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Best Careers 2011: Computer Software Engineer

computer programmer


Computer software engineer is one of the fastest growing careers, with the U.S. Labor Department projecting that employment of such professionals will soar by nearly 300,000 jobs between 2008 and 2018. The most rapid growth in the industry is occurring among engineers focusing on specific applications, and business spending is rising in such areas as mobile technologies and cybersecurity.

The job has tremendous potential for upward mobility, while wages are determined according to the individual's education, experience, and technical proficiency. Last year, the median annual salary ranged from $87,480 to $93,470. The career involves a moderate stress level marked by many hours of work and tight project deadlines but mitigated by the increasingly popular option to telecommute.

In addition to technical skills, software programmers should ideally be adept at communicating between members of corporate technical and business teams, while a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is a must for most jobs. Strong management and interpersonal skills also are required for many software engineering positions.

From U.S. News & World Report
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