How to become a software engineer: Ekansh's story

Meet Ekansh, 21, from London. He works in London and Leeds as a software engineer. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"The sky’s the limit even when you’re only 21."

What is your job?

I like to think of it as problem solving. I write code and liaise with people to solve problems with them. I do this for a range of clients.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

I have to travel up to Leeds every week. My tasks include making daily calls, writing code, managing spreadsheets and managing releases of software.

What subjects do you draw from?

Mainly Maths and Physics. It’s the problem-solving aspects of things; I’ve always enjoyed solving problems. It really helps if you have an analytical mind and approach things in an organised manner.

Do you use any soft skills in your job?

You have to use every soft skill you can imagine. It takes a combination of all of them: speaking, teamwork, time management, organisational skills, analytical skills, and problem-solving skills. I mean, the list goes on.

Is this the job you always wanted to do?

Yes. I wanted initially to go to university. I had offers to do Physics at university, but I knew I wanted to end up working in technology. Then I found that degree apprenticeships offer experience; you get a degree in three years and no student debt. You’re working, and you’re getting experience all at the same time. So, it was a no-brainer really.

Ekansh working on a laptop

Top tips

  • If you have an interest, do your research
  • If you want to get from London to Manchester, there are lots of different roads. It's the same with careers. It's all about finding the best route for you.

What to expect if you want to be a software engineer

A similar role to this is a software developer. Software developers design, build, and test computer programmes for business, education, and leisure activities.

  • Software engineer salary: £20,00 to £70,000 per year
  • Software engineer working hours: 37 to 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a software engineer?

  • Typical entry requirements: You can get into this job through a university course, an apprenticeship, or a graduate training scheme. You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Software Development, Software Engineering for Business, or Maths. You'll usually need one or two A-levels (or equivalent) for a foundation degree or higher national diploma two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree. You could do a software developer higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship in software engineering. You could also complete a digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship. You'll usually need four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A-levels (or equivalent) for a higher or a degree apprenticeship.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

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