Why are software engineers in high demand worldwide?

July 27, 2023
Natalie Thorburn


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Software engineering is a branch of computer science that is currently a hot topic. There are simply not enough qualified professionals to meet the rapid increase in job opportunities for software engineers.

According to a survey conducted by Evans Data Corporation, there are currently 26.9 million software developers employed worldwide. If that sounds impressive, then consider that the expected total by 2024 is 28.7 million.

By 2030, the number of active software engineers is projected to reach 45 million.

Even that may still leave skills gaps, as well as fierce competition to attract and retain the most talented professionals in this field. It’s a competition that extends to all types of modern organizations.

So why are software engineers in such high demand?

An essential skill for many organizations and agencies

Part of the reason software engineers have such exciting career opportunities, and competitive salary packages, is that companies don’t just want them, they also need them to survive and thrive.

This is the technological age, and the wheels of industry and commerce are fueled by data. Vital systems and software applications keep businesses operating and control many of their most crucial tasks.

The same applies to other employment areas, such as healthcare and life sciences, and of course, the IT sector itself. Without specialists to develop, run and manage software, they would find it hard to compete as a business entity.

This means that recruiting the best software engineers to your workforce can be the difference between a business being functional or failing. The best software developers can also be the key to doing things quicker, cheaper, more efficiently and with fewer wasted resources, and therefore being profitable.

Problem solvers and innovators

Software engineers are vital not just for conducting and controlling everyday business. Experienced and well-trained software developers research and create business solutions. Then, they create innovative programs that offer the best outcomes.

There are numerous roles that software developers take on, including application developers, who design custom software for a specific commercial organization, or software for public use for gaming, for instance. They also fill the role of a systems developer, transforming the way a business connects its staff and customers.

Developing new software or a new technological system is often a time-consuming and complex project, involving a major investment by the commissioning organization. That is another reason why employers are willing to pay attractive salaries to entice the most talented software engineers to join their team.

Evaluating, testing and upscaling activities

The creative role professionals in this sector play is not always about inventing new and better systems and software. Sometimes, software engineers are in demand to help companies with analyzing and upgrading legacy systems, or to make existing software more efficient and effective.

They could also be tasked with making different programs compatible and integrating multiple software systems to create a more functional digital workplace, for instance.

Digital transformation experts

Whether they have developed a new program or simply adapted an existing one to suit the business’ needs, often any modifications or maintenance tasks software engineers do will have to be timed perfectly. Installing and updating software and systems often needs to be done in a way that minimizes the impact on the business.

Also, does a software engineer’s importance end once they have helped a business transition to a new or improved system? It most definitely does not.

Software engineers are also the specialists that companies turn to when their business changes in any way. Whenever the technology they depend on needs to be adjusted, updated or advanced to keep pace with the organization’s new needs, threats or opportunities, a software engineer is needed.

Keeping remote workers connected

The vital role played by software engineers has become even more pronounced with the global shift to more remote and hybrid work patterns too. Even more organizations now embrace the need to create an authentic digital workplace and are reliant on digital communication, collaboration and business control.

Now, whole workforces depend on their devices and the effortless flow of data to carry out everything from the simplest business task to major international deals and research and development projects.

Behind all of this are software and internal systems that are researched, planned, designed, created, tested, maintained and upgraded by highly sought-after software engineers.

Cybersecurity and software engineering

A lot of this technological advancement pivots on optimizing data, which links to another reason that software engineers are in high demand. Their computer coding expertise and ability to maintain systems and applications may be crucial in keeping data secure.

This is especially true in terms of the rise in remote working and knowing how to keep your business safe.

Cybersecurity is a massive global issue, and it is often software engineers who are working to stay ahead of the latest cyber threats. They are also looking for new ways to avoid data loss by accidental means.

This makes this group of computer scientists responsible for not only helping organizations to avoid hefty fines for data breaches, but also for protecting them from a disastrous loss of customer trust and reputation.

Varied and ever advancing roles

It is becoming clear that software engineers fulfil a multitude of vital and very different roles. When you explore how to become a software engineer, you can start to also appreciate just how many career paths you can pursue with a Master’s in Computer Science.

Enrolling at a reputable institution such as Baylor University allows students to develop not only their technical proficiency, but also innovative thinking and ethical considerations. Students enrolled in Baylor’s Software Engineering track have the opportunity to gain skills in distributed systems, advanced software engineering, advanced object-oriented development and software verification and validation.

The world is your oyster

With so many organizations relying on the skills of software engineers, it is not a surprise that big salaries are used to attract the brightest and best to companies with deep pockets and big ambitions.

However, there are clearly plenty of niche roles for ambitious software engineers too, as well as an opportunity to become a freelancer in a highly in-demand business sector.

With demand so high, you can also go anywhere in the world to fulfil this exciting innovation and problem-solving role.


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