Do you play computer games, watch videos and use other devices that use sound, video, music and digital imaging software? Are you fascinated with the computer software that makes such activities possible and want to know more about how it works? If so, you may want to consider a career in software and media applications.
Software applications are computer programs created by software engineers to run on personal computers, a corporation's network system, the Internet and other types of computerized machines. Media applications are a type of software that can be used to create, edit and play digital media, such as games, videos and animations. Due to their technology-based nature, careers and educational programs in software and media applications tend to overlap.
Software engineers design and create software of all kinds, including media applications. Software publishers also deal in software and media applications, often working in the production and distribution of data storage, graphics, Internet browsing and word processing applications used by a variety of industries. Requirements for either of these fields usually include a bachelor's degree in software engineering or computer science, although some companies might be satisfied if you earn an associate degree from a 2-year college to start your career.
Working in software and media applications, you might hold a position like multimedia designer or Web production specialist. With further training and work experience, you could advance into a supervisory position, such as digital producer, program director or computer operations manager. Some important traits that you should have if you want to be successful in this field are the ability to work with abstract ideas, good problem-solving skills, creativity and an aptitude for teamwork.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for software engineers is very good; it's a field expected to grow faster than the average between 2008-2018, expanding an estimated 21% (www.bls.gov). Software developers specialized in applications earned a median salary of $87,790 in 2010, per the BLS. Employment opportunities for software publishers are expected to grow 30% between 2008 and 2018.
If you decide to pursue a career in software and media applications as a software engineer, most employers will require you to hold at least a bachelor's degree in software engineering or computer science. Coursework in such degree programs may include programming languages, logic, advanced math and application design. For more advanced positions, a master's degree in software engineering may be required. There are also doctoral programs in software engineering if you want to study further or would like to teach on the college level in the future. In some cases, you can gain employment with an associate degree in software engineering.
Another educational option is to earn an associate degree in multimedia programming and design or integrated media. You could also choose to earn a certificate or online degree in multimedia applications. Although you might choose to begin your education with a degree program, a certificate is a continuing education option that could help you advance in the software and media applications field.