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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Software Engineering

Majors Overview September 13, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in software engineering and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and certification choices.

Graduate Programs in Software Engineering

Software engineers are experts in designing, executing and testing software in computer systems. Schools commonly offer a Master of Science in Software Engineering (M.S.S.E.). These programs require participation by students in computer laboratory courses and didactic classroom lessons that involve the exploration of software program development. Students are taught about modeling database systems, manipulating computer languages, creating and engineering software programs and performing software testing. Programs often include one or more capstone projects or practical software engineering projects.

Education Requirements

Schools usually require students to hold a baccalaureate degree in a field such as mathematics, computer science, or computer engineering. At some schools, enrolled students are also required to have at least one year of professional experience in the software development field.

Coursework

The program delivers the coursework through a combination of laboratory courses, and classroom lectures focused on both the practical skills and concepts comprising software engineering. Core coursework may commonly cover topic areas such as:

•Software engineering management
•Project management
•Testing software programs
•Quality assurance
•Software engineering requirements
•Data modeling
•Enterprise software
•Developing web applications
•User interface design
•Software architecture

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, about 1,018,000 individuals were employed as software developers in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These individuals were relied on to develop software programs for industrial, healthcare, communication, business, and military organizations. In 2012, software applications developers brought in an average annual wage of $90,060. During that year, systems software developers earned $99,000 per annum, on average (BLS).

Certification Choices

Program graduates can seek professional certification offered by numerous software vendors and companies to enable them to boost their job prospects. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) offers certification options to benefit software engineering professionals. Employers do not insist on national certification.

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