The tech industry is growing rapidly, and there are plenty of jobs to go around. The software development job market will grow by 22 percent by 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with an average software developer starting salary of around $63,257, you’ll be earning thousands of dollars more than the national median wage of $56,310.
It’s easy to look at the opportunities in this field and get excited, but you may not know exactly where to start. Luckily, there are several organizations, like Tech Elevator, that help you decide if you have what it takes to succeed in this industry.
We’ve spoken with experts in Tech Elevator’s Pathway Program to get an inside look at how you can take advantage of this moment to build a brighter future.
How to Become a Software Developer: A Five-Step Guide
To become a software developer, you’ll need to do your research and find the best path that suits your career change journey. This won’t be an easy process, but it can be one of the most rewarding ones you’ll ever navigate. A coding bootcamp may help simplify your path to employment. And if you’re ready to work hard, you’ll have a chance to join a booming job market.
Step 1: Find Out If You Want To Code
It may seem obvious, but if you’re going to work as a software developer, you’re going to have to do a lot of coding. You don’t have to teach yourself how to build websites or desktop apps from top to bottom. But you should determine if you’ll enjoy coding as a career before you commit time, energy, and money to a program that you aren’t passionate about.
There are several places where you can get an introduction to coding, including Tech Elevator’s free Learn to Code resources. Once you’ve seen how real coders operate, have a sense of how the work is done, and maybe tried some coding on your own, it’s time to find out the best fit for your needs.
Another tool you can use is Tech Elevator’s free Personality Test. To help you understand where your interests and preferences best align, they’ve broken out three personality types that all match characteristics of a successful software developer.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Step 2: Do Your Research
It’s important to find a reputable program that’s proven successful in launching people into their desired career paths. The best learning options for new coders are colleges and coding bootcamps. Both have their strengths, but a coding bootcamp can be more appealing if you’re looking to start earning money from your craft more quickly.
Coding bootcamps have a faster turnaround time and stronger career services than most traditional learning options. You’ll spend less time learning and more time doing, get right to the subject you came to study, and leave with hard career options to pursue to build your future. The best coding bootcamp for you depends on which subject you’re looking to study.
Some coding bootcamps offer several programs in fields including web development and data science. Others like Tech Elevator concentrate all of their resources on a single strong program. Tech Elevator’s reviews place it as one of the top-ranked bootcamps here on Career Karma, and its graduates aren’t shy about explaining how Tech Elevator changed their lives.
After you find a few programs that you think might fit your needs, it’s time to start sending out applications.
Step 3: Choose a Program that Works for You
It’s just as important to find the right coding education for you academically as it is to find one that works for you financially. Most bootcamps have several financing options to ease your transition into a new career, including the income share agreement.
Income share agreements allow you to learn from an educational institute without making payments throughout the program. You only pay your complete tuition after you’ve landed a job making above a certain income threshold, which is $40,000 for Tech Elevator graduates.
In addition to the ISA, see if your preferred bootcamps offer additional financing options like scholarships, workforce grants, and student-friendly lending partners.
Tech Elevator’s logic-based and certified unbiased Aptitude Test shows the school’s unique commitment to making the tech industry more accessible. This is the first step in the school’s application process, where prospective students without any knowledge of coding test their abilities to think like coders.
Once students have demonstrated the critical thinking capacity necessary to succeed in full-stack development, they can realize their potential through Tech Elevator’s curriculum.
Tech Elevator’s Curriculum
Java is a flexible programming language that’s been adapted to many different environments. Among its many uses, it’s key in developing desktop software, Android apps, and software for Internet of Things (IoT) devices including smart TVs, smartwatches, smart refrigerators, and more.
C# is another flexible programming language for programming desktop software. Developers use this language to build video games along with web-based applications, including many of the programs that you may pay a subscription fee to use.
Step 4: Commit to Success
No matter the path you choose, it’s going to take hard work and dedication to succeed in your educational program. You’re going to have to be ready to accept criticism and work as part of a team towards a goal. In a previous article with Tech Elevator, we spoke to a graduate about their bootcamp experience and how it required some tenacity to succeed.
“The first two weeks were the hardest two weeks of my life,” Jerry said. “I went through college for one year and I realized it wasn’t for me, but Tech Elevator was harder than the college courses I took. But for some reason, I just didn’t want to quit. It was something I liked doing and wanted to figure out and keep going.”
You’re going to be forging community relationships with other programmers who will help you meet your goals no matter where you go. You might have a natural aptitude for coding, and you may not. But by forging these relationships with other coders online, you’ll have a community of experts to turn to whenever you encounter nagging problems. This will certainly simplify your work, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to form successful habits.
Whether you choose a bootcamp, a more traditional learning path, or even self-education, you’re going to have to work hard to make your dreams happen. But it also helps to have an idea of where you want to be after graduation so you can focus on your goals.
Step 5: Determine Your Career Path
It helps to have an idea of some of the career paths you can take after completing your education. Whether you decide before the beginning of your program or somewhere towards the end, this step will help you learn the most relevant tools and visualize your future success. By knowing your path, you can set goals along the way, which should help you stay motivated during your journey.
We’ve given you some examples of how the two programming languages that Tech Elevator teaches can be used once you enter the industry. And there are a few common jobs that its graduates land that may give you an idea of what to expect.
Software Developer Jobs
Tech Elevator graduates most often land jobs as software developers, software engineers, application developers, and programmer analysts as they enter the industry.
Software developers do most of the coding work on a micro-level when it comes to software projects. Software engineers usually take on a more supervisory role during a project phase, supervising a team of software developers and oftentimes stepping in to do some development work themselves.
Application developers work similarly to software developers, but they mostly focus on mobile applications instead of desktop software. Programmer analysts help design, develop, and maintain software for clients’ and businesses’ specific needs.
If you need help figuring out your path, an institution like Tech Elevator can help you find your way.
Why Tech Elevator?
Tech Elevator has a track record of proven success, with a 90 percent job placement rate for more than 2,000 graduates. Those career changers have options in many modern fields with Tech Elevator’s curriculum, which goes beyond basic site-building and into more robust training.
Tech Elevator owes much of its success to its intensive Pathway Program, a companion program to its coding curriculum that trains students for their upcoming career change with career coaching sessions and more. Students identify their strengths, learn how to tell their stories, and rework their job hunt materials before meeting with the school’s large network of employers on a personal level.
Start Your Software Development Career Today
Software development offers a path to a fulfilling and financially rewarding career in just a few months. There are many ways to enter this field, and by laying out your own career goals ahead of time, you can make the journey even more manageable.
Coding bootcamps offer career services where career coaches help students conquer the challenging process of starting their software engineering journeys. If you’d like to start your journey into the industry with a quality bootcamp experience, take Tech Elevator’s Aptitude Test today.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.