To help companies and set a standard for software engineers, the IEEE created “SWEBOK” in 2004. SWEBOK (Software Engineering Book of Knowledge) details the knowledge the IEEE recommends a four-year degree holder in software engineering should have mastered.
Many software engineers find that having a degree can accelerate job opportunities, plus it is an excellent way to learn hands-on training for writing applications. There are a number of online software engineering degrees to choose from, and many people find it is a great way to learn quickly. People looking at a career change tend to find online software engineering schools as an excellent way to learn viable career skills while still being employed.
Below are some featured software engineering programs that are entirely online, so you can learn on your own time in your own home. You can request more information from these schools to learn more about their program. We recommend gathering information from at least 3-5 programs. You should be sure to ask them questions about their online learning management environment, class schedules and flexibility, and overall cost of the program.
Types of Software Engineering Degrees
A software engineering degree is a subcategory or concentration of both the computer engineering degree field and computer science program area. As you may expect, there are a number of subcategories of software engineering. Generally, software engineering is extremely dependent on a smooth process in order to prevent bugs and have the most optimal code for running software. As a result there are a number of specialties and types of software engineering degrees. We have highlighted some of the most critical and popular degree concentrations below.
Online Software Engineering Degrees
There are many online options for software engineering today. Pennsylvania State University has one of the best online programs available. The program, like many others, is 100 percent online. Online programs cover the same core material without being restricted to a formal classroom setting. More information can be found at Pennsylvania State University’s software engineering website. View our comprehensive summary of software engineering degrees online here.
Software Design & Development
Many people say the best products and software starts with the best planning. The definition and design of the architecture, components, user interfaces, and other components for software is an extremely important part of any software development project. Likewise, after the scope is created by the Software Design Architect, the Development Engineer (or team of development engineers) build the software through coding, unit, integration, and regression testing, and debugging.
Software Quality Assurance & Testing
Quality Assurance (QA) is an integral part to any software. QA Analysts test in multiple environments to find specific instances and provide provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product.
Software Engineering Configuration Management Degrees
It is important to have configuration specialists to configure the software over time and maintain the integrity of how the software was built and intended for use. The maintenance of software can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of a busy business, but it is important to ensure updates and maintenance so the software does not become deprecated and allow for security vulnerabilities.
Web, Game, & Mobile Application Development Engineering Degrees
Game, web, and mobile application development is a popular sub category for software engineer programs. Such programs focus on expanding graphic features and user interface for the gaming community. Advanced software architecture in smartphones and computer browsers are studied in mobile applications.
Information Security Engineering Degrees
Information security is a specialty that confronts a corporation’s databases systems to prevent large scale identity theft. Digital image processing is another elective track pursed by software engineers. These courses introduce voice and facial recognition software. Image restoration, color enhancement, geometric processes are all explored within this category.
Artificial Intelligence Engineering Degrees
Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly law enforcement Artificial intelligence is another concentration that is in high demand. Large businesses, the military and other government entities such as NASA, often use complex software design. Artificial intelligence can be used in situations to dangerous or impractical for humans.
What is Software Engineering?
The below homemade video on YouTube does a great job of detailing what software engineering and how it differs from related degrees such as computer science or computer engineering.
Software Engineering Classes to Expect
Software engineering is a degree concentration growing in popularity. Software engineering degrees are a specialized discipline, usually within a computer science curriculum.
Required course work typically involves programming languages, software development, computer architecture, and digital logic. Students must exhibit competency is core engineering classes such as mathematics, chemistry and physics.
A senior project that demonstrates competency in applied theory is a graduation requirement for most programs. Students looking to enter this course of study must have a high school diploma, a history of high academic achievement in math and science.
Additionally, the submission of ACT scores and a resume featuring past accomplishments may be required. School admissions staff looks for well-rounded individual in addition scholastic requirements.
Once the principles of software engineering are learned, most software engineers fine-tune their craft by learning other more specific languages to advance their skills and hiring opportunities.
Career as a Software Engineer
Professionals with a degree in software engineering are employed in numerous fields. Computer software engineer is a popular position held by software engineer graduates. Other positions may include computer applications engineer, computer systems engineer, software quality assurance engineers, and many more. More complex and increasingly integrated networks and data systems place software engineers in demand.
Between 2012 and 2022, software engineers are expected to see job growth of 22 percent. Average annual salary for software engineers was $99,000 in May of 2012 according to Bureau of Labor and Statistics (source). Increased needs for lightweight mobile devices are reasons why the career outlook can be intriguing for software engineer degree holders. Software engineers may also pursue career paths in the following areas: web development, management, consulting, or post secondary instructors.
Software Engineering Degrees to Consider
Many schools are recognized for excellence in the study of Software Engineering. The Milwaukee School of Engineering software engineering degree is a well-recognized. A small average class size (21 students) and state of the art laboratories ensure students are challenged and receive one on one instruction from highly trained educators. There is no specific course track a student may follow to satisfy degree requirements. Course work sequence can vary widely by institution. Students at East Carolina University may train in Software Engineering foundations, Software Project Management, or Software Modeling and Analysis.
Other recognized programs include: National University, Herzing University, Stratford University, and many more. It is important to carefully review all program options regarding graduate placement, program requirements, research and laboratory tools and Accreditation Board for Engineering status.
Accredited Software Engineering Schools
Featured online schools with software engineering-related programs accepting applicants