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Online Masters Degree in Software Engineering

Software has a shelf life shorter than the average network television show. Regular updates are the key to a product's survival. In advanced software engineering roles, you develop not only software, but the vision for a product's evolution.

As Microsoft, Google and Facebook have shown, successful software engineering can catapult a firm into an industry leader overnight. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job prospects in the software space will be best for those who have a bachelor's degree or higher plus knowledge of the most recent programming tools and languages. Master's degrees in software engineering could provide the up-to-date skills required to influence the future of computing.

Earning master's degrees in software engineering

As an advanced software engineer, you lead a project's transformation from a collection of ones and zeroes into a product. You apply engineering principles to the development process and codify the rules for software development in your organization. Those who pursue master's degrees in software engineering can look forward to studies like this:

  1. Systems architecture and program structure
  2. Management of the development process
  3. Communication with technical and non-technical audiences

Someone will have to sell your idea -- the better you can communicate outside the techie world, the better your product's chances are in the market.

Job outlook in software engineering

To enter the world of software, you may begin as a computer programmer or software developer. Developers and engineers create software designs, and programmers produce the required code. With strong experience and interpersonal skills, you can seek leadership roles in engineering.

The BLS calculated the following median annual wages for related careers in 2010. Salaries are shown with the projected increase in employment between 2010 and 2020. Anticipated growth for coders and managers is about average for all U.S. occupations, but software developers should see growth that is much faster than the norm:

  1. Computer and information systems managers: $115,780; 18 percent growth
  2. Computer programmers: $71,380; 12 percent growth
  3. Software developers: $90,530; 30 percent growth

Beyond the software industry, master's degrees open the door to some teaching positions, such as community college. A doctorate is needed for most academic or executive level roles. If you are ready to advance your qualifications, many schools offer software engineering degrees online or with evening and weekend classes so you can balance your educational path and your professional life.

Featured Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

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