Software Design Education Requirements and Options

Oct 10, 2019

Software design programs, also known as computer software engineering, educate individuals in the constantly changing field of technology, specifically in the creation and maintenance of software. Graduate and undergraduate degrees are available.

Essential Information

Software engineering degrees can be obtained at the bachelor's level and software design degrees at the master's level. Students can learn strategies in software engineering focused on the construction and execution of design. Degrees in this field can prepare students for a variety of positions, including computer programmer or database administrator. Students entering a 4-year college are typically required to have completed high school or earned an equivalent credential, such as a GED and students looking to enter graduate level studies should have their bachelor's degree. An internship may be included in the curriculum.

Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering

Bachelor's degree programs in software engineering offer students hands-on experiences in designing and creating software applications and programs. Students can learn strategies in software engineering focused on the construction and execution of design. Students who pursue these degrees can be introduced to collaborative work ethics and professional internships. During their education, students may encounter computer science, and computer engineering courses like:

  • Computer programming
  • Web development
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Digital design
  • Computer networks
  • Software testing

Master's Degree in Software Design

Individuals in a master's degree program can complete coursework relevant to the field that helps them enter into or advance their careers. Students in a master's degree program in software design can focus coursework in one of a variety of areas, including computer programming, networking, database architecture, or web technology. Courses may expand on knowledge attained from previous educational work in areas like:

  • Database concepts
  • Information security
  • Process engineering
  • Software modeling
  • Software architecture

Popular Career Options

Students who obtain degrees in software design or computer software engineering are prepared to collaborate with teams and work for software companies. Students might find employment as:

  • Computer programmers
  • Computer system analysts
  • Database administrators

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers held over one million jobs as of 2018 ( In 2018, the BLS reported the average annual salary for software application developers as $103,620, the average earnings for systems software developers as $110,000, and the average annual salary for computer programmers as $89,580. Aspiring software developers should expect to see 21% job growth from 2018 to 2028.

Continuing Education Information

After completing a bachelor's or master's degree program, a software engineering student can progress to the Ph.D. level. Doctoral programs typically require students to complete a dissertation based on original research and can allow them to complete courses in a number of areas, like design, systems analysis, engineering, business strategy, and software management. One or more professional practicum may be required, as well as a teaching experience.

Software engineering bachelor's degrees and software design master's degree programs offer students the opportunity to learn about different methods of programming computer codes and designing software, preparing them for work in a number of computer careers, such as database administration. Doctorate-level studies are available to graduates.

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