Is Software Development the right career for me in 2024?

Two people typing at their desks.

If you are looking for a rewarding yet challenging career in computing that promises ample opportunities for progression and development (along with competitive pay), considering a role as a software developer could be the perfect choice for you.

The UK job market is actively searching for graduates and individuals with digital skills in computing and software. According to LinkedIn’s Jobs on the Rise 2023 report, nine out of the 25 fastest-growing job titles in the past five years belong to the software and technology sectors.

Both sectors include roles in software development and engineering, data science, machine learning and cybersecurity.

With several alternative technical and non-technical career paths available to computer science students, Mike Talbot, Chief Technology Officer at SFG20, the industry standard for building maintenance specifications and software, has shared his insights on why taking your career in the direction of software development is the right choice for 2024.

Demand and versatility 

There were just under 5 million individuals employed in the technology sector in 2022. According to Tech Nation’s People and Skills Report 2022, this makes up approximately 14% of the total UK workforce. Their research highlights that tech vacancies were the most sought-after professions, with more than two million vacancies advertised between May 2021 to 2022.

Software development offers endless flexibility and demand in comparison to many other technical and non-technical career options. The versatile use of software in every industry can ensure graduates with a steady stream of demand for skilled software developers across industries such as healthcare, automation, finance and e-commerce.

Software development, unlike many other traditional fields, comes with an extensive range of career ladder opportunities. As in many industries, transitioning into management positions is an essential part of climbing the corporate ladder. This is no different in software development: for those who stand out for their communications skills and strategic thinking, roles such as project manager or team lead can be a common stepping stone to a top-tier management position. 

Technical expertise is uniquely valued and encouraged in software development. This also opens up the opportunity for progression based on technical skills rather than talents in people management, which some employees may be more suited to. 

Accelerated technological advancements 

In recent years, software development has undergone a remarkable evolution, fuelled by rapid technological advancements. From the emergence of cloud computing and containerization to the growing use of AI and machine learning in software interactions, the landscape of software development has evolved greatly. These advancements have opened up new paths for innovation and collaboration, presenting exciting opportunities for computer science students to work on pioneering projects.

Direct contributions to society 

Software development offers the unique opportunity to build technologies that contribute directly to people’s lives. From developing purposeful applications to optimising systems, or streamlining communication, computer science students entering this field can make visible and global contributions to society, which may not be as readily achievable in other career paths.

Flexibility of work

Unlike many other technical and non-technical fields available to computer science students, software development offers greater flexibility when it comes to your working style. Developers tend to have the autonomy to make decisions and manage their workflow. The freedom that comes with a role in software development allows for remote working and collaboration, improving your work-life balance and facilitating an improved productivity in the long term. 

Software developer salaries

The average base salary of a software developer in February 2024 was £43,279, according to figures from Glassdoor.

However, software developer salaries will vary widely depending on factors such as location and industry. The National Careers Service puts the salary range between £24,000 and £70,000, for example. 

Below is a list of average salaries in some of the highest-paying cities for software developers. 

City Average Annual Salary
London £52,842
Cambridge £44,008
Liverpool £43,279
Oxford £41,247
Manchester £40,713

(Source: Glassdoor, February 2024)


Whilst alternative technical and non-technical options available to computer science students offer unique benefits and opportunities to specialise in a specific domain, the versatility of software development allows it to stand out as an ideal graduate career path. With the strong technical know-how and interest for the industry that all computing students will possess, software development offers a fulfilling opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative and impactful contributions in the digital space.


Author: SFG20

Launched in 1990 by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), SFG20 is recognised as the industry standard for building maintenance specifications. With access to a library of over 2000 maintenance schedules that update dynamically to reflect changes in legislation and health and safety regulations, you can create customised maintenance schedules that are designed to keep you compliant while also saving you time, effort and money.

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