According to a Statista survey, the smartphone market in America is thriving, with over 290 million users recorded in 2021. Mobile devices are essential, as people use their phones to tell the time, play games, order food, and check the weather. All these activities happen via mobile applications, which are products of the mobile development industry. This means that there is an increased demand for professionals with mobile development skills.
The mobile development industry has several career paths, including mobile app developers, software engineers, Android developers, and quality assurance analysts. The career opportunities are endless. If you want to find out how to get a job in mobile development, the highest-paying mobile development jobs, and the mobile development skills you’ll need for those careers, keep reading.
What Is Mobile Development?
Mobile development involves designing and creating applications and systems that function on mobile devices. These mobile devices are not limited to phones, since you can develop apps for smartwatches, tablets, ereaders, and gaming consoles. Mobile devices typically rely on Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating systems to run the applications and programs.
Mobile Development Job Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 22 percent job growth rate between 2020 and 2030 for mobile development professionals, higher than the average eight percent growth rate across all professions. BLS places mobile developers in the same category as software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
BLS also projects approximately 189,200 job openings annually, proving the demand for mobile development professionals is at an all-time high. The average annual salary for this job group was $110,140 in May 2020.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Mobile Developer?
The standard education requirement for mobile developers is a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related major. However, mobile development careers accommodate associate degree holders, self-taught candidates, or coding bootcamp graduates. Education is essential, but software development companies prioritize technical skills and experience, which you can get outside of formal education.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Mobile Development?
Absolutely, a coding bootcamp can help you get a job in mobile application development. Coding bootcamps cover the fundamentals of mobile development. You will acquire knowledge in programming languages, project management, data analysis, operating systems, and so much more.
Furthermore, coding bootcamps are designed with job placement as the end goal. Bootcamps offer career services, internship opportunities, and partner with leading tech companies to provide job opportunities to graduates. Additionally, mobile development coding bootcamps are career-focused, short-term, and more affordable compared to four-year degrees.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Mobile Development?
You can get a job in mobile development immediately after graduation or throughout the course of your studies due to the demand for mobile platform developers. However, this isn’t guaranteed, and it can take three to four years to launch a lucrative mobile development career due to heavy competition.
Online courses, vocational schools, and coding bootcamps offer shorter courses that take a few weeks to a year to complete. Enrolling in a community college will take two years and a bachelor’s degree takes four years. Plus, if you choose to continue further, a master’s degree will take two years, and a doctorate program will take three to four years to complete.
Common Mobile Development Education Paths
Mobile developers’ most common education paths include coding bootcamps, community colleges, and four-year bachelor’s degrees. Students select learning paths that appeal to their needs, and each of these paths has its pros and cons.
Mobile Development Bootcamps
Mobile development bootcamps have been around for years, but they have skyrocketed in popularity due to their unique teaching approach. Bootcamps are very different from traditional formal degrees, and they offer programs geared towards gaining hands-on experience and specialized training in mobile development.
Students pursue immersive courses and work on real-world projects to gain professional experience. Moreover, mobile development bootcamps are affordable and bootcamp instructors work with students to ensure job placements upon graduation.
Community colleges are two-year schools that offer students certificate and associate degree programs. These programs are more affordable than four-year college courses and most of the courses at community colleges are designed with the professional sector in mind.
You will learn mobile development fundamentals and gain enough experience to apply for entry-level and mid-level mobile development jobs. However, you can also pursue transfer programs, which allow you to transfer your college credits to four-year universities and work toward a bachelor’s degree.
Mobile Development Degrees
Many students enroll in a four-year institution to pursue mobile development degrees. A bachelor’s degree is the preferred education level for most employers because it covers all major aspects of mobile development and teaches general software development skills. Bachelor’s degree holders can apply for mid-level or senior-level roles after graduation, offering them an ample median salary.
Key Mobile Development Skills to List on Your Resume
Hiring managers look for specific skills during the hiring process. Your resume must include essential mobile development skills like programming, mobile development processes, cross-platform development skills, product management, cyber security, and computer proficiency.
Mobile Development Processes
Mobile development processes involve the stages of app development from start to completion. They include conception, research, UI and UX design, development and testing, and deployment and launch. These are all crucial steps in app development, and including this skill in your resume sums up your expertise in mobile app development.
Mobile device owners appreciate the convenience of accessing their apps on different devices without losing data. This is where cross-platform development skills come into play. You are bound to win the hiring manager over if you demonstrate the ability to create applications across different operating systems and platforms. Highlight your knowledge in re-using and altering codes, simple testing, maintenance, and support.
Where to Find Mobile Development Jobs
The high career growth rate and thousands of annual job openings make mobile development jobs accessible. You can find these jobs on online job boards, mobile development forums, company websites, social media pages, or at career fairs. Most of these platforms offer clear steps to help you through the application process. Here are the top three job search platforms for mobile developers.
Online Job Boards
Job boards are the most popular platforms for job seekers across all industries. You can access a wide range of job posts from various companies in different locations. Most online job boards will provide company data like median salaries, employee reviews, benefits, and locations. This information helps narrow down your dream employer. Popular job boards include Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor.
Mobile Development Forums
Mobile development forums are online communities for mobile developers and other professionals in the software development industry. Members interact and share ideas about mobile development fundamentals, alongside development resources. These forums also serve as networking platforms where employers find skilled employees as members post open job listings.
Popular mobile development forums include Stack Overflow, Github, Apple Developer Forums, and DEV.to. You can also find dedicated mobile development groups on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.
If you don’t want the hassle of checking a job board or attending fairs, you can go directly to the source. Company websites usually have a career section where all job openings are listed. Check the job requirements and follow the application process outlined on the same page.
How to Prepare for Your Mobile Development Interview
The mobile development interview process is similar to any technical interview. You will sit through a phone interview, practical interview, and an on-site interview, assuming the job is on-site. Each interview stage analyzes your technical skills, experience, soft skills, and ability to blend with your prospective team members. To prepare, research the employer, practice mock interviews, and sharpen your coding skills.
Mobile Development Interview Questions
- Name five programming languages associated with mobile development.
- Which operating system are you proficient in? Can you work on Android and iOS?
- Why do you want to join our company?
- How will you contribute to the company while working on your career goals?
- Which mobile applications do you enjoy using, and why?
The Five Highest-Paying Mobile Development Jobs
|Mobile Development Jobs||Average Annual Salary||Projected Growth|
|Mobile App Developer||$110,140||22%|
|Quality Assurance Analyst||$110,140||22%|
|User Experience (UX) Designer||$77,200||13%|
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Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
- Salary: $141,290
Product managers in mobile development are responsible for the success of the final products. Product managers oversee the production process, ensuring the development team meets customer needs. Afterward, they also take charge of the advertising and marketing aspects of the mobile products and facilitate a successful launch.
Mobile App Developer
- Salary: $110,140
Mobile app developers design, develop, and update mobile applications on Android and iOS devices. Mobile app developers work with UX designers, testers, and engineers to ensure that applications offer great customer experiences and meet industry standards.
Quality Assurance Analyst
- Salary: $110,140
Mobile quality assurance is the process of ensuring that products and applications are ready for deployment. These professionals check for bugs, run performance tests, identify production mistakes, evaluate industry standards, notice potential risks for the customer, and more. Quality assurance analysts repeat this process until the final product is approved.
- Salary: $89,190
Computer programmers are responsible for developing, testing, and modifying codes and scripts that allow mobile applications to run. Programmers understand the designs of mobile app developers and program the designs to understand code instructions.
User Experience (UX) Designer
- Salary: $77,200
UX designers focus on providing an excellent user experience for app users. UX designers make the final product usable, accessible, and enjoyable to use. UX designers work on visual design, content, branding, user research, customer support, and information architecture.
Mobile Development Career Path
Before becoming a mobile development expert, you must follow the career progression that involves entry-level, mid-level, and advanced positions. This progression ensures you gain real-world experience by working on hands-on projects.
Entry-Level Mobile Development Jobs
- Junior App Developer. Entry-level developers offer support to senior developers, research codebases, fix bugs, and write basic codes.
- Software Tester. Entry-level software testers carry out manual and automated app testing and record the results for presentation.
- Java Developer. Entry-level Java developers are responsible for assisting the development team in building mobile applications. Junior Java developers focus on writing codes, performing code reviews, and troubleshooting.
Mid-Level Mobile Development Jobs
- iOS Developer. Mid-level iOS developers are responsible for application design and developing applications that run on Apple’s iOS operating system. iOS developers design app layouts, write codes, fix bugs, and implement upgrades.
- Software Engineer. Software engineers, also known as mobile engineers, develop applications and implement the ideas of mobile developers.
- UX Designer. UX designers contribute their design skills to ensure that mobile apps satisfy customer experiences. Mid-level UX designers are in charge of the visual design, graphics, and content of a mobile app.
Senior-Level Mobile Development Jobs
- Product Manager. Product managers oversee the mobile development process to ensure that final products are successful. Product managers analyze user documentation, product support, quality assurance, and performance.
- Senior Android Developer. This senior role involves designing, developing, and modifying mobile applications for Google’s Android operating system.
- Backend Developer. Senior-level backend developers focus on the application server, connecting visible content to the content management system (CMS). They ensure that the CMS relays content according to plan.
Mobile Development Certifications
Certifications solidify your status as a mobile development professional and add value to your resume. Employers prioritize applicants with mobile development certifications because they show that you are invested in your profession and you’ve expanded your knowledge in the field. You can use your certifications to apply for senior-level jobs and negotiate for higher salaries.
Android Certified Application Developer (ATC)
This certification focuses on Android programming and improving your market value for mobile development careers. After the Android Application Development course, you will sit an AND-XO1 exam, which tests your expertise in the topics covered. The exam is $150 and features a series of detailed instructions, available on the certification website.
IBM Certified Mobile Application Developer
This certification is for developers with experience using the Mobile Foundation V8.0 to develop mobile apps. It is an intermediate certification that equips you with the skills to develop client-side applications, server-side integration, and security components. You must pass a 90-minute test consisting of nine sections to gain this IBM certification.
SAP Certified Development Associate
The SAP certification exam gauges your mobile development knowledge in the area of Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) development. It is an associate-level certification, and it features eight questions that cover the fundamentals of SAP ABAP. It’s essential to note that you can diversify into consultancy with this certification.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Mobile Development
As with every other career path, you need a strategy to launch a career in mobile app development. Below are helpful tips you can use to pursue a career in mobile development, like gaining education and experience.
Education is Essential
Before you start submitting job applications, you must understand the mobile development fundamentals. Although employers prioritize skills and experience, theoretical knowledge plays a significant role in mobile development. You can pursue any of the education paths mentioned above to take Android development courses, iOS development courses, advanced development courses, and training programs.
Mobile app development firms appreciate experience because it demonstrates your ability to exercise autonomy and deliver quality work. Take time to gain real-world experience by building a project portfolio, applying for internships, learning programming languages and working with iOS or Android development tools. Your experience level determines the jobs you can apply for, narrowing down your salary level.
As mentioned above, professional certifications offer the freedom to pursue higher roles, earn great salaries, and gain industry knowledge. They are short-term and flexible, which means you can pursue your certifications as you continue working. Furthermore, being certified in specific areas of mobile development makes you an expert in several mobile development topics.
Should You Get a Job in Mobile Development in 2022?
Yes, you should get a job in mobile development in 2022 if you’re interested in an innovative, high-paying, and fast-growing tech career. You can pursue a career in different development sectors, like game development, application design, coding, engineering, or QA. As the industry continues growing, the amount of app developer positions increases, which creates job security for mobile app professionals.
Lastly, mobile app development companies exist in most, if not all, cities, and there are ample opportunities for remote work. Whether you work in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, or New York, a career in mobile app development guarantees a lucrative salary.
Mobile Developer FAQ
Yes, you can become a mobile developer without a degree. Although an undergraduate computer science degree is the minimum education requirement for most jobs, you can still get a job with an associate degree, vocational training, or coding bootcamp education. Employers appreciate applicants who demonstrate skill and hands-on experience.
No, it isn’t particularly hard to get into mobile development, as jobs range from entry-level roles to senior development roles. Moreover, the required education level is not limited to university education. As long as you have the skills and knowledge to join an app development team, you can get into mobile development.
Mobile developers should understand software development, the mobile development process, graphic design, programming languages, cyber security, user experience, project and product management, and quality assurance.
Yes, mobile app development offers a wide range of lucrative career paths and allows you to explore your creativity. In addition, the high demand for mobile development professionals accelerates the job search process.
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