Distance Learning Software Engineering Degree

Software engineering is a specialized information systems field focusing on the design of programs, networks, operating systems and computer security. Numerous schools offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in software engineering that can be completed online by students. Students who have a flair for technical issues and strong math, science and computer skills should consider a career in software engineering.

Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering requires 4 years of full-time study for completion and offers students lots of practical experience they can use on resumes as well as in portfolios of their work to show employers. To complete this degree students need to have a very capable computer system with the necessary hardware, software and internet access to complete assignments and remain in touch with professors and other students. Virtual lectures and presentations are often used in these programs to enable students to gain as much as possible from the online learning experience. Students can choose from a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Information Technology.

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Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Courses

This program lets students enter the workforce as skilled computer engineers capable of dealing with programming, databases, networks and security issues. Students also learn about object-oriented programming, distributed systems and interdependent design. Some common courses taken in this program are:

  • Computer Applications
  • Web engineering and programming
  • Computer design and architecture
  • Software engineering
  • Computer and network security
  • Programming languages
  • Client-server and hybrid networks
  • Operating systems and environments
  • Database systems
  • Object-oriented programming

Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Careers

Some typical careers for bachelor’s degree recipients are:

  • Cyber-security administration
  • Wireless networks and mobile technology
  • Web application development
  • Game technology development
  • Electronic data-processing system development

Software Engineering Master’s Degree

Students work to receive a Master of Science in Software Engineering. Lessons are sent through web-based instruction, video conferences and live multimedia classroom instruction that students can view in real-time or save and view later at their convenience. The online program is unique in that it offers students opportunities to take classes together as a group with each person going at the same pace or take classes alone at the individual’s pace. Message boards and e-mail are frequently used to ask questions of instructors and students during class. Graduation usually requires writing a thesis, though some programs offer a non-thesis track. Students in the non-thesis track can choose instead to take more electives or research courses in areas of interest.

Software Engineering Master’s Degree Courses

Software engineering programs emphasize life cycle processes, system integration and principles and practices of design patterns. Common courses taken include:

  • Software design
  • Parallel processors
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Project management

Software Engineering Master’s Degree Careers

Software engineers skilled in computer security will be in high-demand by developers, government and law enforcement agencies and consulting firms. Possible careers for graduates can include:

  • Systems designer
  • Systems software engineer
  • Systems analyst
  • Applications project manager

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics software engineering will be the fastest-growing field over the next few years. The field will create the most new jobs through 2016 with most coming in the private sector. Graduates with high levels of education and work experience will have an edge with employers. Salaries for these jobs are well worth the work put in to obtain the education. Computer systems engineers and systems analysts will average almost $90,000 per year.

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