Software Engineering (BSSE) Bachelor's Degree

Learn about what software engineers do and what the graduation requirements are for a bachelor's degree in software engineering. Find out what your potential salary might be and what the career outlook is for this field. Schools offering Software Development & Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Bachelor's Degree Requirements?

A bachelor's degree program in software engineering (BSSE) is a 4-year degree program that can be earned in person or online. You can expect to complete general education requirements, complete core curriculum courses and receive hands-on technical training. Some schools allow you to choose a specialization, such as operations research, control systems, network systems, software intensive systems or aviation systems. This program commonly culminates in a senior capstone project. The following are examples of courses you might find in the curriculum:

  • Programming in Java
  • Object-oriented design
  • Database management
  • Assembly language programming
  • Information security
  • Data structures
  • Mobile software engineering

Degree Specializations Aviation systems, network systems, software intensive systems, operations research, control systems
Key Career Skills Clear communication, critical thinking, analytical ability, keen observation, strong mathematical foundation
Possible Careers Systems engineer, applications engineer

What Is a Software Engineer?

Applications engineers and systems engineers are the two types of software engineers. Applications engineers develop programs that perform specific functions, while systems engineers oversee organizational computer systems. Both types of software engineers create and publish computer software. As a software engineer, you might design software for business applications, video games, navigation and communication systems, computer operating systems or middleware.

You may typically begin a project by meeting with a client and determining their needs. Daily job duties might include the following:

  • Analyzing information and recommend software solutions
  • Directing software system testing
  • Facilitating software installation
  • Supervising programmers
  • Training users on new software
  • Compiling estimates, cost analyses and budgets
  • Recommending supplemental hardware

What's the Job Market Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software engineers working in applications earned a median annual salary of $103,620, while those working in systems engineering earned $110,000 as of May 2018 ( The BLS also reported an expected employment growth rate of 31% for applications engineers and 11% for systems engineers between 2016 and 2026.

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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