Software Developers

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Supported: 74
  • Creative: 74
  • Analytical: 71
  • Purpose: 40
  • Social: 25

What Software Developers Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Work Environment

Many software developers work for firms that deal in computer systems design and related services or for software publishers.

How to Become a Software Developer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Software developers, applications and systems software

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

    Curious about our data? Learn more about our methodology.

    Job Outlook

    Employment of software developers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software.

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    Job Trends for Software Developers

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    This occupation supported 1,018,000 jobs in 2012 and 1,114,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 9.4%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 21.9% in 2022 to 1,240,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,062,500, compared with an observed value of 1,114,000, 4.8% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 18.3% in 2024 to 1,300,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 1,285,200 jobs for 2024, 1.2% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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