest time working on programming projects in their personal time with the eventual goal of publishing them online on the web where working Software Engineers in the industry might see their code.

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