Software engineering is a popular career options not only for researchers in computer science, but also those from mathematics, physics, electrical and systems engineering and other sciences.
Principle career areas in software engineering include:
- Applications Development: Problem solving-based, non-Web-based software development
- Systems Development: Designing and coding background software that supports the above
- Web Development: Designing software or applications to run in a web browser
- Embedded Systems Development: Designing computing systems and software to work as part of a larger mechanical or electrical system, such as in a car or an aircraft
Research Software Engineer
Research Software Engineers (RSEs) are a relatively new categorisation of research and engineering professional. Software plays a crucial role in research, and RSEs combine an understanding of research with programming and software engineering expertise. Due to this unique combination of skills and expertise, many RSEs hold a PhD.
RESs come in many guises, and as yet the definition of exactly what a Research Software Engineer is remains rather fluid: from an academic researcher who does a lot of programming to a software engineer who incidentally works for a research organisation or institution.
The UK RSE Association has been set up to represent those working in the field in their diverse guises; for more information, visit their careers website.
Scientific Software Engineer
As the name suggests, Scientific Software Engineers develop software solutions for scientific industries and organisations, including working on numerical models, applications and other services to help organisations carry out their science. Depending on your expertise and interests, opportunities range from working on software for use in weather and climate prediction to developing software for molecular dynamics simulation and other software solutions for use in laboratories, including instrument control and data processing.
Jobs in this area combine strong programming and analytical skills with an interest in science, thus making Scientific Software Engineering an attractive choice for Postgraduate Researchers with the right skills. For a number of roles in this field, postgraduate qualifications in a mathematical, physical, or computational science are desirable.
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