Is a Software Engineering Degree Right for You?

As the technological revolution rages on, so too, does enrollment in software engineering online bachelor’s degree programs. Forward-thinking students are recognizing that the world is becoming more connected and digital by the day, and that a degree in this field can be a wise investment. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics only further encourage this educational move. In 2011, they reported that individuals in Computer and Mathematical occupationsearned an average annual salary of over $78,000. In this line of study, students will learn the ins and outs of a computer — literally — and everything that goes into keeping them connected to each other.

Advice for Earning Your Software Engineering Degree Online

For students pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in software engineering, it is important that they stay on top of their studies. While this is obviously important for any subject, it is especially important here as every subject builds on the last — just like math. If you miss something early on in the basics of software, you will never master the more difficult levels. So, students should take their time, ask questions and be honest when they don’t understand something.

Required Courses

Courses in this academic track cover a wide range of topics. First and foremost, students learn about the various types of both hard and software. How can a student expect to have a fruitful, lucrative career if they can’t even understand the basics? Additionally, students will learn about technological trends and patterns. From passing fads to changes that have staying power they’ll learn about it all, as they try to become experts on all things computer-related.

Common Career Paths

Students can choose to work as developers for prominent companies or even opt to form their own technology start-up. Their skills make them suitable and desirable for several different positions, it’s just a matter of them deciding what they want to do. Some more possibilities:

  • Systems Software Developer

    If there’s one thing every industry needs, it’s a reliable operations network. Almost every employee is required to use a computer of some sort throughout the day — even if it is just to clock their time. So who’s responsible for getting these advanced systems up and running? The Systems Software Developer that’s who.

    People in this role reportedly made a national average of $100,420 in 2011, with demand only expected to grow. Students who go on to pursue this track can find work in schools, hospitals and even architecture firms. The majority of these professionals can be found in states like California and Texas.

  • Computer Support Specialists

    Computer support specialists make an average annual wage of just over $50,000, which translates to just around $25 hourly — good information for anyone interested in doing contract work by the hour. Their main role is to assist with the use of hardware and software products within an organization. They usually also run a “help desk” of sorts where individuals can ask them questions about everything from password recovery to printer set up.

    Pennsylvania rounds out the list of top five states with the highest number of computer support specialists, with California, Texas, New York, and Florida making up the remaining four. A dependable, steady job, computer support specialists are always in-demand, as there will likely always be a few technologically challenged individuals with any company.

  • Applications Developer

    Individuals in this role generally build and develop specialized programs and applications unique to the organization employing them. Their main purpose is to improve efficiency and productivity, by making technology work better and smarter for the other members of the group. These professionals can be found across fields, as every company has a need for them.

    The annual average salary for applications developers is just over $92,000 — not a bad average for anyone in this economy. While they are needed in every industry, they are also in high demand in their own field of technology. Software publishers employ numerous applications developers to ensure their products are constantly evolving and improving.

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