how to become a software engineer (2022 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.

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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 CS degree or a college degree in a related 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, the truth is a bachelor’s degree in many different programs would suffice if an aspiring Software Developer has developed the right skills, excels at a variety of programming languages, and has real world experience managing projects and coding web applications and other web products.

If you have spent four years earning some kind of college degree but lack coding experience, there are many coding bootcamps, online education programs and resources that can help students without a background in technology learn how to code.

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 an entry level job as a professional software developer in as little as a dozen weeks. And although learning coding is just one of many steps to becoming a Software Engineer, it tends to be one of the most important areas for anyone looking for a full time career in software development.

Fortunately, many would-be 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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