Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software Careers: Employment & Salary Trends for Aspiring Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software

Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software at a Glance

Computer software engineers, systems software are responsible for the research, design, and development of operating systems software. They research, design, and develop computing applications, network distribution software, and compilers as well. Computer software engineers, systems software perform a variety of other duties such as consulting with engineering staff and monitoring functioning of equipment.

These professionals may prepare report and coordinate installation of software systems as well. Computer software engineers, systems software supervise and assign work to scientific personnel, designers, technologists, programmers, and other engineering personnel. Computer software engineers, systems software may also supervise and assign work to scientific personnel, designers, technologists, programmers, and other engineering personnel.

Computer software engineers, systems software may also supervise and assign work to scientific personnel, designers, technologists, programmers, and other engineering personnel.

Computer software engineers, systems software typically work 40 hours per week. Some may work 50+ hours per week, including days, evenings, and even weekends to meet deadlines. Around 13.1% of all computer software engineers, systems software work part-time and 2.4% are self-employed.

Computer software engineers, systems software can be found in just about every industry, but the highest populations can be found in computer and electronic product manufacturing, Internet publishing and broadcasting, professional, scientific and technical services, publishing, chemical manufacturing, wholesale electronics, and credit intermediation and related activities.

Schools to consider:


Employment Trends

Job Outlook: Rapid increase
Annual Openings: 37,000
Percent Growth: 38%
Total Jobs Held: 350,000
Projected Employment: 449,000 by 2016
The Best 500 Jobs Overall Ranking: 3

Source: “Best Jobs for the 21st Century,” JIST Publishing 2009. Farr, Michael and Shatkin, Laurence, Ph.D.; “Salary Facts Handbook,” JIST Publishing 2008. Editors @ JIST.

Computer software engineers (systems software) are among the fastest growing occupations in the world. This occupation is expected to grow at a rapid pace thanks to advances in technology, competition among businesses, and the growth of computer networks and networking. In addition the Internet has created a high demand for skilled engineers that have superior cyber skills and can keep up with the constant changes and upgrades in technology that go along with it. Businesses will also have to hire individuals that can design, implement, and maintain security software as businesses continue to demand more secure systems and sites.

Salary Trends

In 2009, computer software engineers, systems software earned an average salary of $89,070 per year. This figure represents a 2% increase over 2008 ($87,250). Computer software engineers, systems software in the 90th percentile can expect to earn around $125,750 per year, while 75th percentile computer software engineers, systems software can expect to earn $105,330 per year. Entry-level computer software engineers, systems software can expect to earn an impressive starting salary of around $53,580 per year.

Degrees and Training Programs

While a small percentage of computer software engineers, systems software have an associate degree, most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree or higher. Advanced degrees are preferred for complicated jobs. Currently, 80% of all computer software engineers, systems software have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Coursework Required

Employers prefer a degree in computer science or software engineering. Aspiring Computer software engineers, systems software can expect to take courses such as software development, data structures, operating systems, programming language concepts, database systems, real-time systems, software engineering concepts, software systems architecture, testing, and requirements, computer networks, and professional practices and ethics. Basic courses may include calculus, English, physics, and courses in the subject areas of humanities, fine arts, and social sciences.

Did you know that Bill Gates wrote and sold his first computer program to Lakeside High School (the private school he was attending) at age 17? Gates sold the program for $4,200. Bill Gates went on to become a billionaire at the age of 31.