If you play computer games, watch videos and use other devices that rely upon digital audio and imaging software, a career in software and media applications may be a good fit for you. Read on to learn more about employment and education options for software developers.
Software applications are computer programs created by software engineers to run on personal computers, a corporation's network system, the Internet and other types of computerized machines. Media applications are a type of software that can be used to create, edit and play games, videos and animations. Due to their technological foundations, careers and educational programs in software and media applications tend to overlap.
Software engineers design and create software of all kinds, including media applications. In a related field, software publishers produce and distribute the data storage, graphics, Internet browsing and word processing applications used by a variety of industries. Requirements for either of these fields usually include a bachelor's degree in software engineering or computer science, although some companies might be satisfied if you earn an associate degree from a 2-year college.
As a software and media applications specialist, you might find a job as a multimedia designer or Web production specialist. With further training and work experience, you might advance to a position as a digital producer, program director or computer operations manager. The ability to work with abstract ideas can be key to working in the field. Good problem-solving skills, creativity and an aptitude for teamwork are also beneficial.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of software developers, including applications developers, is expected to increase by a faster-than-average rate of 22% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. Software developers who specialized in applications earned a median annual salary of $92,660 in May 2013 (www.bls.gov).
An associate degree in software engineering, multimedia technology or integrated media may help you qualify for an entry-level position in the industry. In addition to campus-based studies, some 2-year program in multimedia applications are available online.
A bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study is usually required to obtain a job as a software engineer. In a computer science or software engineering program, you may study programming languages, logic, advanced math and application design. For more advanced positions, a master's degree in software engineering may be required; a doctorate in software engineering will most likely be needed to teach at the college level. Some continuing education departments also offer specialized certificate programs that could help you advance in the software and media applications field.