Students in bachelor's degree programs in software engineering study software architecture, database and operating systems, computer security and network management. Programs may require internships or mandatory software laboratory time as part of their curricula. Most programs also require professional communications courses, both in speech and writing. A high school diploma or GED is required for admission.
Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering
Students typically take advanced mathematics coursework, such as statistics, calculus, discrete mathematics and differential equations, in software engineering programs. Students may also study software engineering processes and tools, such as requirements management, quality assurance testing and process improvement methodologies. Common courses include:
- Network/software architecture and protocols
- Software component design
- Software engineering process
- Data structures
- Network analysis and computer network security
- Operating and database systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates can find careers designing software solutions in industries such as consumer electronics, health care and government. They can find entry-level career opportunities such as:
- Computer applications software engineer
- Computer systems software engineer
- Systems analyst
- Network engineer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
During the decade spanning 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates 13% growth for computer systems software developers and 19% growth for computer applications software developers. For the same time period, growth is expected to be 8% for network and computer systems administrators and 21% for systems analysts. Employment opportunities for computer programmers are expected to decline by 8%.
The BLS reported median annual earnings in May 2015 of $105,570 for computer systems software developers and $98,260 for computer applications software developers. Median earnings at that time were $77,810 for network and computer systems administrators, $79,530 for programmers and $85,800 for systems analysts.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates desiring additional technical abilities can pursue a master's degree in software engineering or a related discipline. Programs offering networking concentrations are also available. These programs can provide students with advanced technical skills and knowledge, as well as a more global view of current developments and practices in software engineering. Those interested in management opportunities can choose to apply to an MBA program to develop business and managerial skills.
By earning a bachelor's degree in software engineering, students receive a broad introduction to computer-related subjects, including network management. When they finish, they can pursue careers in information technology or graduate-level studies.