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by Juned Ghanchi | August 13, 2020

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If you’re an aspiring software engineer and see yourself in a developer role with continuous growth, the career options are plentiful. However, some paths are growing faster than others. Based on current market trends and projections, here are six of the fastest-growing career paths for software engineers.

1. Cybersecurity Expert

As businesses continue to rely on data and data-driven insights for their growth, data security breaches and vulnerabilities of all sorts are also growing. This is where cybersecurity experts come in. Equipped with the knowledge of how to deal with the latest security threats and malicious intrusions of hackers, cybersecurity experts will continue to be highly important to safeguard business’ brand reputations, business processes, and cash flows.

2. Algorithm Developer

Algorithms are software programs based on certain rules and user inputs. They provide interactive context-driven online results used by all digital platforms. In many ways, algorithms also facilitate automation in many sectors. Today, software developers having expertise in algorithms are in high demand. And since algorithm development involves a lot of research, a Ph.D. or at least a postgraduate degree in a related discipline will be a basic requirement. Quantitative problem-solving skills and quantitative data analysis expertise are other requirements.

3. Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning, which is basically a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, is all about making computers more capable of learning from user inputs and behavior, and then responding to this behavior. With its huge promise of facilitating automation and driving customer satisfaction across online platforms, this technology has become tremendously popular. As a result, machine learning engineers are in high demand.

Quantitative data analysis is the key skill area of machine learning engineers. Expertise in software development and computer hardware engineering is also important. A good academic track record in mathematics and exposure to core computing ideas and skills further help when you’re pursuing this career option. 

4. Full-Stack Developer

Since mobile and web apps are the rage, and almost all businesses are vying for their own mobile presence, developers who can handle both frontend and backend development tasks are in high demand. These versatile experts are commonly known as full-stack developers. Many developers with full-stack skills have played an instrumental role as on-demand app developers for startup on-demand services. 

5. Data Scientist

Since businesses rely on data and data-driven insights to grow, data scientists are now experiencing unprecedented demand in the job market. The demand will likely not slow down anytime soon, as data-driven insights will continue to dominate business strategies and decision-making in the years to come.

Many universities all over the globe have already rolled out regular curriculums on data science. Apart from a Ph.D. or at least a master's degree in computer science, data scientists will ideally have a solid command over mathematics and statistics. Career opportunities for data scientists are huge, since every business is already doing everything to realize the potential of data-driven insights to stay ahead of the competitive curve. 

6. Python Developer

Python is the most popular programming language for banking and financial apps, AI and machine learning apps, and scientific apps dealing with data-based algorithms. On the other hand, Python is versatile enough to allow different types of programming, including object-oriented, functional, and procedural. Python is also helpful for its extensive range of libraries. 

Since Python is so popular across so many sectors, Python developers are increasingly in high demand. Python is great for a new software engineering aspirant because it doesn't come with a hefty learning curve and offers a syntax that looks like plain English.

Juned Ghanchi is a co-founder and the CMO of IndianAppDevelopers, a mobile application development company that serves small and large businesses.

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