March 17, 2024
min read

What Jobs Can You Get with a Software Engineering Degree?

Luis Minvielle

Is the university path the only way to become a software engineer? No. There is no set-in-stone route for achieving a software engineer career. Indeed, becoming a software engineer without a degree, while is a more challenging path, is not impossible — for example, through self-teaching or coding bootcamps. 

However, generally speaking, a bachelor's degree in software engineering or any related area, such as Computer Science, is a key advantage when it comes to finding a job. According to a survey, 73.5% of software engineers have a bachelor's degree, which gives us an idea of the weight of this element in the current job market. 

Read our Software Engineer Career Path Guide →

So, what jobs can you get with a Software Engineering degree? 

Good news — software engineers are required in almost every company, across all sectors. Any company that operates an online presence, such as a website or online service, almost certainly employs or has employed some kind of software engineer, or has cut a deal with a company with software engineers on its roster. And, in 2024, these are practically all companies. That’s why, at WeAreDevelopers, we help the top talent find new software engineer jobs in the best companies in Europe.

We selected the most in-demand jobs so you can check them and find the one that best suits your intentions.

1. Software Engineer

Of course, a plausible job you can get with a software engineering degree is one as a software engineer.

Job description: Software engineers build, test, maintain and improve software systems to meet particular requirements. Just remember before you apply — a software engineer is not the same as a software developer. Since they share similar functions and skills, it is not uncommon to mistake them and assume they are the same thing. But, while the latter focuses on creating application software or particular systems, the former is centred on the bigger picture, just like an architect drawing up building plans for a construction worker to implement. Now, realistically, these roles and duties are often mixed. The architect analogy could create some mix-ups with the actual role of a software architect, which requires a degree and plenty of years of experience, but we’re using it just as an example.

💰 Average salary: €56,787 per year in Germany

2. Startup Founder

Software engineers can also work in starting new businesses and become founders. 

Job description: Obviously, this isn't a predictable job. On the contrary, a startup is a highly volatile environment where business goals, tactics, concepts, and products constantly shift. As founders of new businesses, software engineers who have decided to be entrepreneurs will have multiple tasks, many of those very far off from software. These “errands” include building a bare-bones version of their MVP product and making financial and business decisions. And, of course, having to pitch their idea to investors, and then be held accountable by them. If you combine creative ideas and an entrepreneurial personality with your SE degree, this may be your path. Just remember that the execution and product-market fit could be even more valuable than your skills or your idea.

Do startup founders have salaries, or just capitalize on profits? If you receive an investment, even if your company is not profitable yet, you can assign yourself a salary as part of the company’s payroll using the investment’s cash fund.

💰 Average salary: From €0 up to the moon 🚀

3. AI Engineer

Programmers say that to become an AI engineer, you need to be a software engineer first and learn AI and machine learning only afterwards. It’s a thorny path for everyone, but software engineering graduates have the advantage of being sharp with algebra, probability, and calculus. Don’t be surprised if the employers request some seniority and pretend you’ve worked as a software engineer first.

💡Read our guide on how to become an AI engineer.

💰 Average salary: ~ $132,000 per year in the United States

4. Web Developer

A web developer is likely to be primarily concerned with software that runs in the browser. They may also be involved in web server-based software.

Three main types of developers work with the web: frontend (design), backend (technical) and full-stack (both). You will choose one career path depending on personal skills, goals, and, of course, salaries.

Check the difference between Fronted and Backend Development→

5. Backend Developer 

Backend developers are essential to the development and upkeep of the internal workings of apps and websites, handling data processing, security, and server-side functions. Even though users may not see these components, they are essential since they result in making sure websites are carrying out their tasks. Some duties include building and managing databases that contain significant information, writing code, creating APIs, performing QA testing, and checking on web security.

Have a look at the essential tools a backend developer must handle. 

💰 Average salary: €60,000 per year in Germany

6. Frontend Developer

Frontend developers bring to life the visual aspects of websites or web apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In broad terms, they are responsible for the website or web app UI and UX, both fundamental aspects to captivate and retain people browsing through sites and app users. If you combine an acute sensibility for designing with programming capabilities, this may be a tempting option! You’ll notice that it pays a little less than its counterpart, the backend dev.

💰 Average salary: €55,000 per year in Germany 

7. Full Stack Developer

Full stack developers can work on the front and back end of a website or web app. They have experience and knowledge in both roles. Some of their responsibilities entail designing and developing software, testing and debugging, writing quality code, ensuring code-platform compatibility, and maintaining a responsive app design. Full stack developers are usually in demand by startups and smaller businesses, since they can manage the complete development process independently and are typically self-sufficient.

💰 Average salary: €60,000 per year in Germany

8. Mobile App Developer

Software engineers who can’t stop looking at their phones can now earn a pay cheque from it.

Job description: Mobile app developers specialise in designing, building, and maintaining applications for mobile devices and smartphones, and in adapting web or computer-based applications for mobile use. Their main tasks include designing apps, writing code, testing and debugging, updating and improving. There are two main types of mobile app developers.

  • Native devs, specialise in building apps for a particular system, such as Android or iOS, with their corresponding compatible programming languages — Kotlin or Java for Android, Swift, or Objective-C for iOS.
  • Cross-platform devs, who can build apps employing cross-platform technologies, like React Native, Xamarin or Flutter, that allow them to write the code once and apply it across various operating systems. 

💰 Median salary: €58,000 per year in Germany for Xamarin

9. DevOps Engineer

This position is based on software engineers' coding skills and understanding of software development processes.

Job description: DevOps engineers focus on simplifying the software delivery process and ensuring reliable app performance. As the name suggests, they are the bridge between development and operations. They automate software tasks, making collaboration easier between development and operation teams. They also design and manage infrastructure.

💰 Average salary: €65,800 per year in Germany

10. Data Scientist and Machine Learning Engineer 

Although it may require some transitional steps, software engineers can definitely work as both data scientists and machine learning engineers. 

Job description: Data scientists study data and extract meaning from it, while machine learning engineers focus on understanding it and making predictions. A data scientist's job is to create a set of data, study it, make new things with the data they already have, tell people who need to know about what they found and understand what they caught up with. Machine learning engineers work on finding, making, and maintaining AI and machine learning algorithms.

💸 Average salary:

  • Data Scientist: €70,000 per year in Germany
  • Machine Learning: €60,000 per year in Germany

11. Video Game Developer

It takes grit and creativity to be a video game developer. A software engineering degree should give you both (and in the first semester).

Job description: Game developers create and produce video games of any scope. The size of the company they work for determines their responsibilities. Game devs may concentrate on a specific area of programming, such as network, engine, graphics, toolchain, and artificial intelligence — if they work for a big gaming company. The lines between developer and designer roles are frequently blurred in smaller independent indie game producers, and your work may involve both. 

💰 Average salary: $91,000 per year in the United States. The figure is likely skewed toward senior developers.

Looking for a job for your software engineering degree? 

For the most recent opportunities in software development, see our job boards. Wish you luck!

What Jobs Can You Get with a Software Engineering Degree?

March 17, 2024
min read

Subscribe to DevDigest

Get a weekly, curated and easy to digest email with everything that matters in the developer world.

Learn more

From developers. For developers.