ARKANSAS TECH BOOM: Software Developer

By Arkansas Next on Monday, October 25, 2021

Courtney Campbell was highly motivated to pursue a career in computer science because of the flexibility the field offers. As someone who eventually wants to start a family, she knew that a degree in technology would give her the option to work remotely and spend more time at home. She also found it attractive to go into a growing field that offers great salaries.

Campbell followed through with her plans and graduated from Harding University with a degree in computer science. She now works as a software developer at ArcBest in Fort Smith, and in her role, she works to create and maintain applications.

“A big part of what we do at ArcBest is transportation logistics; my team specifically works with the software that dock workers use when they move freight,” Campbell says. “I spend the majority of my time in development; this includes researching issues, coding fixes, expanding the features of our current applications, converting older programs to newer technologies, testing and collaborating with my teammates.”

Campbell says most students would be surprised to know that the stereotype they associate with the tech industry is not reality. “You don’t have to build PCs in your free time to be successful in this line of work,” she says. “Every job is not like working at a startup in Silicon Valley; there are many job opportunities where you work normal office hours and can maintain a very healthy work-life balance.”

Campbell loves that her career encourages her to expand her knowledge and learn something new every day. “One of my favorite things about the software development field is that it rewards learning and growth,” she says. “Technologies and coding languages are constantly cycling in and out, so being able and willing to learn new things is your greatest tool for staying relevant and having a long and fulfilling career.”

Communication is also key. “Software development is highly collaborative. One developer is very rarely working in isolation,” she says. “It’s a great strength to be an effective communicator and team player.”

If you think this job sounds cool…

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in: Software engineering or computer science

You could make this kind of money: The average annual salary for a software developer is $84,750 in Arkansas.*

You might also like these jobs: Computer programmer, software quality assurance testers, computer systems analysts, application developer, application integration engineer, infrastructure engineer, network engineer


Park & Program

National Park College offers an associate degree in computer information systems (programming). This course load includes a curriculum where students will learn computer math, programming, PC hardware maintenance, computer law and ethics, HTML, web design, mobile application programming, web design and even video game development.

The course of study also requires a programming internship. NPC also offers programs in Computer Networking and Cybersecurity, Video Game Design and Animation that prepares students to transfer to Southern Arkansas University.