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Software Development: How Hot Is Your Java?

I went to buy a new laptop the other day, so that I could write this column. My old laptop had practically exploded. The salesperson asked about my software needs, and I was soon swimming in options. Antivirus protection? Windows Vista upgrade? Office? Java? I could go on. It occurred to me that software development is a booming industry. Investing in a computer science degree could put you ahead of the game, especially if you already work with computers in the Army.
Software Development: A Fast-Paced Field
Software developers have a job that never stagnates. It seems each day there are important software innovations, and every other year you’re sure to find a total revolution in the field. These professionals are constantly updating their skills in order to keep up. Just think—you could be the one writing these revolutionary applications!

How to Become a Software Developer
So, how do you become a modern software masterminds? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or computer science and some practical experience—like the experience you’re getting right now in the Army—are the most likely to break into this field. You will need to learn a variety of languages, like Java or C+. Once you master one, you can usually complete an exam and earn your certification.

Software Developers: Job Outlook and Salary Information
Earnings aren’t too shabby either. In 2004, the median income for computer applications software engineers was almost $75,000. Some people made more than $100,000 that year. What’s more, the field is expected to grow robustly through at least 2014. So, while the field is ripe with opportunities , so is the paycheck.

Check Out the Army’s Educational Benefits
The first thing you can do in to get one step closer to a career in this field is to use your tuition benefits and begin taking classes in the computer sciences right now. You can do this online, from anywhere in the world, even while you serve. Investing your time in a computer science degree now means that you can hit the ground running once you leave the Army. Learn more today!

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