Masters in Software Engineering | MS Software Engineering Programs

Are you a motivated student with a super keen interest in information technology? Does mathematical analysis, computer science and computer programming fascinate you? If so, looking into earning a Masters in Software Engineering and software development degree might prepare you to pursue potential career opportunities in an interesting vocational field. In addition to the variety of potential career opportunities in the field of software engineering and development, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of software developers is projected to grow at a rate of 22% between 2012 and 2022 which is much faster than average![i]

Masters in Software Engineering Degree Career Options

Did you know? Cloud computing and cyber security are only two areas that are expected to lead employment increases in the computer systems design and related services industry; health care IT, mobile networking, and data management also may contribute to growth over the next ten years[ii]

The impact of computers and mobile technology on our everyday life has generated interest in the design and develop new computer software. If you have a Bachelor's degree, Master of Science (MSC) software engineering programs are typically designed to teach you more advanced topics about contemporary and historical computer science theory and application. 

FACT: Job prospects may be best for applicants with knowledge of the most up-to-date programming tools and languages[iii]

GradSchools.com makes it easy to search for masters in software engineering degree programs.

You can search by location, just use the tabs to enter a city, state, or country and you can determine where programs are offered. Also, you can refine this search by filtering results by learning format. If in fact you are a working professional who wants to keep up-to-date with the new tools and computer languages, you might opt for a distance-learning format. Earning you master of software engineering online means you may be able to schedule study around the other factors in your life. Or, you might benefit from a combination learning format, called hybrid, which involves taking courses on campus and online. Whatever your preference, there are potential options!

What is a Software Developer?

Software Developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They are thought of as the creative minds behind computer programs. Writing code is not the first priority of software developers, but they need a strong background in computer programming as they work closely with computer programmers and may, in some companies, write the code themselves.[iv]

According to BLS data[v] some of the industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation are:

  • Computer systems design and related services
  • Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing
  • Software publishers
  • Navigational, measuring, electro medical and control instruments manufacturing
  • Management of companies and enterprises

Some develop applications that allow people to do specific tasks on computers or devices. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.[vi] The two types of software developers are[vi]:

  • Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors, or games, for consumers. Sometimes they create custom software for the general public, but also can create complex databases for organizations.
  • Systems software developers create systems that keep computers functioning properly, whether these are operating systems for computers that the public can purchase, or systems built specifically for an organization.

What might I learn in a Masters in Software Engineering program?

Master of Science in software engineering degree program curriculum varies depending on the school. Generally speaking, the broad goal is to help students develop an understanding of operating systems and networking. Some programs offer specialization tracks in software quality, software application development, or software design, and some may include a thesis or capstone project.

MS Software Engineering Curriculum 

General core courses that students may encounter in Software Engineering (MS) programs can include:

  • Computer system architecture
  • Software system engineering
  • Software development
  • Computer science

Potential Career Paths for Masters in Software Engineering Graduates

Earning an MSC in system engineering and software engineering could open the graduate to pursue a variety of career paths to those of a Software developer. BLS data reports that computer occupations form the largest portion of the technology industry, however, there are also managers, business and financial workers, and administrators, since a variety of jobs help keep the IT world running efficiently.[vii] The four career paths that are identified by the BLS as having a high growth rate[viii] are:

  • Software Developers[ix] are the largest occupation in the industry[x]. From creating computer programs and mobile games to upgrading operating systems and designing software for cloud computing, this industry is projected to grow 22% between 2012 and 2022. Developers who supervise a software project from its inception through to its implementation are called information technology (IT managers)
  • Computer Programmers[xi] are writers of code that is used to create software programs. Job prospects are predicted to be better for programmers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher.[xii]
  • Computer Systems Analyst[xiii] study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help them operate more efficiently.
  • Computer Support Specialists[xiv] provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software of equipment.

Ready to pursue a Masters in Software Engineering degree?

Keeping the IT systems of our world running efficiently requires a talented workforce that can create and maintain networks, design software and ensure that sensitive data doesn’t become vulnerable to cyber crime. For someone who is truly passionate about the age of information technology and the influence of computers, a master of software engineering might be a great academic choice. Why not browse the GradSchools.com site for the MSC in system engineering and software engineering program that might help you to reach your academic and vocational goals!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-6 | [ii] bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/pdf/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.pdf | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-6 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2 | [v] bls.gov/oes/current/oes151133.htm [vi] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-4 | [viii] bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/pdf/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.pdf | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm | [x] bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/pdf/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.pdf | [xi] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm | [xii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm#tab-6 | [xiii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm | [xiv] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm

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