Software development

Summary

Software developers and software engineers imagine, design, and build the programs that power businesses, meet society’s needs and entertain us. It has been nine years since venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously declared that “software is eating the world.” The technology, business models and use cases have changed, but software is everywhere central to new products, business operations and advanced technology development. Indeed, this career path intersects with the others offered by Tech Ready Illinois: advanced analytics are run on commercial or purpose-built software; cloud computing enables new models of software development and management; and cybersecurity leverages software to detect and counter threats.

Developers and engineers will find opportunities everywhere from Fortune 500 corporations that don’t seem like technology companies but are (banks, airlines, insurance companies, retail stores) to high-growth start-ups disrupting old industries. Tech Ready Illinois is focused on helping Chicagoans find their way into, or advancing within, this career that combines creative and engineering aspects, and that is in high demand everywhere.

Career examples

Below are a few examples of occupations within this career path that are expected to grow over the next 10 years in the U.S., including in Chicago. Jobs in this career path require expertise in programs that our renowned academic partners are offering.

Job title
Software development/engineering manager
Level
Senior

Leads teams of software developers who design or improve computer software. This role manages and oversees the software development process and directs the work of software engineers. They may act as the primary contact with customers or users, and might also manage software development project budgets and hire or train staff.

Average salary
$116k
Chicago Jobs
603 jobs posted in the past 12 months
Expected U.S. growth
28% in the next 10 years
Desired skills
  • Software Engineering, Software Dev, Java, Engineering Management, JavaScript, Python.
  • About 50% of job postings require 6+ years of experience.
Job title
Mobile appliction developer
Level
Mid-level

Designs, builds or improves mobile applications or ‘apps’ for smart phones and mobile tablets. Mobile app developers oversee the entire software development process by analyzing customer or user needs, designing programs, writing code, testing design and documenting programs.

Average salary
$103k
Chicago Jobs
1,800 jobs posted in the past 12 months
Expected U.S. growth
29% in the next 10 years
Desired skills
  • Java, Android, Swift, software development, Objective C, Git, and software engineering.
  • This job usually requires a bachelor’s degree.
  • About 60% of job postings require 3-5 years of experience.
Job title
Software developer/engineer
Level
Mid-level

Designs or improves computer software and oversees the entire software development process by analyzing customer/user needs, designing programs, writing code, instructing computer programmers, testing design and documenting programs. This role can also specialize in the design of computer applications or computer systems.

Average salary
$99k
Chicago Jobs
39,000 jobs posted in the past 12 months
Expected U.S. growth
28% in the next 10 years
Desired skills
  • Java, software engineering, software development, SQL, JavaScript and Python.
  • Some jobs require a security clearance.
  • This job usually requires a bachelor’s degree.
  • About 50% of job postings require 3-5 years of experience.
Footnotes
  • Note on Credentials: Greater than 70% of all job postings in each pathway required a bachelor’s degree; certifications were only required occasionally.
  • Note on Occupations: This sample list of occupations within the career paths is not exhaustive.
  • Note on Data: Number of job postings in Chicago and expected job growth in Chicago includes data for the Chicago–Naperville-Elgin IL–IN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the metropolitan area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.
  • Sources: Burning Glass Technologies. (2020) “Labor Insight Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool.” [Data File]. https://laborinsight.burning-glass.com/us#dashboards/occupation-profile . Retrieved May 5, 2020; US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020) “Employment Projections.” Retrieved May 6, 2020.
Tech path icon

Contact us

We look forward to hearing from you.

[email protected]