Software Designers

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 1.3 million software developers and programmers employed in the United States. 

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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 $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but the largest number of jobs are found where computer companies cluster, such as the Silicon Valley in northern California
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Mathematics
Experience Several years’ programming experience, plus a college internship or other on-the-job experience
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Computer
  • Digital Media
  • 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

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