Employment is projected to increase by 32 percent between 2006 and 2016. Computer specialists account for 52 percent of all workers. Job opportunities will be excellent for most workers, but professional workers should enjoy the best prospects, reflecting continuing demand for higher level skills needed to keep up with changes in technology.
Software publishing establishments are involved in all aspects of producing and distributing computer software, such as designing, providing documentation, assisting in installation, and providing support services to customers. The term “publishing” often implies the production and distribution of information in printed form. The software publishing industry also produces and distributes information, but usually it does so by other methods, such as CD-ROMs, the sale of new computers already preloaded with software, or through distribution over the Internet.
Establishments in this industry may design, develop, and publish software, or publish only. Establishments that provide access to software for clients from a central host site, design custom software to meet the needs of specific users, or are involved in the mass duplication of software are classified elsewhere.
Software is often divided into two main categories—applications software and systems software. Applications software includes individual programs for computer users—such as word processing and spreadsheet packages, games and graphics packages, data storage programs, and Web browsing programs. Systems software, on the other hand, includes operating systems and all of the related programs that enable computers to function. Establishments that design and publish prepackaged software may specialize in one of these areas, or may be involved in both. Some establishments also may install software on a customer’s system and provide user support. In 2006, there were approximately 10,000 establishments that were engaged primarily in computer software publishing, or in publishing and reproduction.
[ Excerpted from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2008-09 Edition - Software Publishers ]