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How to Become a Software Developer Online

Nov 23, 2019

This article provides a brief overview of what a software developer does, the expected pay and future career prospects. Several steps can be completed online to become a software developer.

Brief Overview of a Software Developer Career

A software developer designs and develops applications and systems that are used to run computers or other electronic devices. It's fairly easy to become a software developer online. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field is expected to grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028; for more, see the table below.

Required Skills Analytical skills, communication skills, attention to detail, creativity, interpersonal and problem-solving skills
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 21%
Median Salary (2018)* 105,590 per year

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Software Developer Online

The entire process of becoming a software developer can be completed online from start to finish, since there are various schools that provide an online degree and it is also easy to certifications and apply for jobs online. Here are some simple steps to become a software developer online.

Step1: Get a Bachelor's Degree Online in Computer Science

Usually, software developers have a bachelor's degree in computer science. There are many schools that offer a completely online program. Generally, 120 credits are required to complete a degree in computer science online. The common courses include programming languages such as C, C++, Python and Java, software security, web development and mobile architecture.

Step 2: Get Additional Certifications

Due to the vast array of options for a career as a software developer, additional certifications in a specialized field increases job opportunities. There are various organizations that offer specialized certifications that can be completed online. Often, these certifications come from the software company itself. For instance, Microsoft offers the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), Amazon has an AWS Certified Developer title and Oracle offers Associate, Professional (OCP), Master (OCM), and Expert (OCE) certifications.

Step 3: Open a GitHub Account

GitHub is an online platform for software developers to create, share and discuss coding. This is essential for software developers to expand their knowledge and skills, especially when they are new to the field. A GitHub account also helps developers to take up small gigs with businesses, and this could add to some work experience before applying for jobs. With over 40 million software developers and 2.1 million businesses using GitHub, this is a great step to refine your skills.

Step 4: Consider a Master's Degree

While you could start your career with a bachelor's degree, there are also many options to complete a master's degree in computer science online. If you are now clear in which field you want to start your career, you can also enter a specialized master's degree program (such as computer and internet security). A master's degree could increase your chances of getting a job and could give you a competitive advantage over other applicants.

Step 5: Start Applying for Jobs

Once you have a bachelor's degree in software engineering and also a specialized certificate, you can start applying for jobs in the desired field. There are various job boards online that could help you in applying for a job. Paid internships are a great option for software developers to get into the market since it gives them the initial experience needed and the potential for a future job opportunity. Applying for jobs at startups is also a great idea to begin your career as a software developer since it will help you gain a lot of experience in the field.

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