Is there a demand for software engineers? This is a question that employers across all IT-driven industries ask themselves daily. Well, the global demand for software engineers in 2022 is still at an all-time high as job postings soar. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that software development employment will likely grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030. This will likely be the highest growth rate compared to all careers in the IT field.
Business owners often turn to software engineers when they want to scale their IT products rapidly and match the ever-dynamic consumer needs. Even better, modern hiring solutions, such as recruiting remote dedicated teams prove to be swift and cost-effective, as opposed to retaining an in-house team on a monthly payroll.
However, since a technological investment is crucial for many businesses, the job outlook for specialized IT fields doesn’t seem to keep up with the demand. This article highlights why there is a high demand for software engineers in 2022 and beyond. Keep reading to stay updated.
Who is a Software Engineer?
A software engineer is a skilled professional who leverages engineering or software development expertise to design, build, iterate, test, deploy, as well as maintain software application products. Some people also use the term programmer interchangeably with software engineer — probably the reason why there are programmers in demand in the industry. However, a programmer might not possess the same connotations or skills as a software engineer.
Typically, software engineers work in large tech firms or an offshore software development center. These professionals usually possess a set of IT skills, such as computer programming and coding, object-oriented design (OOD), as well as software development.
The Current Software Engineer Demand
Are software engineers in demand? Well, the current demand for software engineers in 2022 has risen by nearly 17% across all industries. As it increases, the software engineer market continues to be competitive in terms of salaries with large tech firms in the US paying as high as $150,000. The median salary of a typical professional in this career has also risen to $107,510, regardless of skills or expertise.
Why is the Demand for Software Engineers High?
The above statistics clearly indicate the software developer demand won’t drop anytime soon. But what are the reasons behind this trend? Let’s take a deep dive into the matter.
1. Lesser Supply of Software Engineering Talents
The current demand and supply for software engineers experience a large gap. The employment rate in this field is still high compared to the number of talents available for hire. Even more alarming, a recent report by CNBC notes that the software engineer shortage will still be a back pain for many companies throughout 2022, given that there were still 918,000 vacancies in the IT field at the end of 2021. Moreover, the number of unfilled IT positions will likely rise by 20% by the end of 2040.
2. Code Has Limited Lifespan
Many people think that once a software product is built and deployed it’s “done” and the application will run smoothly for life. Well, that is not true. Every software application is a product of multiple codes written by engineers. Every code has its lifespan and might need to be improved or iterated on the need basis when it becomes obsolete. In some instances, instead of upgrading, businesses might throw away the code altogether and build a new solution using modern technologies.
3. Software Development Projects Are Getting More Complex
It is not a secret that software development is getting more complex by the day with the foregoing dynamic demands for software products, as opposed to a decade ago. As Fred Brooks opined in his 1986 paper dubbed “No Silver Bullet,” software development will inherently face primary barriers to overcome in the future, including accidental and essential complexities.
The first complexity happens when developers get themselves into problems when trying to solve an underlying complex problem. On the other hand, essential complexity emanates from the business side as software engineers strive to match the prevailing needs.
Some accidental complexities that software engineers face on a daily basis include:
- The need to build multiple devices and platforms for the same product
- The need for a seamless user experience and user interface
- Containerization when packaging software codes
- Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities
At the same time, software engineers need to deal with various essential complexities, such as:
- Dynamic business needs and demands based on changing consumer preferences
- Scalability to cloud-based IT infrastructure and environments
- New technology, tools, and design patterns
- The increasing need for defect-free software products
4. Businesses Need to Utilize Multiple Platforms
Gone are the days when businesses and institutions only needed a website to power their operations. That means they only needed to retain web developers, whether in-house or remotely to maintain their digital presence. However, in recent times, you might need more than one software platform to bolster your online presence if you are going to beat or match the competition in your respective industry, regardless of the product in question.
With that in mind, businesses might need Android and iOS developers alongside web builders.
Moreover, websites are becoming less relevant as opposed to how they were a decade ago. Mobile apps are increasingly becoming a part of our life in many ways, from shopping and connecting with friends on social media, to controlling the cars we drive. Statista estimates that there are nearly 3.04 million apps on the Google play store alone and more than 2.09 million on Apple App Store. These figures will surge rapidly in the next few years, and so will the demand for the minds behind their creation — software engineers.
5. The Globe is Moving Online
In many years to come, say a decade, businesses will look back at 2022 as the year of change and disruption, especially when it comes to interactions. Take the digital and eCommerce industries as an example. No other sector experienced tremendous growth and shift like these ones in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the economy slowed down amid movement restrictions, consumers went online which saw the global eCommerce sector raise its retail share from 14% to 17% in just one year. And this isn’t slowing down anytime soon as it’s the new norm.
That said, having a digital presence isn’t optional for many businesses anymore, but a necessity. Platforms that are leading in digitization include Uber, Zoom, and even Amazon which continues to experience tremendous growth. These platforms, which can be apps, websites, or any software product cannot run efficiently without software engineers in the background who build, develop, test, deploy and maintain them on a regular basis. As long as tech companies will need to build more systems for businesses, software engineers will continue to be in high demand.
The Future of Software Engineering Demand
Is there a demand for software engineers in the future? There will still be stiff competition in hiring software engineering talents in the future. However, it’s worth noting that the profession is slowly moving into a remote working culture, especially after the effects of the pandemic. Typically, software engineering or development talents that are open to working remotely will continue to experience the highest demand, given that they are likely to receive 20% more interview requests than those who offer the same flexibility.
At the same time, software engineers with skills in full-stack development will also likely experience the highest demand as opposed to those who don’t possess the same. Recent statistics show that full-stack software engineers receive 2.1% more interview requests than software engineers specializing in other roles.
However, some experts are pessimistic about the future demand for software engineers, claiming it might fall rapidly, especially with the increasing interest in AI-driven applications. An AI program might replace engineering teams, where only one human tech lead might be needed to issue high-level commands, as well as translate programs into bug-free code. But as promising and futuristic as this sounds, no one knows when it might happen.
The Bottom Line
Software engineers have a hand in nearly all digital products that we interact with today. Going forward, businesses no longer need to ask what is the demand for software engineers. Instead, they should switch to modern hiring solutions such as building offshore teams to circumvent the same, given that the high demand for software engineers will persist.