Formal Education: Earning a Computer Science degree, coupled with internships, offers a robust foundation and practical experience.
Independent Learning: Utilizing online courses and personal projects can be a powerful way to gain crucial skills independently.
Coding Bootcamps: These provide a dynamic, concentrated setting for rapidly acquiring key competencies.
Skill Mastery: It's vital to master programming languages like Python or Java and tools such as Git, along with gaining a good understanding of frameworks like ReactJS.
Networking: Platforms like LinkedIn are priceless for professional networking. Contributing to open-source projects and attending tech meetups can also boost your skills and expand your network.
Certifications and Specialization: Attaining relevant certifications or honing in on a specialized field like machine learning can provide you with a competitive advantage.
Employment Factors: Many employers value at least two years of work experience and the ability to excel in coding challenge interviews.
Lifelong Learning: Given the dynamic nature of the tech field, continuous learning is vital for a lasting career.
Path Diversity: It's important to remember that each path has its own strengths, and many developers I've interviewed have proven highly competent, regardless of how they've gained their skills.
In order to become a Software engineer, you will need at least a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science in the United States of America.
There are plenty of Universities and Colleges and offer that first grade. Your school will then offer the proper programs, courses and so on.
You will also need experience. Most schools offer projects and internships in partnership with some companies. You can also get internships on your own by checking out some specialized online databases or directly on companies' website; most of them have career/internship somewhere in there. This can be more laborious than using your school's database/help but can be more rewarding if the school does not offer the type of internship you are looking for.
Software engineering is about problem solving and language. The latter requires, like most skills, constant practice. So practice on your own, at school during projects or during internships and camps is the best way to get experience and learn from the difficulties and failures.
I hope that helps
Below are my suggestions :
1. Explore the college reviews on computer science or software engineering and the ranking. Also, find out the entry criteria
2. Work hard in high school to ensure your academic can meet the entry criteria
3. Identify some simple programming languages eg scratch, python, etc
4. Find out the language structure and syntax. There are plenty of resources online
5. Start own programming. Can do some simple projects, eg control a toy car or toy robot, etc.
6. Learn another one after you familiar with one programming language
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
I'd suggest starting with going through some free online classes to try out the basics of writing code. See if it's something you enjoy doing & find fun. If you do, keep going! Do you have an idea for an app you wish existed? Take the skills you learn from these introductory courses and start applying them to building something real. You'll keep hitting upon things you don't know yet-- that's fine! ChatGPT is now an amazing resource to help direct you in the right direction when you get stuck. Then ask deeper questions until you understand why the code ChatGPT suggests works.
Ultimately, whether you want to get a formal education is a choice for you to make. It's one of the paths toward a career as a Software Engineer, but there are plenty of SWEs that don't have degrees as well. What matters the most is developing your skills of deeply understanding the problem you're trying to solve & then using that understanding to build software to solve the problem.
Ben recommends the following next steps:
While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a career in Software Engineering. Physics and chemistry will be the core science courses. For math, statistics and calculus will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail and observation skills; etc. Computer programming, program design, computer system analysis and coding are some of the core courses for software development.
Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration amongst team members, partner departments and clients occur on a daily basis. A college course in public speaking, communications and English will help with one's communication and writing skills since analysis reports are generated and findings are presented to colleagues and other professionals who deal with Software Engineering. Another recommendation is to seek the advice from your high school guidance counselor and teachers. They can help guide your educational pathway for Software Engineering.
Here are the best careers in Software Engineering, descriptions, duties and salaries according to this link from www.indeed.com:
- Video Game Designer
- SQA Engineer
- Cyber Security Engineer
- Applications Engineer
- Software Project Manager
- Software Test Engineer
- Full Stack Engineer
- Software Development Engineer
- Mobile Engineer
- Cloud Engineer
According to U.S. News & World Report, here are the top colleges and universities to consider for Software Engineering:
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
- University of California (Berkeley)
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- University of Texas (Austin)
- University of Washington
- University of California (Irvine)
- Purdue University (West Lafayette)
When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:
- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral
Scholarship applications can start to be submitted during your Junior year and will continue throughout your Senior year in high school. It is best to ask your Academic Advisor/School Counselor on the timeline process as well. Scholarship applications will have specific deadlines and requirements to meet in order to be submitted for review and consideration.
You may want to start to compile your resume/portfolio since a majority of scholarship applications will require academic grade point average (GPA), academic accomplishments, school activities (clubs, sports, etc.), community involvement (volunteer, church, etc.), academic and personal recommendations, etc. There may be essay requirements on why you are a qualified candidate to receive the scholarship, what your future goals are academically and professionally and other questions centering around who you are, your beliefs, etc.
Here are a couple of links for College Scholarships:
Also, it will be best to check with the colleges and universities that you will be applying to. You can check with the School/Department of your desired major, the Campus Career Center and the Register's Office for additional information for college scholarships and grants and specific requirements for qualifications.
Hope this helps and best wishes for your education and career in Software Engineering!