Software developers will design, develop and test computer programs, this could be for businesses, industries, public services, utilities, defense or research. They will talk through the requirements with the client and work with the development team and graphic designers to develop the software. Other responsibilities will include writing or amended computer code, testing software and fixing problems, keeping accurate records of the development procedures, carrying out tests and trails prior to release, maintaining and supporting the system once it is up and running.
You could get into this role through a university course, college course, an apprenticeship or a graduate training scheme
You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in a relevant subject such as:
- computer science
- information technology
- software development
- financial technology
- software engineering for business
You will usually need
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English and maths and 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degreee or higher national diploma
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English and maths and 2 or 3 A levels or equivalent for a degree
Once you have your degree you may be able to apply for a place on a graduate training scheme. These may be open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification.
A college course would give you the skills and experience needed which may lead to a higher qualification or a higher apprenticeship, relevant courses include:
- A level in computing
- computing extended diploma level 3
- computer science A level
- digital production, design and development - T level
You will usually need
- 4 or 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 4 or equivalent including English, maths and computing for a level 3 or A Level course
The following colleges may offer a relevant course
Or your local sixth form may offer a relevant A level
You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship if you've developed some programming skills and can show a strong interest in the subject.
You could look for a software developer higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship in software engineering
You will usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels or equivalent for a higher of degree apprenticeship
The TECH Partnership has details of digital apprenticeships at all levels.
You could build up your skills by accessing free online learning resources for programming languages, project management and software development methods.
Career Path and Progression
With experience, you could become a senior developer, with team or project management, planning or research responsibilities. You could move into related areas like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.
You could also set up your own business or work as a consultant.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Business analyst
- IT project manager
- E-learning developer
- Technical architect
- Web developer
- Good organisational skills
- Analytical and commercial experience
- A very strong interest in computer software and design
- Good communication and team working skills
- Complex problem solving skills
- Persistence and determination
- Attention to detail
£20,000 to £70,000