Everytime you turn on your laptop or click into Instagram, you are using software. We often overlook how the things we use are formed, developed or their importance. Instead, we take them for granted because they’re there.
Let’s not forget the people behind the apps we love. The importance of software is huge and you could be part of that world in providing people all over the world with the software and technological advantages they need.
If you’re thinking about taking a postgraduate course in this area then read on!
What do you mean by software?
The first thing you’ll need to know is what exactly software is. Software refers to the programmes and operating information on your computer. Essentially, software is a collection of instructions and data which tell your computer how to work. Without software, your computer would achieve very little.
There are three different types of software that we use – system software, application software and programming language software. Examples of software are databases, office suites, word processors, image editors and any platform you use to communicate with your friends, family or colleagues on a daily basis.
Software courses offer a wide range of choice in many universities across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study part time or full time basis. With current Covid-19 restrictions, some courses may begin online and finish on the campus of your chosen university. Examples of courses available are:
Building Information Modelling Project Management
A course in this area will give students the opportunity to study project management using the building information modelling process. Key focuses include the principles of project management while using building information modelling.
Big Data and Business Intelligence
This is another course that focuses on the business side of software. A course like this focuses on modern engineering methods, tools and techniques, data analytics, machine learning, business intelligence and data mining. There is also an opportunity to learn different programming languages. A course like this helps students to develop a life-cycle view of software development.
Internet of Things (Data)
Quite a strange title for a university course but don’t worry, it’s real! Courses such as this will help you to gain all the knowledge and skills needed to work in the field of engineering while exploring all that technology has to offer. The use of the word ‘things’ refers to the likes of sensors, tags, cards, phones and anything we use where this may be relevant.
Courses in architectural visualisation look at software such as computer animation and digital visual effects. Students will gain an understanding of digital simulation and 3D modelling. While it looks at and uses different software, these courses prepare students for careers in the area of both architecture and film and learn all the skills necessary to do so.
Entry requirements for different courses will differ from university to university. An honours degree is mostly required. In some cases a 2.2 degree is required while in other cases a 2.1 degree is necessary. Some courses may require an honours degree in a relevant field while others accept an honours degree in an unrelated discipline. Specific entry requirements can be found online on course overviews and university websites.
Like any field, the salary you get will be greatly dependent on the route you take but we will look at a few examples to give you a better idea. All salaries are based on estimates. The average salary of a software engineer in the UK may start out around £18,000 for graduates. For those with experience, they can earn anything between £25,000 to £50,000. The average annual salary for a data analyst is around £27,000.
This is quite a broad area that can branch off into many other fields and sectors. Some examples of jobs in relation to software are:
- Software developer (test and evaluate new software and identify potential modifications)
- Software engineer (maintain, audit and improve systems to meet particular needs)
- Data Analyst (Gain knowledge and insights from data using scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems)
- Web developer (develop world wide web applications using a client-server model)
- Data engineer (build and maintain data infrastructure, including databases, data warehouses and pipelines)
Skills and requirements
Helpful skills for working in software are:
- Knowledge of computer systems
- Strong technology and IT skills
- Work well with others
- Strong communication skills
- Organisation skills
- An analytical mind
- A problem solver
- Willingness to learn and develop career continuously
- Attention to detail