What Education is required for a Software Developer in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Software Development Idustry Outlook:

If you are considering becoming a software developer in the state of Wisconsin, you might think that there is a set educational path you have to follow. This is not the case at all, however. Though there are some paths that are more likely to help you land the career that you want, there is no one way to get the job of your dreams. Here, we will discuss some of the educational options available to you and the pros and cons of each. You can take this information and use it to help you decide the best educational path for your career goals. Do keep in mind, however, that you must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent before you can even think about pursuing one of these educational paths.

wisconsin software development schools

  1. An Associate's Degree: An associate's degree, typically earned from a community college in around two years, is the lowest level degree that you can obtain. It is designed to give you a basic overview of the field and to help you understand what will be expected of you as a software developer. This degree is often preferred by those with other obligations, such as a current job or family, because it can be done in very little time and many programs offer classes online or in the evenings. However, it can be somewhat difficult to secure a job in the field with only an associate's degree. Typically, if a job can be found, it is a very entry-level position that will require you to work your way up for better pay and more prestige. Having specialized certifications can help to improve your chances of being hired for a job in the state. Another plus side to the associate's degree is that the credits earned while pursuing can almost always be transferred to earn a bachelor's degree in less time.
  2. A Bachelor's Degree: Most professionals working as software developers in the state of Wisconsin possess at least a bachelor's degree. This degree is designed to provide you with all of the basic, general information of an associate's degree in addition to more in depth information that prepares you to work in the field. It is typically completed in around four years, or two if you already possess an associate's degree. Like the associate's degree, it is often stronger when coupled with certifications or additional coursework. You will need a bachelor's degree in order to obtain a master's degree.
  3. The Master's Degree: If you are working in the field already and are unhappy with your salary, a master's degree is a great way to earn more money. You can also earn a master's degree right after earning your bachelor's degree if you want to be as prepared as possible for your chosen career. Alternately, a master's degree is an excellent choice for those who have received bachelor's degrees in an unrelated field. This will allow these individuals to pursue the career of their dreams without starting their educations over from scratch. Also, many master's degree programs are more than happy to admit those with unrelated undergraduate focuses, because this adds diversity and unique perspective to the program. A master's degree may also be earned when you are already working in the field, and many times, an employer will finance all or part of your education.
  4. The Doctoral Degree/PhD: A doctoral degree is the highest level degree you can obtain in the field. Unfortunately, however, there are not a lot of programs in Wisconsin that offer such a high level degree in the subject. As such, many will choose to go out of state to obtain the degree or to go to online colleges or universities. While this degree is definitely not a necessity to working in the field (the vast majority of professionals do not possess it), it can help to increase salary or to catapult you to a more prestigious position, such as a software project manager or to give you clout when trying to open your own software company or develop and market software you have designed. This degree is not the right choice for everyone, but many do benefit from it.

Obviously, there are several different educational paths you can take t become a software developer in the state of Wisconsin. You must think long and hard to determine the one that is right for you. You have to be honest with yourself about how willing you are to commit to schooling, how much schooling you think that you can handle, and what level of education you can afford to pursue. Remember that you are never locked into one choice. If you start at the bottom of the education totem pole, there is always time and room to move up.

Schools offering online and campus-based education programs in West Wisconsin: