If you have ever considered starting a career in software engineering, it is your time to dive in. The industry is going through significant growth across the world. As this growth continues to happen, the demand for software engineers is growing as well. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated a 24% increase in software engineers until 2026. The number greatly exceeds the 7% annual professions’ average growth rate nationally. What this means is that more software engineers are required in the industry more than the ones that are produced.
Looking at the United States helps us to understand the extent of the shortage of software developers globally. Most of the leading tech companies are based in the United States. It is also home to the highest-paid software developers worldwide. Out of ten tech companies in the US, nine face a challenge in hiring new talent. As at today, there is an estimated shortage of over 500,000 software engineers in the country. If this is the number in the United States, we can only imagine how much shortage the world is experiencing.
Tech companies are facing a difficult time getting great software engineers because of the increase in demand. The shortage does not only affect their processes but also causes them to spend too much on the available ones. As the demand increases, the salary of the existing developers becomes too high. We, therefore, ask ourselves why software engineers are in such high demand. I will give you some reasons why I believe software engineers are in high demand today.
1. The Whole World Runs on Software
The world is different today. Communication and even doing business today is an easy task, thanks to technological development. The whole world has become one because of the various technological advances. Almost everyone in the world today has access to the internet. We all know at least someone who owns a smart device. All these devices are powered by software. From business, personal lives, medicine, transportation, to education, computer software runs most of these things we use. Developers are charged with this responsibility of making them functional. Just how many are there to meet the need of everyone? Facilitating this calls for having more software engineers, thereby increasing demand.
2. Most Things Get Built Many Times
The tech industry is competitive, with many products coming up daily. There are different kinds of internet browsers today more than ever. We also have thousands of e-commerce platforms to choose from. Take a look at just how many messaging applications are available today. Don’t forget the diverse social media networks. It’s like someone comes up with something and many similar ones crop up almost immediately. It is not a strange thing because that is how competition works. Building all these things requires software engineers. In the process, the demand for these professionals rises in an equal measure.
3. Tools are improving, but projects are getting more complex
Software development in 2020 can’t be compared to 1990, for instance. The tools used in different tech projects are becoming more sophisticated, thus calling for improved tools. The programming languages keep getting better daily as the projects change. More is therefore expected from software engineers today as compared to the 1990s. Still, this does not mean that fewer engineers will be hired today. Clients still expect more, and this means even hiring more developers to ensure quality.
4. Code Has Limited Lifetime
When most of us see an app, for example, we think after it is built, that’s it. What we do not understand is that they have limited lifetimes. So, when someone creates an application that is not the end of it. At some point, the code will need to be changed. The lifetime of software code could be a few years, and then it will need rebuilding. At the same time, as technology changes, products will need to be upgraded. As these codes expire, a software engineer is hired to change the code or develop a new one. Now, just try to imagine how many codes are written out here every day. That is one of the causes of the increased demand for software engineers.
5. New Platforms Come Out
About a decade ago, hiring one web developer was enough. However, today one needs to employ different types of developers depending on your needs, including iOS, Android, and Web development. Additionally, you may also need to build WeChat apps and Messenger bots. To ensure you get the best product, you may need to hire different software engineers for each one. Again, considering just how many of these new platforms are emerging daily, the demand for software engineers continues to rise. With the current trends as a base of estimation, more platforms will keep developing; thus, more developers will be required. Are there enough software providers to meet this rising demand?
6. Technology Is Constantly Changing
When it comes to matters of technology, we can never count on it to stay the same. In the world we live in, almost every problem in our lives is solved using technology. Our societies are transforming swiftly, meaning technology will keep evolving to keep up. Technological solutions have been applied in most areas today in ways that we cannot imagine.
Technology changes as the data in the industry change too. Databases are growing fast, which prompts technological companies to come up with the solutions. Tech companies, therefore, have to respond to the changes in technology by building new products to suit various markets. As technology changes, software engineers are the individuals that facilitate all this. Based on the pace of technological change, the world will need more software engineers than we can imagine. Clearly, the demand for these professionals is high today and will continue to be high for a long time.
7. New Startups Being Creating Each Day
The world is changing in extraordinary. Unlike in the past where everyone looked forward to getting employed, many people today especially millennials are changing this narrative. Most people want freedom and the ability to do what they love. As a result, many have chosen the path towards entrepreneurship. This has seen more startups coming up daily. To gain a competitive advantage, most of these startups have decided to employ technology in their operations.
On the minimum, an average startup requires a website, database and a social media network. There are, however, more things required, even with accounting and other areas of management. Achieving this calls for hiring a software developer. As the number of startups continues to increase, the demand for software engineers will grow as well.
Is there a shortage of software engineers?
Yes. There is a shortage of software engineers. When we talk about a shortage in the number of software engineers across the globe, it is not just a matter of having a few people that have an education. It is also a matter of a deficit for talented software engineers. Some people may have a degree but totally lack passion and skill. Tech companies cannot employ such individuals, thereby reducing the number significantly.
Having a university degree is not enough to be the best software developer. You need to learn more to update your knowledge and keep up with the technological changes.
In the process of looking for software engineers, many companies are having difficulties getting quality developers. While one software engineer may be highly skilled in one area, he or she may be lacking in another crucial area too. This causes a real shortage making many companies have difficulties.
It has been established that the shortage comes from many issues and not just fewer graduates. The engineers that are still new in the industry lack the necessary experience most employers look for. At the same time, the quality of a developer also comes from the technical skills they possess. The ones lacking these skills may be proficient in one area and not the other. This makes them unfit for the market. The shortage is also due to them lacking in soft skills, not having a formal education. High demand for pay by software engineers is another factor that creates a sense of shortage.
If you have ever thought of getting into the computer engineering field, this is the time to take that step. Many companies need software engineers now more than ever, but there are not enough of them in the field. The above are some of the reasons that I believe are causing a shortage of software engineers. As the world continues to grow, many changes continue to take place. With these changes comes the need to improve technology.
According to many studies, the demand for software engineers is rising and it will continue to do so over the years. If you decide to take this career path, you must be able to put in the work and become the best. Other than the universities not being able to train enough software engineers, some fail to get a job because they lack some critical skills. In my opinion, the future is software engineering.