Skip to content

Software & systems

Software developer

Software developers design, build and test computer programs for business, education and leisure services.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £70,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Software developer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • discuss requirements with the client and the development team
  • take part in technical design and progress meetings
  • write or amend computer code
  • test software and diagnose and fix problems
  • keep accurate records of the development process, changes and results
  • carry out trials and quality checks before release
  • maintain and support systems once they're up and running

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home, remotely or at a client's business.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme
University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in:

  • computer science
  • information technology
  • software development
  • financial technology
  • software engineering for business
  • maths

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could do a college course, which may lead onto more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship, or help you to get a trainee position with a company. Courses include:

  • A Level in Computing
  • Level 3 Certificate in Programming
  • T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Higher National Certificate in Computing

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national certificate or higher national diploma
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could take an apprenticeship such as:

  • Software development technician advanced apprenticeship
  • Software developer higher apprenticeship
  • DevOps engineer higher apprenticeship
  • Digital and technology solutions professional or specialist degree apprenticeship
  • Game programmer degree apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Other routes

You may be able to apply for a place on a graduate training scheme with a company if you have a degree. These are often open to non-IT graduates as well as those with a computing qualification.

More information

Career tips

You could build up your skills and knowledge using free online learning resources for programming languages, project management and software development methods.

Further information

You can find out more about working and training in computing from The Chartered Institute for IT and techskills.

Showing jobs in:
View all vacancies in this region

With experience, you could become a senior developer, with team, project management, planning or research responsibilities. You could move into related areas like systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.

You could also set up your own business or work as a consultant in most areas of the economy, for example business services, finance, cyber security, telecommunications and healthcare.

There are opportunities to work internationally through both travelling overseas or working remotely.

You can find out more about working and training in computing from The Chartered Institute for IT and Tech Future Careers.

Or by looking at the Code23 site

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge for understanding programming
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills for sharing ideas
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to write computer programs
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
My top 5 skills
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register