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How much do software developers make a year?

Do i need a degree in software development, how many years of college i would need in order to reach this goal. #job #career

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Michelle’s Answer

I'm answering this having seen my brother's education trajectory. He had an 4- year undergraduate degree in Business and Economics and pivoted to Software Engineering after taking a 2 year bootcamp. I want to say that companies (at least in the Bay Area) are looking for talent and special skills rather than schooling, but I believe it is important to have a minimum undergraduate degree so you are educationally well-rounded.
- The interview process for software engineers are rigorous tests to gauge your expertise and problem solving skills.
- Salary will depend heavily on the type of software development you do and how broad your skills are. Starting was $110k in the Bay Area at his company with opportunity to quickly grow.

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Ricki’s Answer


This is a great question that I hope I can shed some light on. I got a dual degree in Computer Science and Linguistics, and think that anyone pursuing this field should definitely get a degree. While self-taught programmers still exist, I do not believe they have enough skills and knowledge to get a good / high-paying job. A degree doesn't simply teach you how to code, it teaches you how to develop software which is much more important to the job. While coding in of itself is not that hard to learn, someone without 'big picture' knowledge of software development lacks the ability to code WELL. By this I mean code efficiency, best practices, strategic planning for specific issues, and all the ins-and-outs of the skills needed to do their job well (git, collaborative work teams, services, etc.). While these skills could potentially be learned on the job, most companies are not willing to take that risk or time investment to train. A degree shows employers that you are competent and able to learn specifics quickly. The specific programming languages I have experience in are honestly the least important part of my job. I know how to develop software, I know how to code well, I know logic, and because of this it is incredibly easy for me to quickly pick up on any programming language needed.

There are 'coding boot camps' which are high intensity / relatively short programs to teach computer science, but there are a. incredibly expensive with next to none financial aid opportunities and b. still don't give you the best 'big picture' skills, as they are very specific.

As for salary, that varies depending on location, company, and skill set. You can expect anywhere from a $55k to $80k salary after graduation, with huge opportunities for growth. Once you have 3 years of experience, that initial salary greatly increases. There are websites you can input specific skills, locations, and qualifications into to figure out generally what you should be paid (I like PayScale a lot).

Hope this helps!


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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Sylvester,

Software Developer salaries vary by a lot of factors, including where you live and the level of skill that you have. Information about the salaries where you live can be found online. Your challenge is going to be answering this question - what do you want to do as a software developer. How do you want to apply the skill of software development knowledge?

I think that college is a benefit to certain types of jobs. Software Development would be one of them. The reason that I think this is college degree programs do a great job of exposing you to a variety of ways to do a job. So with software development, you will be exposed to a larger amount of programming languages, giving you the opportunity to determine which ones are ideal for you. This is not something that normally happens if you are self taught in computer programming.


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Ancil’s Answer

Great question , More and more companies now a days stopped demanding reputed college certificates and started looking for specific skills instead . Few company CEO's already mentioned the skills are more important than the certificates.

Having said that a college degree is a proper and formal way of educating yourself with the Core topics as well as other subjects in a systematic way . And also in a college you also learn multiple other skills which you may require in your future life .

So its Yes & No - If you are highly skilled & those are in high demand then getting a job wont be that difficult. But atleast in the current situations I always suggest a college degree (3 years) which will be a proper foundation of your career & will help you get first job .

Regarding the salaries - It varies from companies & skills , you will get an approximate idea here - https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/software-developer-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm