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Alternative Careers for Software Engineers

There are a number alternative career choices for individuals who work as software engineers. We will look at what each of these careers entails and what kind of degree is required for these jobs.

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Alternative Careers for Software Engineers

Individuals who have the skills required to be a software engineer are likely also qualified for a number of other careers related to computer science. Below, we will discuss five alternative careers for software engineers and explore what each of these careers entails as well as what type of educational background is necessary.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Computer Hardware Engineer $115,080 5%
Computer and Information Systems Manager $135,800 12%
Postsecondary Computer Science Teacher $77,570 8%
Web Developer $66,130 13%
Information Security Analyst $92,600 28%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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  • Computer Engineering Technologies, General
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Systems
  • Software Engineering

Information about Alternative Careers for Software Engineers

Computer Hardware Engineer

As a computer hardware engineer, your job will entail creating and testing new pieces of computer hardware, like routers, circuit boards, and hard drives. You may focus on designing hardware for a specific field, like the automotive industry or the medical field. Computer hardware engineers also typically have to make sure that the equipment they design is compatible with computer software, making this a good alternative career for software engineers as they would already be very knowledgeable about how software works. To become a computer hardware engineer, you will typically need a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science or computer engineering.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

If you are interested in shifting to a managerial role, you may want to consider a job as a computer and information systems manager, which would involve making sure that an organization is properly equipped with all the necessary computing and technology equipment. These professionals are in charge of making sure that computers are up to date, managing technology budgets, coordinating the work of other information technology and computing professionals, and ensuring that an organization's computing system is secure. To be qualified for a job like this, an individual typically needs to have experience working in a computing field, making this a good option for software engineers. These professionals typically also have a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science.

Postsecondary Computer Science Teacher

As a postsecondary computer science teacher, you will be responsible for conducting classes that focus on various concepts and skills in the computer science field, like software development and information science. You will assign students homework, lecture during class, and prepare examinations for students in order to evaluate their progress. Software engineers may be a good fit for this job if they have the proper qualifications, as they would have real work experience to pass on to students. This career will typically require you to have a master's degree in computer science or a closely related field.

Web Developer

Web developers are in charge of creating websites for clients and businesses, which could involve either the back-end development, front-end development, or both. Back-end development entails building the framework and technical construction of the site, while the front-end development involves the overall look and visual design of the website. Software engineers likely already have some of the skills necessary to be successful as a web developer, as many websites run various types of software and some aspects of software development and web development are similar. To become a web developer, you generally will need at least an associate's degree in a field like web design.

Information Security Analyst

Individuals who are interested in security may want to pursue a career as an information security analyst, which involves making sure that an organization's information and computing systems are secure and protected from various cyberattacks. This job typically involves guarding against cyberattacks by installing various types of software, like firewalls, as well as watching over the organization's network to identify various threats. This role requires individuals to have a bachelor's degree in a field related to computer science, so software engineers would be qualified for this position.

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