Over the course of three years, students will master software development, from concept to implementation and maintenance
Demand for software development professionals continues to rise after the pandemic, at a rate of up to 20%, offering high salaries and the possibility of remote working from anywhere in the world
Starting this September, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is offering a Bachelor’s Degree in Techniques for Software Development, the only such degree in Spain available online and completely in English. It offers training in a booming sector, in which multiple studies have forecast an increase in demand, high salaries and the possibility of working from anywhere in the world. "This bachelor's degree programme has a strong international orientation and will teach students to develop any kind of software, from system applications to web, mobile and multi-platform apps," explained the director of the programme, Robert Clarisó.
"Software nowadays lies at the heart of every organization, from public administrations and multinationals to SMEs. Digital transformation is a hot topic and one of the cornerstones of European COVID-19 funding", argued Clarisó, who also pointed out how software is a continuous presence in our everyday lives. "It is the people developing software who make the electronic devices we use every day possible, not to mention the platforms on which we consume multimedia content, the web portals on which we make our purchases and the social networks keeping us in touch with each other."
Software has also changed the way in which we work and connect with one another, especially after COVID-19. "The pandemic has convinced us that we can work remotely, and many companies have taken advantage of this to transform themselves", Clarisó continued. "There's been a shift from permitting teleworking to encouraging it or moving straight to 100% remote working. Studying online also prepares students for working remotely", he added. An increasing number of companies in Spain are looking for software engineering experts, such as those trained by this bachelor's degree, to work without leaving home. "It's becoming increasingly commonplace to work from one country for a company based in another", he stated.
Internationalization plays a key role in the future of tech companies. "More and more companies have customers abroad, carry out international projects or have development teams spread across different countries", he explained. What's more, Clarisó noted that English is the language of the tech sector. "Almost all documentation, manuals and code samples are in English. This is why it's the working language: It's the lingua franca, no other is used", he said. That's why students studying for this new UOC bachelor's degree will receive 100% of their instruction in English, which will make them better-placed to find work.
Clarisó pointed out that, instead of falling with the pandemic, both demand and salaries have actually risen, and that it is predicted that this increase, "will be greater in the next ten years". A study by Fundación Telefónica puts software developer at the top of the ranking of highest-demand jobs, with a figure double that of the second-placed profession, concluding that demand has increased over the course of February and March this year by almost 20%. Looking internationally, in the United States, the forecast is for a 22% increase of job offers in the sector until 2029, above other professions, while in Europe, there are warnings of a shortfall of these professionals.
This bachelor's degree produces software development professionals and system and network administrators. The programme of study encompasses software's entire life cycle, from design to implementation, testing and maintenance, as well as different programming languages, libraries and frameworks.
The competencies developed lead to achievement of the category of analyst programmer, although job offers in the sector can go under different names, such as software engineer, programmer, or web or app developer. With regard to the remuneration for such jobs, the reports mention figures ranging between €35,000 and €45,000 a year. "Salary levels are very high, and when you gain more experience, wages become extremely competitive", explained Clarisó.
The Bachelor's Degree in Techniques for Software Application Development features a programme consisting of 180 ECTS credits and a planned duration of three years, in line with the model followed by most countries in the European Higher Education Area. With the UOC's teaching model, the pace of study can be adapted to students' individual circumstances.
The staff teaching the degree programme boast extensive professional experience in the sector and broad teaching experience using an online methodology, the UOC's hallmark for 25 years.
Robert Clarisó Viladrosa
Lecturer in the IT, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department
Director of the university master's degree programme in Computer Engineering
Expert in: Formal verification; formal methods in software engineering; theoretical computer science.
Knowledge area: Computing and theoretical computer science.