Design, write, test, debug/troubleshoot and maintaining the source code of computer programs. This source code is written in a programming language so the computer can 'understand' it. Software engineers support every industry and career family, so regardless of your other interests, there is likely a career in software development that is connected! Software developers also typically have specializations in fields such as web development, Java, Mainframe, Client, Server and others.

Make a Difference

A Typical Day

  • Design new programs or applications as part of a team.
  • Modify existing software to correct errors, to adapt it to new hardware, or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance.
  • Develop or direct software system testing or validation procedures.
  • Direct software programming and development of documentation.
  • Consult with customers or other departments on project status, proposals, or technical issues, such as software system design or maintenance.

Recommended Credentials

Associate's or Bachelor's Degree

Education & Training

Regional employers often hire graduates of these programs.


Northwest Lower Michigan


Northwestern Michigan College
Associate's Degree
Computer Information Technology - Developer

Ferris State University - NMC University Center
Bachelor's of Science
Computer Information Systems

Elsewhere in Michigan


Davenport University
Bachelor's of Science
Computer Information Systems

Explore This Career

Try it before you buy it!

Take a computer science class at your high school 

Check out lessons, projects, classes, and more

The Local Advantage Learning Pathway

Pathway 1

Northwest Education Services Career Tech Center 
- Web & Application Development 

Pathway 2

Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), Associate in Applied Science degree
Computer Information Technology - Developer

Pathway 3

Start working, and/or advance your career and wages with a Computer Science degree!

Ferris State University - NMC University Center
Bachelor of Science (BS) Computer Information Systems

Ferris State University - Bachelor of Science (BS)Digital Media Software Engineering


Sample Employers in Our Region

Click the logos below to learn more.


Contact one of these companies and ask for an informational interview, to see if you can job shadow, or to find out if they hire interns.


Sample Job Titles...

  • Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Application (App) Developer
  • Coder
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Development Engineer
  • Application Integration Engineer
  • Infrastructure Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Software Architect

Hear It From The Pros

10-Year Job Growth Projections

10-County Region

Employed Regionally

In 2021 (10-County Region)

Wage Range & Median 10-County Region


Annual Hires Regionally

In 2021

Other Regional Career Resources

Learn more about Software DevelopersSoftware Programmers at O*NET Online.

Sample Career Pathways

Click to download a PDF of this diagram.

Diagram of Paths To and From Other Careers for Software Developer and Programmer

Real World Career Pathways

It doesn't have to be a straight shot! Hear from people who have taken unique pathways.