If you’re considering a major as a computer software engineer, be prepared for a cutting edge and continuously evolving career. Jobs will advance rapidly and new jobs will be created often to meet ever-changing technological needs. Just think about how much computers and the software they use have evolved over the past four years.
The scientific and mathematical foundation you build in this major will always be fundamental to your work. But like other computer majors, you’ll face a lifetime of learning as you strive to stay on the forefront of innovation.
As a software engineering major, you’ll study the scientific and mathematical basis of computer software. You’ll learn a variety of programming languages and how to design, analyze and maintain software.
Did You Know?
Many students who end up in this major never studied computer programming in high school.
Are You Ready To...?
- Take classes in both computer science and computer engineering
- Intern off-campus at a software company
- Learn all aspects of designing, building, and revising large and complex software systems
- Join the campus chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery
It Helps To Be...
Determined, able to think abstractly, and good at solving puzzles. Designing new software is like working with a team to put together a big puzzle. Each person adds a piece and each part depends upon the others.
- Does the campus have a sophisticated computer network including appropriate software tools for software engineering students?
- Is the program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology?
- Is the program offered by an engineering or computer science department? How will this affect your studies?
- Examine the practical as well as academic experience of faculty. Have they built large software systems?
- What is the senior project or capstone course like?
- Does the department have strong ties to local companies where you can complete internships?
Did You Know?
If you enroll in a software engineering program based in an engineering department, you’ll learn more about the hardware issues that affect software. If your program is in a computer science department, you’ll study more theory and math.
You’ll probably get to complete a final project in your senior year. The project usually involves software development in teams. You and your classmates will put your skills into practice, using all you’ve learned in your courses.
You may choose your project with an eye toward your future career. At some colleges, outside companies sponsor senior projects, presenting students with real problems that they’re trying to solve.