The Job Seeker’s Guide to Entry-Level Software Engineer Jobs

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Explore opportunities and tips for finding and landing an entry-level software engineer job.

[Featured Image] An entry-level software engineer smiles in front of a monitor with code on the screen.

What are entry-level software engineer jobs?

You can find entry-level jobs in every industry. They require the least education, training, or professional experience to perform. Entry-level roles are ideal opportunities for anyone new to a career field. Entry-level software engineers work on new features with other developers and document and debug code. Typically, entry-level software engineer jobs require one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Familiarity with programming languages such as Java, Swift, or C#

  • Experience working in a collaborative environment 

  • A computer science degree or equivalent experience in a related field of study

If you haven’t yet gained the skills mentioned above, don’t worry. The following article covers several ways for future software engineers to prepare for an entry-level role. 

Read more: 5 Tech Entry-Level Jobs: No Experience or Commute Required

Entry-level software engineer salary

Although salaries vary based on expertise levels, many entry-level software engineer jobs pay above-average wages. The median annual salary for all occupations is $45,760 [1], per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average salary for entry-level software engineers is $83,195, according to Glassdoor [2]. Entry-level software engineers also report an average additional pay of $27,164 per year. These figures bring the estimated yearly compensation for entry-level software engineers to $110,359.

Job outlook for software engineers

Software engineers belong to the occupational field of computer and information technology. Careers in this industry are expected to grow 13 percent between 2020 and 2030 [1]. This figure translates into an estimated 667,600 new jobs. For established professionals and recent graduates, these circumstances provide many opportunities to begin a career in software engineering. 

How to find entry-level software engineering jobs

The field of computer science and information technology involves many different disciplines. It’s important to narrow the scope of your search to avoid encountering jobs you’re not yet qualified for. Keep in mind that all software engineers begin their careers in entry-level positions. Instead of searching Google for something like “entry-level software engineer jobs near me,” consider tailoring your search with the tips below.

Choose one (or a few) specializations that pique your interest. If you haven’t yet decided on a specialization, browsing specific career paths can still be helpful. Your search will return more precise results, enabling you to visualize the expectations for specific roles. Examples of software engineering specializations you can pursue include:

  • Web development. Web developers build, test, and maintain web applications and sites. If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, consider taking an online course like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for Web Developers.

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  • Internet of Things (IoT) engineering. IoT engineers create and maintain IoT hardware, software, platforms, and systems. 

  • Blockchain development. A blockchain developer is a software developer who focuses on developing blockchain-based technologies. 

Include remote and in-person positions. Eighty-six percent of software engineers work fully remote, according to Terminal’s State of Engineering Report 2021 [3]. 

Browse job postings even if you’re not ready to apply. You can gain valuable insight from browsing job postings. Not only can you discover opportunities that value your current skill set, but you can also learn about in-demand expertise.

Job searching platforms for software engineers

When you’re ready to begin your search, you’ll find many different job listing platforms to choose from. A few of the most popular choices among job seekers are Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. Additionally, ZipRecruiter and Hired.com have some of the highest ratings on Trustpilot, an online review community that collects and publishes genuine consumer feedback. Consider using the software engineering-focused job boards below for a narrower search scope. 

  • Dice. Dice is a career website mainly serving information technology (IT) and engineering professionals. 

  • Gun.io. Gun.io is a software development platform that helps unite companies and freelance engineers.

Meta Career Programs Job Board

The Meta Career Programs Job Board is an excellent resource for software engineering job seekers. Over 200 employers use this job board run by a tech industry leader to source qualified employees. When you complete a course from the Meta Degrees and Certificates catalog, you can gain access to the Meta Career Programs Job Board while also building your software engineering skill set. Here are a few specific courses that you can use to increase your expertise as an entry-level software engineer:

Read more: Front End vs. Back End: Learning Skills and Tools

Google job boards

Google’s job board is another reputable resource for entry-level software engineer jobs. Candidates who earn Google Career Certificates gain direct access to open positions listed by over 150 Google-vetted employers in the US. Relevant career certificates for beginners in software engineering include:

Read more: What Does a UX Designer Do?

Top companies listing software engineering jobs

To determine the top companies, we examined Glassdoor’s list of the top companies hiring for software engineer jobs. We further curated it to adequately represent several industries and eliminate companies with low employee ratings. Employee ratings are measured on a scale of one to five stars. They are calculated based on six categories: culture and values, diversity and inclusion, work/life balance, senior management, compensation and benefits, and career opportunities. 

CompanyIndustryEmployee RatingControls Engineer Average US Salary

Google

Internet & Web Services

4.7

$166,436 per year [4]

Microsoft

Computer Hardware Development

4.5

$168,816 per year [5]

Cisco Systems

Enterprise Software & Network Solutions

4.2

$132,405 per year [6]

Intel Corporation

Computer Hardware Development

4.2

$125,515 per year [7]

Apple

Computer Hardware Development

4.5

$159,653 per year [8]

How to get an interview for an entry-level software engineering job

There are many pathways to a career in software engineering. In the US, 73 percent of software engineers have a bachelor’s degree, 20 percent have a master’s degree, and four percent have an associate degree [9]. If you’re searching for entry-level software engineering jobs, you may be a recent graduate or someone who does not have prior professional experience in the field. 

In lieu of—or in addition to—these credentials, you can demonstrate your abilities in several ways. For example, you can earn Professional Certificates like the ones mentioned above from Google and Meta. Read on for more opportunities to increase your competitiveness as a candidate. 

Build the essential skills.

The following checklist contains core skills for software engineers. Consider using it to identify areas of focus for your study.

  • Technical proficiency

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Familiarity with programming languages, frameworks, and code repositories 

  • Written and verbal communication skills

  • Analytical capabilities

  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively

Enhance your resume. 

It’s essential to establish yourself as a strong candidate for any role. As a software engineer, you have an opportunity to showcase your abilities through a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your best work demonstrating your skills to potential employers. If you don’t yet have independent work for your portfolio, consider enrolling in a Guided Project like Python 101: Develop Your First Python Program.

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Read more: 10 Ways to Enhance Your Resume

Stay current with your industry. 

Another way to prepare for an entry-level software engineer job is to follow relevant YouTube channels, social media pages, and blogs. For example, if you’re learning how to become a React developer, you can join the React Native Facebook Group. Becoming an active member of a relevant community can help you stay current with the latest technologies and trends. Software engineers can also utilize collaborative platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow

Additional resources for aspiring software engineers

Get prepared with Coursera. 

Start preparing for your first entry-level software engineer job and earn a certificate online from an industry leader like IBM’s DevOps and Software Engineering, Meta's Back End Developer or Google's UX Design Professional Certificate.

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Related articles

Article sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: “Computer and Information Technology Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm.” Accessed August 4, 2022.

2. Glassdoor. “How Much Does an Entry-Level Software Engineer Make? https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/entry-level-software-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,29.htm.” Accessed August 4, 2022.

3. Terminal. “The State of Remote Engineering Report 2021Edition, https://terminal.io/state-of-remote-engineering-2021.” Accessed July 28, 2022.

4. Glassdoor. “Google Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Google-Salaries-E9079.htm.” Accessed July 28, 2022.

5. Glassdoor. “Microsoft Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Microsoft-Salaries-E1651.htm.” Accessed July 28, 2022. 

6. Glassdoor. “Cisco Systems Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Cisco-Systems-Salaries-E1425.htm.” Accessed July 28, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Intel Corporation Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Intel-Corporation-Salaries-E1519.htm.” Accessed July 28, 2022. 

8. Glassdoor. “Apple Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Apple-Salaries-E1138.htm.” Accessed July 28, 2022.

9. Zippia. “Software engineer education requirements, https://www.zippia.com/software-engineer-jobs/education/.” Accessed July 29, 2022. 

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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