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Master of Science (MS): Software Engineering Degree Overview

Oct 13, 2019

A 2-year master's degree program in software engineering can train those with a bachelor's degree in the management, maintenance, testing, design and analysis of software systems.

Essential Information

Students in a master's degree program in software engineering learn to weigh costs and benefits of software enhancements. They also explore the impact of the global market on existing software and how it relates to new applications. Students may also explore how to tailor software design to industry, education, healthcare and government. Graduates who'd like to advance their education can earn a specialized graduate certificate or a doctoral degree. Programs generally require at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related major, and many also require GRE scores.


Master's Degree in Software Engineering

Degree programs in this field generally require 30 semester hours of coursework, or about two years of study. The curriculum typically involves the study of practical and theoretical aspects of software systems. Some programs require students to focus on a specialized course of study, such as systems engineering, enterprise technology or networking. Courses may include the following:

  • Software design and dependable software systems
  • Computer hardware and networks
  • Software project and database management
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information systems analysis and design
  • Formal language theory

Popular Career Options

Upon completion of software engineering master's degree programs, graduates are typically qualified to work in a career related to networking, technology and software development. They can assist companies with constructing, maintaining and repairing software systems. Some job titles could include:

  • Network administrator
  • Database analyst
  • Software applications engineer
  • Data communications specialist
  • Director of computer support

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment for software developers and network/computer system administrators is expected to increase 21% and 5%, respectively, during the 2018-2028 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2018, software developers earned a median salary of $105,590, while network and computer system administrators made $82,050.

Continuing Education

Graduates can keep up with the latest advances in technology by enrolling in software engineering graduate certificate programs. They can gain further specialization by participating in topics such as systems science or computer networking. Those interested in research and academia can pursue doctoral degrees in software engineering.

A master's program in software engineering covers advanced software development and computer systems administration. Many programs will allow students to pursue a specific focus. Graduates can pursue work as network administrators or IT directors, among other options, or they can pursue doctoral degrees.

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