Computer Software Engineering

Computer software engineers create new software packages and find ways to make existing products better. Read on to find out about work responsibilities, education requirements, salary and employment outlook for this field.

Is Computer Software Engineering For Me?

Career Overview

Computer software engineers work on improving certain aspects of computer software, such as its dependability, ease of use and integration with other types of software and hardware. To work as a software engineer, you need to have advanced mathematical knowledge as well as strong computer science skills.

Salary and Employment Outlook

Computer software engineering is a highly in-demand career field with very strong growth prospects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer software engineers, also known as software developers, should expect employment growth of 22% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Software engineers with knowledge and experience in developing Internet applications, as well as those pursuing positions in the health care, government and telecommunications industries, are expected to see the best opportunities. Developers of applications earned an average salary of $96,260 in 2013, while those designing systems software received $104,480 that same year, per the BLS.

How Can I Become a Computer Software Engineer?

Undergraduate Education

If you're hoping to become a computer software engineer, earning a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, computer software engineering or a related field may be a good place to start. As a computer engineering or computer science student, you'll likely take courses in physics, digital circuit design, data structures and algorithms, computer science, computer architecture, software construction and software quality assurance, along with several math courses such as calculus and statistics.

Graduate Studies

If you want to continue your education even further, you might consider a Master of Science in Software Engineering. This type of program can provide you with additional training through courses such as digital signal processing, logic analysis, input-output structures and security coding. Some master's degree programs also allow you to choose a specialization, which can include networking software and enterprise software technologies, among other areas.

Professional Development Options

Upon completing a degree program, you can complete continuing education courses and certificates, as well as professional development seminars, in order to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the continuously changing industry of computer technology. These programs may be offered by colleges, universities, software vendors and other educational institutions. Some employers even offer continuing education opportunities to their employees.

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