What’s the most popular course offered by Harvard Online? Take a guess. Did you think of computer science? Well, if not, you need to familiarize yourself with the increasing number of opportunities that the field offers! The Introduction to Computer Science, or CS50 as it is popularly known, is the most sought-after course by students and professionals alike.
It points to the field’s incredible draw among those looking for growth or to build a career. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 25% for the occupation in the 2021-2031 period – a whopping five times the average growth rate of all occupations. The profession is also one of the best paying in the labor market, with annual median earnings of $120,730, putting it high up in the earning potential list. Good reasons why “software developer” was ranked the #1 job in the 100 Best Jobs published by US News in 2023.
Why Every Company Is A Software Company
Software engineers – professionals possessing the skills and know-how to create, maintain, and upgrade software programs – are increasingly in demand, as tech continues to integrate itself into both our professional and everyday lives. We no longer stand in lines to avail banking services or to buy groceries. Instead, we use smartphones, powered by lines of code written by software developers.
And, in today’s digital world, more and more companies are embracing the power of software and tech as a competitive advantage. According to McKinsey, around 70% of the leading economic performers are utilizing proprietary software to distinguish themselves from their rivals: “More of the value in more products and services from more industries is coming from software.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that tech adoption is the key to maintaining a competitive edge. In an interview with CNN, he shared his view that companies must adopt and integrate technology into their businesses and proactively work to build in-house software and tools for their customers.
Given that every company is, in fact, a software company, it comes as no surprise that software developers find work in a variety of disparate sectors, from marketing to gaming. While companies are increasingly using the power of software to improve their service and product offerings and to streamline operations, there’s also an increasing demand for work in emerging technologies. This includes artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the internet of things (IoT), and blockchain technology, among others, fuelling demand.
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Impact of Tech Layoffs, Remote Work, and the Road Ahead
Recent layoffs in H2 2022 may have raised concerns, but a remarkable 68% of software engineers surveyed remain optimistic about job security in the next six months and the numbers support them. Unemployment in the tech sector was a mere 2.0% in May 2023 – lower than the US total unemployment rate of 3.7% – suggesting that many laid-off tech workers found new opportunities quickly.
The downsizing wave did not shake the demand for remote talent, either. In June 2022, a whopping 73% of software engineering positions were open to remote work, aligning with the rise of the Great Resignation era when companies sought to expand their talent pool by offering remote roles. As layoffs increased in the latter half of 2022, the percentage of remote positions fell slightly to 69%. Nevertheless, employees’ desire for flexible work options remained high, with workers prioritizing remote working options over compensation and other benefits.
Coding is everywhere. And so are coders. They are the reason you are reading this now and how you track that recent Prime Day sale purchase. But code isn’t static and skills in software engineering are ever expanding. Those skilled in emerging fields like natural language processing (NLP) command the highest salaries ($179,000), but blockchain and security engineers are closely behind ($170,000). As automation and tech continue to expand – from generative AI to additive manufacturing increases – the need for talent will only grow.
By recognizing the importance of recruiting software developers, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of the digital revolution. Embracing technology, investing in talent development, and nurturing a culture of innovation will be instrumental in driving success in the fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape of the tech industry.
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