software engineer (2023 Guide)
Is Software Engineering a Good Job?
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 whether Software Engineer is a good job, as well as the top reasons to pursue a software engineering career.
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Yes, software engineering is a good job based on virtually any criteria, including salary, quantity of job openings, as well as overall job satisfaction.
The U.S. News and World Report ranks Software Engineer or Software Developer in its top three job titles in the U.S. year after year – the only tech role to be listed so high – while predicting that software engineering will be a good career well into the future as the demand for software development related jobs could only go up in the long term.
Reasons to Become a Software Engineer
There are many good reasons a software engineering career could be right for you, including a strong job outlook, high salaries, and rewarding work.
Here are some of the top reasons to become a Software Engineer:
Salaries in software engineering
Although the best Software Engineers are driven by passion and not money or the lure of a six-figure salary, there’s no denying that a high salary is an attractive part of the job. Indeed pegs the average Software Engineer salary in the U.S. at $108,000 per year plus $4,000 in additional compensation. That salary will be much higher at the right company or in the right city – Silicon Valley tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple are known to offer more than $150,000 per year in salary for a Software Engineer. A Senior Software Engineer makes an average salary of $130,000 per year according to Indeed – another figure that jumps much higher in places like New York and Silicon Valley.
A passion for programming and coding
Most Software Engineers have, at some point, spent time coding and programming purely for fun – they enjoy scanning code for errors and other programming puzzles. The best software engineering pros love to build things and they love to fix things, and they enjoy the day-to-day work of being a Software Engineer. Of course, the programming they have to do at work won’t always be as stimulating as the projects they would devise at home, but Software Engineers likely still take some satisfaction in computer programming.
Software Engineers can rest assured that their skills will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. The U.S. News’ forecast predicted the software engineering job field would grow by more than 21 percent – or 315,000 jobs – by 2029, while others like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have predicted even more robust job growth based on the number of companies needing new or updated apps, computer systems or web products.
The high demand for Software Engineers has created a situation where companies have to compete for the top software engineering talent, and as a result, work-life balance has become a popular point of emphasis. Most companies now offer flexible hours for software engineering jobs, as well as the possibility of remote work. It’s the combination of reasonable hours and high pay that makes software engineering such a good job. A Senior Software Developer will typically bring home a six-figure salary while also allowing enough free time to have a healthy life outside of work, which is rare in any field.
Perks are another benefit of the demand for Software Engineers. Many software engineering jobs offer perks like stock options, unlimited paid time off, free gym memberships, remote work arrangements, and more. Senior Software Engineers will of course have access to the most perks — particularly at big tech companies — but even entry-level software engineering jobs are said to offer perk packages to lure in the top job candidates.
Great for people who want to work on cross-functional teams
Software Engineers get to work with a broad array of different people with different jobs, technical and non-technical alike. In a given day, Software Developers and Engineers could work with teams dedicated to technical areas like web development, data science, or computer science, while also collaborating with sales and marketing teams, as well as company leadership. If you’re a people person who also likes to work independently, software engineering could be a dream job for you.
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