If you are reading this, then the question on your mind is how to get a job, more importantly, which jobs are out there. It is an intriguing question that runs through the minds of many prospective employees in the ever-expanding limbo, that is, life after school. You might be a student looking to catch a glimpse of the future or an unemployed person looking for a way to get back in the game. Regardless of who you are, to truly find the answer to your question, you must understand what is going on around you and look at the trends in the market.
The trends in the markets all point to one sector – technology. You have seen it all around you, companies digitalizing their services such as the selling of goods (Amazon) to selling financial services (Stripe). These are multibillion-dollar corporations that are completely different. However, irrespective of these differences there is a similarity which is the technological side, which is often built by software developers with different expertise and this is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the job market with a huge potential for creating thousands of jobs for young people.
According to CNBC Africa, over the course of 2018, the number of jobs that opened for Software Developers was 84,000 and in 2019 it is expected to be even more. This trend is not just noticeable in Africa but across the world. It makes sense, right? We are living in a digital world, where everything can be done on our laptops, tablets, and phones using mobile apps and web-apps. These applications are written by software developers, hence the high demand. Don’t believe this? Check the numbers!
Employment Projections data for software developers, 2016-2026.
|Occupational Title||Software Developer|
|Projected Employment 2026||1,558,700|
|Percentage Increase, 2016 – 2026||24|
|Numeric Increase 2016 – 2026||302,500|
|Occupational Title||Software Developer (Applications)|
|Projected Employment 2026||1,086,600|
|Percentage Change, 2016 – 2026||31|
|Numeric Change 2016 – 2026||255,400|
|Occupational Title||Software Developer (Systems Software)|
|Projected Employment 2026||472,100|
|Percentage Change, 2016 -2026||11|
|Numeric Change 2016 – 2026||47,100|
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, Employment Projections program.
These numbers are for just one country, so imagine the figures for a whole continent such as Africa especially, where technology is in its infancy stage, where the technology scene is witnessing a recent boom and catching the global interest from technological giants such as Google. The future is amazing and it’s very much in your hands! It is time to grasp it with both hands, don’t you think?
Who is a Software Developer?
Do you know that smartphone app you rely on? That computer game that kept you transfixed for hours as a kid? That program that helps you budget and track expenditures? Software developers created all of them. Software developers are the creative, brainstorming wizards that build your computer programs. Some software developers just focus on single apps or programs, whilst others delve into the more intrinsic networks or underlying systems that help trigger and power other programs. These two classes are known as software applications developers and system software developers respectively.
The software application developers tend to design mobile or web applications for their clients. Their work revolves around understanding the client’s needs and fulfilling it. This does not just involve the creation of the application, but also the maintenance and upkeep of it, monitoring its performance and modifying it when the client wants you to. On the other hand, system software developers are focused on operating system level and network distribution software. This role is geared toward designing solutions for organizations whether it’s in industrial, business or the military.
Even in these two categories, we can diversify into other different types of developers such as the front-end developer and the back-end developer. Let us take Facebook, for example, everything that you see on Facebook in terms of design, coloring, and layout are all done by Front-end developers. They specialize in the programming of the visual user interface to make an app look beautiful to the user. Whereas the back-end developers specialize in the implementation and functional core logic. So, taking the Facebook example again, when you login, that action of going from the Facebook homepage to your own personal homepage, requires a logic that is coded by back-end developers. They tend to deal with data storage, databases and logging systems, etc. The class of developers that can do both are known as full-stack developers.
Other developers include Web app developers and mobile app developers. As the name suggests, web app developers specialize in creating websites and they tend to be either front-end, back-end or full-stack developers. Mobile app developers are developers who write codes for applications that run on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. These are not the only types of developers, there are so many more, from game developers who specialize in writing games to data scientists that write programs to analyze data sets and perform statistical analysis using machine learning, data visualization, and predictive modeling. As you can see, there are no shortages of career pathways that you can take.
Submitted By: Stephan Ennin