Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (BSSE) candidates need to have a high school diploma or GED and should have taken advanced math and computer science classes in high school. The curriculum of these bachelor's degree programs tend to blend both computer science and engineering. Students learn about various software engineering practices, systems, and tools employed in the creation and maintenance of computer software. Graduates of a BSSE degree program have the knowledge and skills necessary for analyzing, designing, and implementing computer software systems, such as those used in video games, cell phones, and health monitoring equipment like MRIs and CT scans.
Courses likely to be incorporated into a software engineering bachelor's degree program are listed below. It's also common for BSSE degree programs to culminate in a project-based experience in which students are put into work groups and assigned to complete a comprehensive software system.
- Principles of software development
- Differential equations
- Software development tools and procedures
- Intro to algorithms and data structures
- Ethical issues in computing
- Internet development
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Software developers can look for jobs in almost any industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but an increasing number of them are taking temporary jobs or have found work as consultants. The BLS also indicated that software development positions may grow 17% for the years 2014 through 2024. Systems software developers made the median annual wage of $105,570 in May 2015, according to the BLS. During that same time, applications software developers made a median yearly salary of $98,260.
Continuing Education Information
After graduating from a BSSE degree program, students are prepared to enroll in a master's degree program. Some of master's degree programs relevant to software engineering include a Master of Science in Engineering, Master of Science in Computer Science, or Master of Science in Information Systems.
Career advancement opportunities for software engineers increase with experience and education. According to the BLS, employers often favor applicants with master's degrees for more complex software development positions. Experienced software engineers who are also business-savvy can seek leadership positions, such as project managers, managers of information systems, or chief information officers.
BSSE programs cover the tools and skills used to create and maintain computer software. Graduates of these programs can pursue entry-level careers as software developers; they can also go on to pursue master's degrees in relevant information technology fields.