Software Designers

Software Designers Discuss a New Application

Software designers, also known as software developers, create new ideas and design prepackaged and customized computer software. Systems software designers create systems software such as computer operating systems, proprietary computer systems for businesses and other organizations, and operating systems that control consumer electronics in cars, big-box appliances, and smartphones. These systems make it possible for computers to complete given tasks and to solve problems. Software applications designers create word processing programs, video games, front-end database programs, and spreadsheet programs. Once a need in the market has been identified, software designers first conceive of the program on a global level by outlining what the program will do. Then they write the specifications from which programmers code computer commands to perform the given functions. There are about 1.1 million software developers and programmers employed in the United States. Computer systems design jobs employed 33 percent of them as of May 2015. Software publishers, finance and insurance business, and electronics product manufacturing employed another 24 percent.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Software Applications Designers, Software Developers, Systems Software Designers
Duties Design systems-level and applications software
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Silicon Valley in northern California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, and New York
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
Experience Several years’ programming experience
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Computer
  • Information Management
  • Math
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Much Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Software Manager
  • Project Team Leader
  • Software Designer
  • Computer Programmer