In today’s modern world, a software engineer is a highly-paid and highly-desired career field. The job of a software engineer is to design, develop and test computer software. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineering will be one of the fastest growing industries between 2008 and 2018, making it an excellent field for new graduates.
A software engineer degree program will educate a student with all the skills they will need in a professional software engineering job. Data structure, programming languages and operating systems are all elements of the program that a student will be expected to master. In addition to the technical skills one will learn, a good school will also teach students about project completion, deadlines and budget constraints, which are all elements of real-world computer software development.
Some schools encourage students to get internships at software development companies in order to truly understand what it’s like to work as a software engineer. This real-world training develops skills with clients and coworkers as well as helps a student develop industry connections, which are helpful when looking for a job after graduation.
This is a job that requires extensive knowledge of computers, mathematics and engineering, so one will need a degree from an accredited institution in order to benefit from the many job opportunities expected in this field.
Finding the Right University
Getting a software engineer degree first requires finding a good school. Typically a bachelor’s degree is required for most software engineer jobs, although a master’s degree is often desirable. While many schools ofter a two-year degree option, there are not many jobs out there for people with this type of degree. As of 2010 there were over 600 programs in the United States for software engineering, including 244 campus programs, 70 online programs and 230 master’s programs.
Going for the Higher Degree
In a master’s degree program, software engineers already working in the field will be able to improve their skills in both software engineering as well as working with clients. These programs are often intentionally flexible for people working in the field, and will give you a more in-depth education of the various programming languages that are used in the industry. This advanced degree is desirable by potential employers and will help an engineer stand out when applying for new jobs. While a bachelor’s or master’s degree will help when applying for jobs, the technology field changes rapidly and an employer will expect an employee to keep up with all of these changes.
For this reason, brush-up courses are highly-encouraged for those in the field. One can contact the school he or she got their software engineer degree from and ask if they have any classes for former students. Often these refresher courses are available for free or at a reduced cost for graduates. Certificate programs are also available for graduates who want to improve their skills or learn a whole new skill-set.
While a software engineer will eventually specialize their skills to a particular market, such as remote backup software, operating systems or coding language, while in school a student will be given a general overview of all the popular software development skills used in the industry at the time. This broad overview of the field will allow a student to learn about all different aspects of the industry and find a segment that they enjoy the best. Some schools eventually allow students to specialize in one aspect of the field and hone their skills that way, while other schools don’t allow that type of specialization until the student chooses to obtain a master’s degree.