Attention Software Engineers; Are Your Skills Up To Date?

Job Outlook

Computer software engineers are projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations from 2008 to 2018. Companies will hire programmers, software engineers and systems analyst with the necessary skills and training. Employment opportunities should remain strong for candidates with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, practical work experience and Ongoing Education.

Training

Seasoned software engineering or professionals now have many training options in developing a successful IT career. Because of the rapidly-changing nature of the computing industry, software engineers must be committed to gaining knowledge and expertise throughout their careers to stay competitive. Seminars, training courses, and online classes are just some of the ways software engineers can ensure their skills are up-to-date. In most cases it does not cost the student a penny; employers will pay for the cost of the training to keep their employees at the cutting edge of the field. The following are educational resources available to the software engineer.

Vendor Training

Computer training programs are offered by systems software vendors, including Microsoft, Novell, and Oracle. These training programs usually last from 1 to 4 weeks but are not required in order to sit for a certification exam; several study guides also are available to help prepare for the exams.

Certification

Many software engineers increase their employability by gaining certification with organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). However, certification is not considered a replacement for a bachelor’s or master’s education in a discipline such as computer science.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society recently announced plans to certify software engineers who pass an examination. Based on level of experience the IEEE offers the designation Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP).

Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP)

The CSDP credential is intended for mid-career software development professionals that want to confirm their proficiency of standard software development practices and advance in their careers.

If you are a Senior Member of IEEE or a Licensed Software Engineer, no further qualifications are necessary. All other candidates are required to meet both Education and Experience requirements as outlined below.

Education: (need at least one)

You have a bachelor’s degree

You are a CSDA certificate holder

You are an educator at the post-baccalaureate level

You are a full member of the IEEE

Experience: (need at least one)

You have an advanced degree in software engineering and at least two years (about 3,500 hrs) of experience in software engineering/development

You have at least four years (about 7,000 hrs) experience in software engineering/development

IEEE also offers a wide range of online professional development both to members and non-members. These programs provide flexibility in allowing the student to choose the format and when they would like to take the courses.

IEEE’s Professional Development training includes:

Single course

In contrast to a degree program, individual courses on a wide range of topics are available both to IEEE members and non-members.

Multimedia tutorials

Tutorials are available online on a range of topics and subjects.

Degree programs

Online programs for credit, learning or for certification.

Web seminar

Web seminars, or “webinars” offer remote access to meetings, discussions, and other professional development opportunities, usually scheduled at specific times, and then occasionally made available to review after the “live” date.

Podcast

IEEE offers several podcasts which can be reviewed one by one or by a subscription, usually for free, for ongoing participation.

Web site/print materials

Professional development can take many forms. You may be interested in reviewing information online or downloading a printable file for later review.

PowerPoint

Many PowerPoint presentations are available online on a wide range of topics

Community event

Community events include meetings in online locations such as Second Life where IEEE has a presence, or other Web-based meetings or discussions.

IT jobs are projected to be one of the fastest growing fields for the foreseeable future. Software Engineers with the proper training, knowledge and practical work experience will be in high demand among top employers. Seasoned engineers now have a broad range of training options including seminars, online training and certification to enhance their skills. Those who are committed to keeping up to date with the rapidly changing technology will be the most competitive in the computer science industry.