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Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers?

  1. Oct 1, 2009 #1
    Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    in comparison to all engineers in general...
    http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm
    BLS = Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Govt)

    And on second thought, will the majority of these jobs be going to foreign workers?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2009 #2
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    Probably because damn near every product on the market these days has a processor in it and *someone* needs to program them.

    The OOH is targeted towards the domestic market. I'm sure that many of the jobs will go to H1 visa holders, but I doubt a majority. (Outsourcing has undoubtedly already been factored into the report.)

    I admit it... I'm very bullish on the computer industry.
     
  4. Oct 18, 2009 #3
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    Hmm... does that say anything that guarantees a better job security for future programmers than those today?
     
  5. Oct 18, 2009 #4

    D H

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    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    The BLS says "employment of computer programmers is expected to decline by four percent through 2016." So, no joy for computer programmers if the BLS is correct. However, "computer software engineers are one of the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2006-16 decade." (See http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos110.htm and http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm.)

    Software engineers are not glorified programmers. If you don't know the difference between the two, you can learn. In short, computer scientists make toy programs. Software engineers make real ones.

    Suppose you count the number of lines of code in a delivered product and count the total hours worked on the specifying, designing, building, testing, and packaging the product. Now divide the lines of code by the hours worked. On a lot of serious products this number will be about one, and often less than one. That number, one line of code or less per person per hour, exemplifies why the future for programming per se is on the decline and the future for software engineering is on the rise.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Oct 18, 2009 #5
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    ^ Hmm... but are you sure that software engineering is an entry-level job for CS grads? It sounds like management the way you described it.
     
  7. Oct 18, 2009 #6

    symbolipoint

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    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    This discussion seems confusing. Would any employed person recognize a use for a copy of a program which might or might not exist, and then not finding a commercial software program fitting the purpose, design and write the desired program himself. I have then two questions:
    Is the person a software engineer?
    Is the person a computer programmer?

    One more question - how does the person described above compare the the skilled-educated people described in the discussion of posts #1,2,3,4,5 ?
     
  8. Oct 18, 2009 #7

    D H

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    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    There are plenty of software engineering jobs for fresh outs. There are even jobs for undergrad interns. Admittedly, many of those entry level jobs will probably involve a lot of programming. Not all of them, however. Entry level software engineers might well find themselves starting out as testers, documenters, or helping to set up / maintain infrastructure such as a software configuration management system.
     
  9. Oct 18, 2009 #8
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    If a computer engineer can do pretty much what a computer science grad can do, and then some, then why isn't a safer/better choice to go into Comp. Eng?
     
  10. Oct 19, 2009 #9

    D H

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    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    Stop mixing terms, avant-garde. Computer engineering ≠ computer science ≠ information systems ≠ information technology ≠ software engineering. The Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers jointly developed curriculum guidelines for these five aspects of computing. See http://www.acm.org/education/education/curric_vols/CC2005-March06Final.pdf
     
  11. Oct 19, 2009 #10
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    Where in post #8 have I mixed terms? I think I asked a very straightforward question.
     
  12. Oct 19, 2009 #11
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    Actually D-H, computer scientists would include people who work in theory of computation and on projects like the F5 algorithm along with a wide array of interdisciplinary fields and projects. Computer scientists are not programmers, they are often essentially mathematicians who work in areas related to computation who may write code to test their ideas but ultimately have to prove their results and publish them in peer reviewed journals.

    Software engineers apply the results that computer scientists produce to solve problems, and they can often add novel aspects and new results. Software engineering is, in fact, considered to be a subfield of Computer Science.
     
  13. Oct 19, 2009 #12

    D H

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    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    You asked about computer engineers in post #8. The subject of this thread is software engineering. You have another thread open about computer engineering. Computer engineering is essentially about the development of new computer hardware and firmware. Software engineering is essentially about the development of large, complex, and often highly-critical software.


    I agree to some extent. You described is what those with a PhD in computer science do. Those who leave school with only a bachelorate in computer science are more likely to be programmers than computer scientists. Did you read the curricula paper I to which I posted a link in post #9?

    Now I disagree. Just as computer engineering is essentially electrical engineering with a bit of computer science thrown in the mix, I would consider software engineering to be essentially systems engineering with a bit of computer science thrown in the mix.
     
  14. Oct 19, 2009 #13
    Re: Why does BLS predict a rapid demand growth for Software Engineers??

    Fair enough. Although I wouldn't consider anyone to be a Computer Scientist just for having a B.S., just like getting an undergrad degree in Biology and going to work at the zoo doesn't make you a biologist.

    Edit: Sounds neat. Can I still call it applied math though?
     
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