Computer software is not offered as a master's degree program, but interested students can enroll in a Master of Science program in Software Engineering. These programs combine principles of computer science and software development. The software development courses teach students to design software applications and utility programs on home computers and on more advanced systems for use in technological industries, including aviation and aerospace. Students learn about algorithms, programming, interface development and management. Prior to graduation, students may be required to submit a final research project. Most programs take about two years to complete.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or an engineering field, and they must submit GRE scores. Some programs require that students have previous work experience in the field.
Master of Computer Software Degree Program Information
In order to graduate, students are typically required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework. In these classes, students often learn to program software used for educational or entertainment purposes, as well as software that supports financial, health care and government institutions. Software design courses may also teach students to design software that protects personal and financial information contained in computer systems. Possible course topics include:
- Project management
- Computer hardware
- Computer networking security
- Operating systems
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for software developers are expected to grow up to 17% between 2014 and 2024. In 2015, the mean annual salary for software applications developers was $102,160, and systems software developers earned a mean annual salary of $108,760 (www.bls.gov).
Graduates of this master's degree program may go on to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Software Engineering. This program prepares students for academic research careers in higher education or advanced executive positions in the field of software engineering.
A master's degree in software engineering provides graduate-level training in software development, as well as related topics in computer science. Therefore, it prepares students for advanced careers in the field or further education in the field.