In modern day software development environments, analysis and understanding of the emerging industry needs is of strategic importance for a more effective software engineering (SE) education that is innovative and responsive to changing industry needs. Considering the demand for well-trained software engineers in the near future, an empirical study was performed on SE job postings in order to identify the emerging needs and trends in the software industry. The methodology of this study was based on semantic topic analysis implemented by latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), a probabilistic generative approach for topic modeling. The findings of the study indicated that, the software industry has a wide spectrum in terms of professional roles, responsibilities (in-demand skills) and combinations of programming languages. Each of the professional roles is profoundly based on specific skill sets that reflect the dynamics of the software industry. Also, the topics discovered by LDA highlighted a broad range of the characteristics of the SE, such as contemporary trends, demands, skills, tools, platforms, methodologies, and technologies that indicate the level of progress in this dynamic field. In light of these findings, an innovative academic curriculum for SE education can be designed consistent with the emerging needs and trends in the software industry. In this regard, the findings can provide valuable implications for the industry, academia, and SE community to close the gap between the industry needs and the current SE education.