Software Development Certifications and Schools

Explore engineering and computer science degree programs that can launch a career in software development. Read about vendor and third-party professional certifications for software developers. Schools offering Software Development & Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are many programs that will provide you with training in software development. You can choose between several bachelor's and master's degree options, allowing you to receive training in a number of computer and programming subjects. Certifications, while not necessary, are available to further prepare you for employment in this field.

Certification Optional certifications may be offered by Microsoft, Oracle, Linux and other technology development companies
Schools Training is available at universities, institutes and online schools
Courses Software design, computer architecture, calculus, algebra, physics, computer science and programming, software reliability, project management and interface design

Where Can I Study Software Development?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, you can study software development, engineering or design at nearly 120 universities, technology institutes and online schools in the U.S. (nces.ed.gov). Although programs in software development are offered at many schools, bachelor's and master's programs in software or computer engineering explore many of the same topics. These programs are usually available through a school's engineering or computer science department.

These schools will offer you the chance to study software development:

  • Pace University (New York, NY)
  • Boston University (MA)
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • Miami University (Oxford, OH)
  • Middle Georgia State University (Macon)
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Jacksonville State University (AL)

How Do I Become Certified?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certification is not usually required for a job as a software developer; however, it can be used to prove competency to prospective employers (www.bls.gov). Software vendors like Microsoft, Oracle and Linux offer basic and advanced certifications related to software development. Third-party technology companies like CompTIA may offer certifications as well.

You'll usually need to successfully complete an exam in order to earn your certification. Entry-level certification exams don't typically have educational or professional prerequisites. However, entry-level certifications may be required to sit for advanced, master-level exams. Some relevant certifications can include:

  • CompTIA's Linux+
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
  • Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate

What Degrees are Available?

You might pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Software Engineering or a B.S. in Information Technology and Software Development. In 4-year bachelor's degree programs, you could spend your first two years taking general education courses as well as introductory software development classes. Topics might include calculus, algebra, physics, computer science and programming. The final two years of study are typically more focused on advanced coursework in software design and computer architecture, often culminating in a capstone design project.

What About Master's Degrees?

Master's degree programs typically require two years of study to complete; you might earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Software Development and Engineering or an M.S. in Computer Systems and Software Design. You'll study advanced software development topics such as software reliability, project management and interface design. If you enroll in a master's degree program, you'll likely be required to complete a design thesis in addition to regular coursework. Some schools also offer graduate certificate programs in software development that can be completed entirely online.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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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