Best job of 2011: software engineer

Best job of 2011: software engineer

Summary: Strong demand for Web applications and cloud computing skills vault software engineers to number one spot for desirable jobs, says a national placement firm.

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CareerCast.com has just published its list of the best and worst jobs of 2011, and software engineer comes out on top of a list of 200 professions. Way to go, people.

According to the placement firm's "Jobs Rated" report, software engineers' jobs cover everything from the design and creation of software for everything from operating systems to cell phone apps to interactive games.

The rankings were based on five core criteria: work environment, physical demands, outlook, income and stress.

Software engineers are in the catbird seat thanks to two emerging industries: Web applications and cloud computing:

"A proliferation of companies making applications for smartphones and tablets, along with the push to develop 'cloud' software hosted entirely online, has made the job market for software engineers broader and more diverse. And a diverse job market brings improvements in stress factors such as growth potential and competitiveness, as workers become less beholden to employers or vulnerable to outsourcing. In fact, the stress ranking for software engineer improved 10 spots this year, jumping from 25th to 15th place overall."

Readers, do you agree that you have less stress than the average working stiff?  Given more than your fair share of tight project deadlines, demanding and fickle end users, and endless changes in technology, software engineers have plenty of headaches. Certainly more stressful than the second-ranked favorable job of mathematician. They don't have to deal with people all day, just crunch their numbers.

Statistician made number 4 on the list of hot jobs, perhaps in large part a reflection of the growth in business intelligence and analytics as a strategic imperative at many companies. In fifth place is computer systems analyst, also driven by the growth in Web and cloud computing.

Just to keep things in perspective: consider the working conditions of the number 1 toughest job identified in the report, that of "roustabout" (also referred to as "roughneck"), those people that work on oil pipelines.

Topics: CXO, Software, IT Employment

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60 comments
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  • I doubt it

    It might be hot for L1 and H1B visa holders, but now there are fewer Americans working in IT than in 2007.
    And this is not counting the offshore centers.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

      @Linux Geek
      which means...
      HighTechAngel
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

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    • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

      @Linux Geek
      Very true, I'm an analyst for a consulting company and my IT job is to train 50 users for a US project that will be implemented in Manila... that's 50 jobs that Americans won't get SAD..
      Hasam1991
      • Software Engineer != IT

        @Hasam1991
        DevGuy_z
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @DevGuy_z you may want to phrase that "Software Engineer is not equal to IT", you know, coding operators they won't understand.
        scott@...
    • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

      @Linux Geek Being Software Engineer does not mean IT. I am a software engineer and do not work on IT stuff, at least not anymore. And I love my job. And it also pays well.
      DevGuy_z
  • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

    These so-called best jobs are also the most short-lived and disposable ones in the IT-sphere. The market is also saturated with alot of self-taught web monkeys who have essentially deflated the pay scales as well. The politics is all still there, and full-time hires are fancifully terminated once the job gets done.
    shikary
    • Sad ... but true

      @shikary Although there are few exceptions, there are lots of untalented self-taught web monkeys in the market.

      The worst part is that although they are cheap, their lack of real knowledge tend to increase the total cost of a project. Reliability and maintainability being the two most negatively affected by the lack of quality work.

      Sadly, there are few (probably too many) "educated incompetents" too.
      wackoae
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @wackoae
        ... and uneducated competents as well.
        HighTechAngel
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @wackoae - have to agree. We spend lots of $'s fixing what these people are supposed to be experts in, both on and off shore, and $'s /hour does not denote quality of work. But I know the demand for good US people seem to be there, just if your entering your up against cheap OK quality off-shore work
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @wackoae I've found that this just means there are *very* high paying positions for those who can differentiate themselves with real skills, past projects, etc. There is now quite a cadre of companies that have done the web-monkey route and would rather spend money doing it right. There are, of course, legions of the clueless who will go with lowest price. I keep hearing the horror stories.

        I've even had people shudder at my rates, then hire a monkey, then, months later, tell me they're ready to man up and pay to get it done for real.
        rberman
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @wackoae ... you are so spot-on! : )
        ermercado@...
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @wackoae

        And educated incompetents as well. A degree in 'software engineering' does not ensure competency.

        My 21 year experience with software development is that the amount of stress related to a job is directly related to how well a project is managed. Most managers have no clue how to manage software development, they are very adept at using buzz words to describe to upper management illusions of what they are doing, without doing anything at all.
        geblack
    • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

      @shikary
      Don't forget 250 millon Indians... they all do IT, SAP, LINUX, .NET
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @Hasam1991 Well "do" does not translate to "well" or "good". Anyone can do, but when it takes twice as long and not well, what have you saved?
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

        @ItsTheBottomLine,<br><br>That's a sour grapes/racist statement. Indians are no different than anybody else. Some make good programmers, some don't.
        bmonsterman
  • a job is a job...

    I'm a sw engineer in Italy with a degree in SW Engineering and I love my job. I don't know if I could say it's the best job of all. Sometimes I wish I had become a musician...
    erionpc@...
    • RE: Best job of 2011: software engineer

      @erionpc@... At least you have the skills to write your own music on a computer.
      maromiga