11 of the Most Popular Specialities in Software Engineering

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Software engineering is an expansive field, more than people usually realise. You may be surprised to learn that there are many areas of expertise and uses for software engineering in a wide range of different industries.

And while it may seem like a daunting task to choose a speciality, it is easy if you know what you’re passionate about. Plus, your specialities can change over time as you learn and grow, giving you the chance to explore more.

Here are 11 of the most popular specialities in software engineering.

1. Video game development

Video game development as one of the specialities in software engineering

It’s no secret that video games are a hugely popular way to spend time. So it’s also no surprise that video game development is one of the most popular uses for software engineering.

Becoming a game developer is a dream of many prospective software engineers.

But many enter the field expecting it to be easy and fun – and it can be anything but that. Creating a game takes a lot of time, effort, and teamwork.

Good games take months, if not years, to make, and they go through a long series of trials and bug fixes. Nevertheless, game development is a great field to get involved in if you are creative, a team player, and patient.

2. AR/VR technology

AR and VR technology can sometimes be a subcategory of video game development, but this is not always the case. Creating AR and VR requires different skills than video game developers, and AR and VR have a lot of various applications for use, such as in the retail and medical fields.

Since there is a lot of technical overlap between video game development and AR and VR technology, you could work on specialising in both areas.

3. Network security

Keeping people and their data safe online is becoming more and more critical. Specialising in network security as a software engineer means you would be working to protect devices with access to the web from potential hackers.

You may also develop third-party applications and software that help protect networks, users, and their data. Software engineers in this speciality need to be good at problem-solving with attention to detail since any fault in the security system is potentially dangerous.

4. CRM engineering

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is becoming increasingly popular as more companies work exclusively online. CRM software is excellent for managing sales funnels and keeping data on repeat customers and clients.

As a CRM software engineer and manager, you would be in charge of either creating or maintaining the software that helps sales and marketing companies funnel in and retain customers. For this speciality, it is good to be a people person and have a decent interest in the sales and marketing process.

5. Front-end engineer or UI developer

Front end engineer with specialities in software engineering

A front-end engineer manages the interfaces end-users see first-hand. Making these interfaces easy and accessible for the target audience is vital. This can also be called a user interface or UI design.

Since many websites and apps are accessed on multiple devices with different interfaces, front-end engineers and UI developers must understand numerous programming languages and the systems for which users can access the webpage or application. Specialising in user interface requires a good balance of visual design and knowing what will make the most sense for the target audience.

6. Back-end engineer

The back-end engineer works with the core of the website or application, ensuring the system runs smoothly and data is collected and stored correctly. They work on the server-side, building the structure and the framework that the front-end engineers work with.

Back-end engineers also ensure the information and the users who access the system are safe and secure. To become a back-end engineer, you need to be hard-working and have good attention to detail.

7. Data science

If you are a fan of statistics and analytics, then you may consider a specialisation in data science software engineering. This type of software engineer develops programs to analyse information and output it in an easy-to-understand format for the end-user.

Data science software helps users or entire organisations understand their products or services, what has grown, and what needs to be changed. Data science software is beneficial in a wide variety of fields. However, for a speciality in data science, you need to have a good understanding of data and how to read it to format it correctly.

8. Multimedia programming

Multimedia programming covers a lot of areas, including film, animation, and photography. This speciality would have you working up close and personally with artists to help create digital media.

A multimedia programmer ensures that the product is usable and accessible across the necessary mediums, so knowledge of multiple programming languages is necessary. It is great for multimedia programmers to be creative and thoughtful.

9. Systems analytics

System analyst as specialities in software engineering

System analysis involves working with existing systems to solve problems and find ways to improve the system. System analysis is an in-depth process that consists of a lot of communication with various essential stakeholders within a company.

It can also involve working with end-users to understand their likes and dislikes and work to better the system for them. Specialising in system analytics means you are a good problem solver and a people person since you need to work together with teams of people to analyse and improve their systems.

10. Geographic information systems

This may seem like an odd one, but it is actually quite a common software engineering speciality. Geographic information systems (GIS) are utilised in a wide variety of ways, including for public safety, network management, and resource optimisation.

Your job as a GIS specialist would be to capture, store, and analyse the data regarding a certain area.

This data could involve the topography, weather patterns, locations of underground cables, and more. As such, it does require some geography, earth science, and map interpretation coursework, but it is an excellent speciality for anyone interested in helping their community, or anyone with a high interest in science.

11. DevOps

The term DevOps comes from software development, Dev, and IT operations, or Ops, and it’s a speciality that works to create software and updates throughout the full life of the software.

This means a DevOps specialist must have a wide understanding of software development languages, tools, and skills. In addition, a DevOps engineer needs to be quick and diligent since they are effectively the mastermind behind the whole operation of the system.

This speciality is certainly demanding, but highly rewarding.

Software engineering at Institute of Data

With so many different potential career pathways to choose from, software engineering is an exciting field – one that continues to grow every day. But to specialise in software engineering, you first need a software engineering education to get your career started right.

Book a consultation today to find out more about our software engineering program.


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