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Online Associates Degree in Software Engineering

A career in software engineering can provide an opportunity for you to incorporate new technologies into a rapidly growing range of applications as well as to analyze, design and develop new computer software systems. In addition to core education courses such as communications, English, math, the social sciences, and more, coursework for associate degrees in software engineering can also include computer and IT concepts, foundations in software design, mobile application development, database design and SQL, programming fundamentals and object-oriented programming. Additional coursework might focus on data structures and algorithms, relational databases, software design basics, web development and networking fundamentals.

Software engineering career options, outlook and salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may be able to find employment as a computer support specialist with an associate degree in software engineering although some employers may require a bachelor's degree even for entry-level positions. In 2010, computer support specialists earned median annual wages of $46,260; employment growth is expected to be 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to BLS data.

However, median annual salaries for computer software engineers working in applications are much higher -- at $94,180 -- and projected 2008-2018 growth is 32 percent. Because of this, you may want to work to build up your credits to obtain a bachelor's degree, which is the entry-level standard needed for software engineers. The Department of Labor indicates that 48.7 percent of software engineers have bachelor's degrees while 29.3 percent have master's degrees.

Advanced education in software engineering

A master's degree in software engineering can broaden your technical expertise as well as increase your management and leadership skills, which could help in obtaining a job in industry, government or academic research. Doctoral degrees in software engineering delve into research for technological innovation and advancement of fundamental knowledge in the field. With specializations in every area, from ad hoc networks to user interfaces, you can bring your research expertise to industry and academia as well as teach tomorrow's software engineers.

Software engineering was named the top job in 2011 by careercast.com, primarily because of the need for professionals who are skilled in web applications and cloud computing. You can take advantage of projected employment growth in software engineering by earning an associate degree online and then working while you earn a bachelor's degree or even a master's degree online. More education can lead to better employment opportunities, higher salaries, and a creative and interesting career.

Featured Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

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