If you are the type of person who has an interest in computers, software, and understanding how it all comes together, then online degrees in software engineering could be a great fit. Software engineers bring mathematics and computer science together to write and develop new computer, Web, and network software. Ultimately, software engineers need to be able to adjust to new advancements in technology, and be able to adjust their roles accordingly.
Typically, software engineers are divided into two specific fields, applications engineers and systems engineers. Applications engineers study the needs of software users and develop ways to improve existing software, or create entirely new programs. Applications engineers must know, and use, a number of different computer languages, like, C, C++, Java, and Python.Typically, they develop software for business applications, but can also work with developing databases. Systems engineers, on the other hand, coordinate a particular organization’s computer needs. They organize and develop plans to order, inventory, and care for the computer needs of a department, or in some cases, and entire business or organization.
Classes and Assignments of a Software Engineering Major
The types of courses you take as a software engineering major will vary depending on the school you attend and degree level you select. However, most software engineering majors can expect to take a majority of their courses in mathematics, computer science, and computer programing. Bachelor’s degree students can also expect basic courses in English, physical sciences, writing, and history. If you plan to develop and implement software in a science or engineering environment, you should take courses in computer or information science, mathematics, or engineering. Students hoping to work in a business settings should supplement their education with business courses like accounting or finance to help understand expenses involved for computer engineering.
Degree Levels for a Software Engineering Major
- Associate. Online associate software engineering degrees are designed to provide an introduction to computer programming, and the different languages used in creating software. Students who have an associate degree in computer engineering, or an equivalent, can find employment as entry-level software programmers, database programmers, software support technicians, and software testers.
- Bachelor’s. Online bachelors software engineering degrees provide a more in-depth study of the skills needed to work in the field, and will teach students a working knowledge of scripting for computer engineers. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering can usually find employment as software developers, programmers, application developers, Web application developers, software engineers, software applications analysts, Web applications analysts, Web applications specialists, and software applications specialists.
- Master’s. Online masters software engineering degrees explore advanced concepts in software engineering, embedded software, software engineering management, and systems engineering. Master’s degrees in software engineering can also be specialized for designing and implementing software in specific fields such as finance, accounting, network administration, or system security. Graduates holding a master’s degree in software engineering are prepared for a wide range of careers in the field, particularly as managers or department heads.
A Future as a Software Engineering Major
Computer engineering jobs require entry-level software engineers to have a minimum education of an associate degree, or an equivalent two-year degree. Some more advanced positions will require a bachelor’s degree, or even some sort of post-baccalaureate degree or certificate. Salaries vary greatly depending on experience, location, and roles and responsibilities, but on average, computer systems software engineers earned $92,430 annually as of May 2008, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that those working as computer applications software engineers earned $85,430, while computer programmers earned $69,620.
Students with a degree in Software Engineering are considered well prepared for
becoming Computer software engineers, systems software.