Software Industry Job Outlook
supplemental resource: Job Outlook by Profession
Employment in software publishing is projected to grow as firms continue to invest heavily in software and other information technology. Job prospects should be excellent, especially for computer specialists.
Wage and salary jobs in software publishing are expected to increase by 30 percent between 2008 and 2018, almost 3 times as fast as the 11 percent growth projected for all industries combined. Growth will not be as rapid as it was during the technology boom of the 1990s, however, as the software industry continues to mature and as routine work continues to be offshored.
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Demand for software publishing services will grow as a result of an increasing reliance on information technology. Individuals and organizations will continue to invest in applications and systems software to maximize the return on their investments in equipment, increase efficiency, and remain competitive.
The growing reliance on the Internet will be a major driver of job growth. The way the Internet is used is constantly changing, and so is the software required to run new and emerging computer applications. The proliferation of "mobile" technologies, has created demand for a wide variety of new products and services. The expansion of the wireless Internet brings a new aspect of mobility to information technology by allowing people to access the Internet without the constraints of physical connections. In addition, the rapid development of handheld, Internet-enabled devices is making the World Wide Web accessible from virtually anywhere. As businesses and individuals become more dependent on this technology, there will be an increasing need for new software applications that maximize the potential of wireless products.
In a growing trend, a wide variety of software services are being offered over the internet. Rather than being stored and accessed on the individual computers of businesses and users, word processing, spreadsheet, enterprise resource planning, and other types of applications can now be accessed remotely. This is attractive to many organizations, as it reduces the need for costly storage equipment. Much of the design and development of these applications will be completed by establishments in the software publishing industry.
Another significant factor contributing to growth among software publishers will be computer security. Organizations invest heavily in software to protect their information and secure their systems from attack. And, as the amount of data transmitted across the Internet increases, the importance of maintaining computer system and network security will grow, leading to greater demand for security software.
Given the increasingly widespread use of information technology and the overall rate of growth expected for the industry, most occupations should grow, although some faster than others. Employment of computer specialists, such as computer software engineers and computer systems analysts, will be particularly strong, as they are integral to the software-design process.
Job opportunities in software publishing should be excellent for most workers, given the rate at which the industry is expected to grow, and the increasing integration and application of software into all sectors of the economy. Computer specialists should enjoy the best opportunities, reflecting continuing demand for workers with high-level skills to keep up with changes in technology.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition
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