Median Salary: $85,342.40
Change in Salary (2008–2014): +17%
Total Employees: 43,100
Change in Employees (2008–2014): +54%
If you’re intrigued by the idea of working on applications that millions of people could potentially use, then you’ll want to take a look at the growing group of software engineers who are researching, designing, evaluating, integrating and maintaining software applications, technical environments, operating systems (you can thank these guys for all those Apple iOS updates), embedded software, information warehouses and telecommunications software in both the private and public sectors.
How to Qualify: You’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree, usually in computer science, computer systems engineering, software engineering or mathematics, and a post-graduate degree may be required for certain disciplines. If you’re not keen on attending university, then you’ll need to have at least obtained a college diploma in computer science. You’ll also have to get licensed by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers, and you need at least 3–4 years of work experience as well as a pass on the professional practice exam. Many people in this field have experience as a computer programmer.
Money: Wage growth has been strong in this sector, with median salaries around $85,000 in 2014.
Opportunity: This is a field with limited growth opportunities in the next few years, and as Employment and Social Development Canada points out, mobility can be limited between specializations. If you’re hoping to move up the career ladder to supervisory or senior positions, you’ll need more experience. Often those working in this sector will move to multidisciplinary areas where the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired through work experiences can be applied. The projections for the workforce over the next decade aren’t promising, however, with more qualified people than jobs through at least 2022.