Software Developers: Career Path

The recent COVID-19 pandemic as well as particular geopolitical events have significantly impacted the global economy resulting in the worldwide economic recession, inflation, and rising levels of unemployment. Nevertheless, there is a sentiment that certain career paths are more versatile and resistant to the fluctuations in the economy. Considering the modern tendency toward digitalization and virtualization, software developers are one of the specialists that can be certain in their future careers and the availability of jobs. This is a challenging but very well-paid profession that requires the knowledge of state-of-the-art software programs, proficient coding skills and enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving. This paper will make an argument for why this particular career path would provide flexibility in today’s changing economy.

Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic recession have made it increasingly harder for people to receive higher education, especially in the U.S. where the average price of education is considerably higher than anywhere else. Breaux and Moritz argue that “due to travel embargos, limited access to educational loans, and delays in student visa processing, U.S. colleges and universities are observing significant declines in graduate-level enrollments in computer and information science” (39). Therefore, if one were at disposal of sufficient funds and an American visa or citizenship, they would not only have weaker competition for entrance into a university but have less competition for employment for several years after graduation.

Furthermore, while the number of entry-level software developer jobs increases every year, a large number of proficient software developers vacancies remain vacant due to the current labour shortage of specialists. Breaux and Moritz state that “vacancies requiring more experience and qualifications, such as IT positions that require at least two years of experience, are reported to be 40% more difficult to fill than entry-level positions” (40). Hence, if one were to secure an entry-level software developer vacancy with minimal competition after graduating, in two years that person will have sufficient background to enter a work field that has even less competition.

Finally, the majority of modern companies rely on some forms of software to conduct their businesses and this trend is not expected to end in the nearest future. Moreover, the overall trends of globalization and digitalization ensure that organizations that choose not to deal with computer technologies and software might be out of business if they do not adapt to the modern realities. Bennett and McGuinness mention that when it comes to software developers, “hard-to-fill vacancies reduced productivity levels by 65%, while unfilled vacancies reduced productivity levels by 75%” (qtd. in Breaux and Moritz 40). Therefore, even if the unemployment levels stabilize and the influx of software engineering graduates rises again, the number of software developer vacancies each year will only increase.

In conclusion, the current economic instability and rising levels of unemployment have impacted a lot of industries, nevertheless, the software developer profession has remained in unprecedented demand. The decline in the number of applicants for software engineering university programs and, subsequently, software developer graduates allow for an easier admission process and weaker competition for entry-level jobs. Simultaneously, the industry-wide demand for experienced software developers will help to secure high-level vacancies by the time this profession experiences another boom in new applicants. All in all, a software developer is one of the career choices that would ensure the employment of a competent person regardless of the current economic and political situation for years to come.

Works Cited

Breaux, Travis, and Jennifer Moritz. “The 2021 software developer shortage is coming”. Communications of the ACM, vol. 64, no. 7, 2021, pp. 39-41.

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ChalkyPapers. "Software Developers: Career Path." March 22, 2023.