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The most in-demand jobs in the UK: Software Developer

We continue writing about some of the key jobs in demand in the UK this year - this time about specific professions that made the country's shortage occupation list in 2023.

The UK government every year provides a detailed list of roles that are in short supply in different areas of the country. Under the new points-based immigration system, most non-UK resident workers must apply for a visa to work in the UK, but these roles have more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications.

The list includes programmers and software development professionals who design, build and test computer programmes, as well as fix and improve existing software. They work closely with clients to determine what they need, then use programming languages like Java or C++. They must have strong critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

Software development is a great career, and the data shows that about 60% of developers have less than five years of experience. On average, such specialists in the UK earn between £40,000 and £55,000 a year.

What do you study to become a software developer?

You can have a degree in subjects like computer science, information technology, software development and financial technology. However, learning never stops because you need to stay up to date with new technologies and innovations. For example, software developers need to learn multiple languages to keep up with industry demands.

Here are some of the best UK Universities to get these or similar degrees:

University of Cambridge (BA (hons) computer science)

University of Oxford (MCompSci (hons) computer science (3 or 4 years))

University of St Andrews (BSc (hons) computer science & economics)

Imperial College London (MEng (hons) computing (artificial intelligence & machine learning))

University of Edinburgh (BSc (hons) computer science & physics)

What are the entry requirements?

The course requires a minimum score of 6 in IELTS and three A-Levels - from A*A*A* to BBC grades in subjects like Maths, computing or computer science. A-levels in further maths, physics, sociology and philosophy can also be helpful.

Want to learn about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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