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What are the Various Roles Available in Software Engineering?

software engineering jobs

The field of software engineering is growing rapidly and there continues to be a high demand for software engineers across all vertical markets. This boom is partly because organizations are now utilizing digital strategies with compressed timelines.

Today, facilitating digital transformation is just one of several responsibilities a software engineer has within an organization. In this article, we’ll explore various software engineering job opportunities, education requirements, critical soft skills, and salary ranges.  

Understanding the Role of a Software Engineer

Software engineering is at the core of application development, design, and success. Software engineers work with developers, architects, and business units to help create successful applications and platforms to support their organization’s overall transformation strategy.

Software engineers also identify problems or patterns to improve system performance. Many software engineers become DevOps engineers if their organization has adopted agile development methodologies as their primary development strategy.

Software Engineer Education Requirements

Getting into software engineering requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or software development. For certain senior positions, some companies require a master’s degree in software engineering as well as advanced experience across several application platforms like Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Amazon AWS, and Salesforce.com.

Regardless of position, all software engineers must have a solid background in agile software development, a keen understanding of the software development lifecycle, and a strong handle on programming and analysis. For any prospective software engineer, it’s also beneficial to have relevant experience in functional software and software design that utilizes DevOps strategies.

Common Software Engineering Roles

Within an organization, software engineer roles vary and can involve specific software, infrastructure, and design responsibilities. The career progression of a software engineer could take several paths, all leading to additional salary and leadership roles within the organization. 

Below are some common software engineering roles.

Web Developer

Web developers create web pages, including static and dynamic website content. These developers must have a working knowledge of CSS, Python, HTML, and Java software languages in addition to excellent problem-solving skills. 

Computer Systems Analyst

A computer systems analyst understands an organization’s systems requirements. This includes computing, storage, network capacity, and overall operations requirements. Many software engineers with various experience levels choose to become computer systems analysts or business analysts if they want to eventually move into a pre-sales or customer-facing position. 

IT Security Engineer

IT security engineers occupy one of the most demanding roles in an organization. These engineers handle the security of all applications, databases, financial data, and corporate intellectual property stored within an organization’s digital environments. These highly sought-after engineers need to have a working knowledge of software architecture, cybersecurity architecture, and programming languages, including Python and CSS.

User Interface (UI) Engineer

In the IT space, UI engineers are in high demand. UI engineers develop the front-end user experience for all applications and systems. Software applications with challenging front ends often frustrate the user community and lower adoption rates. It’s the job of the UI engineer to develop an easy-to-use front end that drives user adoption.

Pre-Sales Applications Engineer

Application engineers work primarily in the Sales department of an organization. They work on identifying customer challenges while implementing solutions for business problems. These engineers should understand industry trends and product areas of particular focus. Bachelor’s degrees are also required for pre-sales applications engineers, along with hands-on experience in marketing and selling software products to multiple industries.

Quality Assurance Testing Engineer

QA assurance testing engineers ensure products released from their businesses meet industry-standard quality specifications. This role requires analyzing and verifying the product’s structure. QA testers typically work for product firms that require constant updates during deployment. 

Software Engineering Manager

Software engineering managers lead junior developers, systems administrations, and application development teams. Managers will assign projects to the various software engineers depending on their domain experience and workload capacity. 

Senior Software Engineering Roles

In their careers, software engineers can advance to senior leadership positions. These roles could be in the IT department or in other areas of the organization. Often, many leadership positions will require additional schooling, like a master’s degree, as well as several years of experience in the field. 

Below are some senior roles software engineers can progress to.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

 The CTO handles all technology strategy and execution for the organization. 

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) 

The CISO is responsible for an organization’s cybersecurity, security technology, security software development, cybersecurity spending, physical security, and security operations. 

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

The CIO is the most senior technology leader in an organization. This leader oversees technical teams, operational teams, and technology costs.

Chief Development Officer (CDO)

The CDO owns all software development, support, architecture, quality assurance, and strategy for all applications in the organization. Many software engineering roles report to the CDO. 

Chief Risk Officer (CRO)

The CRO oversees risk management, compliance, and regulatory affairs. Many software engineers that move into the risk management field continue developing applications for organizations to manage compliance and regulatory reporting requirements. 

Expected Salary Ranges for Software Engineers

Software engineers, including entry-level positions, can make between $75,000 to $90,000 per year. Senior software engineers can earn close to $145,000 per year, depending on their experience.

Key Interpersonal Skills for Software Engineers

A passion for collaboration, a drive for excellence, and a strong grasp on interpersonal communication skills are all essential qualities for successful software engineers. 

Developing interpersonal skills will help software engineers communicate with internal stakeholders, outside partners, and vendors. Software engineers looking to ascend to a management role will benefit from developing good communication, project management, and cost management skills.

Knowledge for Today and in the Future

Software engineering is an exciting field to launch a career in. The first step to success starts with a formal education. Obtaining a degree and industry certifications can help you obtain a broader range of employment opportunities and advance in the field.

The following CIAT degree paths can help future software engineers develop foundational knowledge essential for career development and professional growth:

Wondering where to begin? Book an appointment today with one of CIAT’s expert Admissions Advisors to discuss your pathway to a thriving career in the tech industry.

Take the first step.

Building a strong coding portfolio takes hard work and dedication. Whether you’re just starting in the field or advancing your career, learning how to create an education plan that aligns with your career goals saves you time and money. This also delivers the most significant return on your investment.

Career Planning

You’ve chosen an education plan with a goal in mind, and now you’re focused on making the most of your educational resources to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success in the job market. The most impactful recommendation we give to all new CIAT students in the tech field is not to wait until graduation to start their IT career planning. When you begin your career planning steps from day 1 of your program, you graduate career-ready and are more likely to find your first job quickly, with competitive salary ranges.

Let us help you achieve your career goals.

When landing your dream job, CIAT supports its students every step of the way – ensuring you graduate with more than just a degree. Our IT career services team focuses on both your professional and personal development to help prepare you for a career in web development, mobile app development, information technology, cybersecurity, networking, and more.

Get certified, earn your degree, and start your path to a new career with:

  • Personalized career coaching
  • Industry certification workshops
  • Resume building
  • LinkedIn profile optimization
  • Mock interview practice
  • Job placement support
  • Dedicated job board
  • Specialty career-building workshops
  • Technology career fairs and employer “meet and greets”
  • Work study and volunteer opportunities

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