Whether you’re grabbing a ride, ordering food, shopping, or tracking your fitness, mobile apps are many times your first stop for help with daily activities. Smartphones have changed the way we live, and the new technologies and resources available for mobile are rapidly expanding.

According to the Pew Research Center, 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, and tablet computer ownership has edged up to 45% among adults. Smartphone ownership is nearing the saturation point with some groups: 86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone, as do 83% of those ages 30-49 and 87% of those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually.

As a result, mobile application development is booming, with many job opportunities available. Take a look at what mobile app development is all about and how you can get started in this growing field.


What is mobile app development?

Mobile application development is the process of creating software for various mobile platforms or operating systems. For instance, Apple’s mobile operating system is called iOS, Google’s mobile platform is Android, RIM has Blackberry, and Windows has Windows Mobile. Each of these mobile platforms has its own systems, regulations, and requirements to make a mobile application.


Who would be interested in mobile app development?

Anyone with a passion for new technologies and digital resources is a great candidate for the mobile app industry. To be successful, mobile app developers must not only be tech savvy, but also creative. Developers are asked to deliver innovative and unique applications that provide new benefits to users.

Individuals who are interested in creating an easier way to do something, making digital resources more accessible, or who want to take their programming skills to the next level may be interested in mobile app development.


Test your abilities with the Mobile Application Development Skills Challenge. 


What career opportunities are available in this area?

Common jobs include data architect, flash/.net/java/C++ developer, mobile application developer, software analyst or architect, and web designer or developer.

You can find mobile app development in all industries, but some of the most common workplaces include advertising or marketing agencies, corporations, government, health care organizations, information technology consulting firms, public/private education organizations, software development companies, or web development agencies.


What is the job outlook for this field?

Tynan Fischer, COO at NH Learning Solutions, states that “the demand for skilled and talented mobile application developers still far exceeds the supply.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer careers are expected to grow by 17% through 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for software developers was $100,690 in May 2015.


What skills and knowledge are employers looking for in mobile app developers? How can individuals get started in the field?

Many employers are looking for mobile apps developers who:

  • Have at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the following disciplines: software engineering, mobile application development, mobile computing, or computer science.
  • Have cross-platform development skills.
  • Can implement a mobile-based design through collaboration and the use of IT tools.
  • Understand how to design effective mobile solutions for business IT environments using agile practices, policies standards, and technologies.

With the demand for new mobile apps and digital technologies projected to grow in the foreseeable future, there are and will continue to be abundant opportunities for individuals to work either as part of a company or on a freelance basis developing mobile applications.



Learn more about Capella University’s online Bachelor’s in Mobile Development or Bachelor’s in Software Development with an emphasis in Mobile  Development.