Software Developers have two occupations
Standard Occupational Classification #15-1132 Software Developers, Applications
Standard Occupational Classification #15-1133 Software Developers, Systems Software
SOC Definition for #15-1132 -- Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. Excludes "Computer Hardware Engineers" (17-2061).
Examples of other common names in use -- Applications Developer; Programmer Analyst; Software Designer
SOC Definition for #15-1133 -- Research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. May design embedded systems software. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
Examples of other common names in use--Developer, Infrastructure Engineer, Network Engineer, Publishing Systems Analyst, Senior Software Engineer, Software Architect, Software Developer, Software Engineer, Systems Coordinator, Systems Engineer
National 2013 employment as Software Developers was 1,017,340, 643,830 for software developers, applications, and 373,510 for software developers, system software.
Software Developers for Applications have some jobs in nearly every sector of the economy so anyone with these skills should expect to work in every sector of the economy. Job concentrations occur in professional and business services with 45 percent of the jobs that include 35 percent of the jobs in the computer systems design and related activities industry. Publishing including software publishers has 10 percent of jobs; finance and insurance has 9 percent of jobs. Manufacturing firms employ 8.5 percent of Software Developers for Applications spread among all manufacturing sub sectors with 5 percent in computer and electronic products manufacturing.
Software Developers, System Software have job concentrations in professional and business services with 47 percent of the jobs. Computer and electronic product manufacturing has 14 percent of jobs with another 5 percent scattered in other areas of manufacturing. Publishing has 5 percent, telecommunications and data processing, hosting and related services another 5 percent, with finance and insurance also at 5 percent.
The individual growth rate of new jobs per year since 2000 varies widely for the two occupations. Software developer for applications had a steady growth of 4.25 percent a year that averaged 20.7 thousand new jobs a year, triple job growth for the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting modest job growth of 14.0 thousand per year through 2022 at 2.08 percent a year
Software developers for system software had a steady increase of 2.69 percent a year that averaged 8.4 thousand new jobs a year since 2000, still rapid growth above the national average. The combined increase equals 29.1 thousand new jobs a year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting modest job growth of 8.3 thousand per year through 2022 at 1.88 percent a year.
Job growth is not the only measure of new hiring. Job openings equal job growth and the number of net replacements. Net replacements are people who permanently leave an occupation for another occupation or retirement and must be replaced before there can be any job growth. Job openings for software developers, for applications are forecast to be 21,850 a year through 2022. Job openings for software developers, system software are forecast to be 13,470 a year through 2022.
The recently updated BLS Education and Training Classification assignment lists BA degree skills as necessary for entry into both software developers for applications and system software. Previous work experience of 1 to 5 years is listed as an entry level requirement for the system software occupation, but not for applications. On-the-job training are not important factors in hiring for either.
New BA degrees in computing are part of 10 different Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services specialties and those 10 are part of 26 degree programs in Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services. BA degrees in Computer Science programs totaled 47,384 for the year ending 2012. The latest total is up from 47,299 degrees in 2001 but also down from 59,488 in 2004. The biggest share of these degrees are general survey courses in information systems and computer science and not specifically for software development. There were also 20,917 masters degrees and 1,698 doctorates in the computer science programs. Totals for computer degree programs have remained stable for over a decade but show no sign of increasing in spite of the excellent job prospects.
The ratio of relevant BA degrees to software developer openings equals 1.34, or 47,384/35,320. However, he total of computer graduates lags behind the number of job openings for the eleven computer occupations defined in the Standard Occupational Classification that use BA degree skills. There are 99.5 thousand job openings for the eleven BA degree occupations compared to 47,384 total computer BA degree candidates. To the extent that computer degree holders can find computing jobs from a variety of degree programs, there ratio of BA relevant BA degrees to job openings is .48, indicating a shortage of computer degrees from U.S. colleges.
The entry wage for software developers for applications is reported as $55,770 in 2013, which is also the 10th percentile wage. The median wage is $92,660, and the 90th percentile wage is $143,540. The wages of software developers for applications have kept up with inflation in recent years. For example, to have the buying power of the 2006 median wage of $79 780, in 2013, the software developer for application wage would need to be $92,189. Instead it was $92,660, a .51 percent increase in the real wage for those seven years.
The entry wage for software developers, systems software is reported as $63,140 in 2013, which is also the 10th percentile wage. The median wage is $101,410, and the 90th percentile wage is $150,760. The wages of software developers, systems software have kept up with inflation in recent years. For example, to have the buying power of the 2006 median wage of $85,370, in 2013, the software developer for application wage would need to be $98,648.98. Instead it was $101,410, a 2.8 percent increase in the real wage for those seven years. The 90th percentile wage is 2.6 times the entry level wage, or 10th percentile wage, which implies there is opportunity for advancement.