How Do I Become a Software Engineer?

Software engineers need to know programming languages and have a bachelor's degree in order to work in any field that uses this specialized computer knowledge. Schools offering Software Development & Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Computer software engineers use math and computing skills to develop, design, evaluate, and test computer systems and the software that makes them work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,

The Institute of IEEE Computer Society's Guide to the Software Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK,, defines software engineering as the study and application of a disciplined, systematic, and measurable approach of engineering principles to software. According to IEEE, the knowledge areas for software engineering processes include definition, implementation and change, production measurement, and assessment.

Important Facts About Software Engineering

Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Degrees Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D.
Licensing A four-year college degree, along with hands-on experience, are required to be eligible to earn a Professional Engineer (PE) license
Key Skills Software programming, software planning and development


A bachelor's degree is considered to be the minimum amount of education that is needed to begin a career in software engineering. An ABET ( recognized bachelor's degree provides the training and skills as outlined in the SWEBOK. Universities, such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Fairfield University, offer combined dual bachelor's/master's degree programs.

Career Expectations

The median annual salary earned by software engineers, according to the BLS, was $102,880 in 2014. Job security and career advancement are also associated with careers in this field, with projected employment growth reported at 22% for software developers from 2012-2022, per the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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