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Computer Software Development

If you opt to develop software applications, you’ll enter into the world of computer gaming and information processing.

© iStockphoto.com/small_frog

If you have a way with widgets and want to work from home, become a software developer. You can flex your creative muscle (and your knowledge of source code) as you author computer software tailored to meet your clients' needs. Armed with computer-programming skills, or at least the aptitude to hone them, software designers are experiencing an in-demand job market, one expected to grow 30 percent in the U.S. between 2010 and 2020. While this faster-than-average growth is a good thing, the salary's not bad, either. Software designers earned an average salary of about $90,000 in 2010 [source: U.S. Department of Labor].

There are two primary career tracks in software development: applications or systems. If you opt to develop software applications, you'll enter into the world of computer gaming and information processing. System software developers, on the other hand, create everything from widely used operating systems to those tailored for specific organizations. Whichever route you choose, you can expect to sometimes work long hours -- especially as a big project comes to fruition -- and to work from home. Many software designers are able to telecommute, embracing distraction-free productivity and make-your-own-hours freedom. Of course, a healthy dose of self-discipline is required to deliver the work, which is why an innate interest in computer software is an essential part of the package, too.

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