How to Start a Career in Software Development

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Although you may not know it, we all use and rely on software to carry out our everyday lives. From the operating systems that power your smartphone, the social media apps you connect with your friends on, and streaming services you use to watch your favourite series – software is all around us.

Behind these software systems are highly skilled developers, writing effective code to create and maintain our virtual worlds.

Whilst software development skills are in high demand, it can be difficult to know where to start without any coding experience. This blog explores the different routes available to help you launch a career in software and become an expert coder:


The software industry is currently facing a growing skills shortage, and the demand for skilled software developers currently outweighs the supply. According to the Tech Nation Report 2021, Software Developers account for 7 out of the 10 most in-demand job roles in the UK, and the need for software skills continues to increase.

It is no surprise that a role in software comes with a healthy pay packet. The average annual salary for a developer in the UK currently stands at £46,722 and continues to rise.

Although salaries are an important factor in any career choice, it is important that you choose an industry that excites you – and software may certainly do just that! In a software development role, no two days are the same. Technology is constantly evolving and there are over 700 coding languages to learn, meaning you will always be busy!

Now that we’ve highlighted why software is a great industry to be a part of, let’s dive into how you can get started:


Long gone are the days when people would associate apprenticeships with manual trade, apprenticeships are now a popular route to launch a long-term career in tech. With a software apprenticeship, you’ll build the skillset of a Junior Developer through practical work-based learning and high-quality apprenticeship training.

Our Level 3 Software Development apprenticeship transforms aspiring developers into confident coders, equipping you with the skills you need to troubleshoot software issues, develop user interfaces, and write effective code. As no two developers will have the same career goals or use the same software languages, we’ve included specialist courses to take this Level 3 programme above and beyond the Apprenticeship Standard. With a pathway in Python, Web Development, and SQL – this apprenticeship offers something for everyone and helps you develop the skills that employers need most.

Upon completion of a Level 3 apprenticeship, you have the choice to develop your software skillset further through our Level 4 Software Developer apprenticeship. This programme can take your expertise to the next level with courses in the software lifecycle, project management, and software design.

Overall, a software development apprenticeship is a sensible option for those looking to launch a life-long career in the sector.

Upon completion of their programme, 95% of Baltic Apprentices either remain in employment or progress onto a higher-level apprenticeship to develop their skills further. Not to mention, apprenticeship training is funded by the government which means no student loans or tuition fees to pay – bonus!

Read More: Where Can A Software Development Apprentice Take You?


Although we believe in the power of apprenticeships, we know that this route may not always be the best option depending on your circumstances. If you decide that university is a better fit, it is important that you look at a range of degrees to decide which one covers modules that map to your future career goals.

A degree in Software Development can come under various names from Software Engineering, Computer Science, Computing, Games Development, and many others. Each course may differ, so we encourage you to visit different campuses, download the prospectus, and ask lots of questions!

University can be an expensive choice, so make sure you choose the right course, right location, and consider your graduate career options before you make your final decision.


Both an apprenticeship and a degree are full-time commitments, so it’s important that you know you enjoy software development before you choose to go down one of these routes. Online coding courses can help you decide whether a coding career is for you, and can help enhance your CV or personal statement. There are many different short courses and boot camps you can choose from, but here are a couple that we recommend:


Codecademy offers a range of free, online courses in a range of software languages such as Javascript, Python, HTML, and many more. Courses range in length and difficulty, starting at beginner and advancing to intermediate.

If you are struggling with which language to start with, Codecademy offer a quiz that matches your interests to a coding language – helping you ignite your passion.

Future Learn

Future Learn are an online short course provider who specialise in many different subjects. They offer a range of software programmes from a 12-week software fundamentals course to more language-specific options for those who know where they want to specialise. All courses on Future Learn are free, but there are options to upgrade your membership to complete tests, gain certificates, and have lifetime access.


Deciding on which route to take is a huge decision and we encourage you to evaluate all options to decide which suits you best. If you have decided that an apprenticeship is right for you, check out our latest software vacancies.