Best Online Programs in Software Engineering

Software Engineering mainly deals with designing, documentation, and development of software. It includes best practices in interface designing, digital asset management, computer science, engineering and project management, and various other disciplines. While Computer Science is mainly related to the programming theory, it concentrates on the practice of application development and computer engineering.

The working professionals and the regular students will surely find a suitable online program in Software Engineering which will suit their schedule and their career objectives. The graduates are required for the positions like Developer, Applications Engineer, and many more. With the help of typical coursework the students are offered comprehensive knowledge and skills to classify and document software conditions; apply suitable software design models to software solutions, make use-case situation for the design of the software, plan, apply, and report software testing.

You can choose from a wide variety of online programs:

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

With the help of this online program you will be learning the comprehensive knowledge of successfully applying different principles and theories of information technology to deal with world business challenges and openings. You will make use of the innovative digital materials in order to build up ability to apply – computer programming, project planning, network technologies, system analysis and design, and web technologies. The curriculum is designed in a manner to develop graduates to work at various information technology positions along with capabilities, attitudes, skills required to be successful at the workplace.

Master of Science in Computer Science

If you are looking to boost your credentials and want to move ahead in the ever changing field of software engineering then this online program is for you. The impact of information technology has developed a requirement to make and develop new computer systems and to add in new technologies. The best and successful companies realize the requirement of the software engineers, who are capable of applying various methods and principles of computer science in order to make efficient system which can enable the computers to carry out different applications.

Master in Software Engineering

This online program offers complete comprehension of the latest technologies and tools which are being developed and includes technical, managerial, and behavioral characteristics. The engineering track is mainly planned for those who are interested in different methods to model engineering issues and other software solutions.

Associate in Applied Science
There is a great demand for the professionals who are capable of designing, developing and applying specialized software systems. This online program is designed to organize the students to build a rewarding career in the field of software engineering. The careers in software engineering comprises of Computer Systems Analysts, Computer Scientists, Software Publishers, and many more.

Above mentioned online programs in software engineering will help you in applying for the jobs which will provide you with software engineering experience.

Top Five Accessible Master of Software Engineering Degrees

A graduate program that awards the Master of Software Engineering degree is not as easy to find as you might think. Many universities today make include software engineering as an area of concentration for the graduate degree in computer science or computer engineering. Software engineering remains an afterthought in many graduate level programs at the high profile schools, although many of those universities offer an undergraduate degree in the field. A degree devoted solely to software engineering is, at the graduate level, often made available only to working professionals. This list of resources for the degree is compiled from schools that have a respected school of computer science, have a manageable tuition structure and offer a terminal graduate degree in software engineering.

New Jersey Institute of Technology is the state’s principal academic institution for technology and management degrees. The NJIT offers masters degrees and doctoral programs in the principal engineering fields, architecture, and a wide range of IT programs. The Master of Science in Software Engineering is a comparatively new program offered by the Department of Computer Science designed to equip students with advanced knowledge of the concepts, techniques, skills and tools for developing modern large-scale software systems. This is clearly a business oriented degree.

University of Maryland offers the Master of Software Engineering as a collaboration between the College Park campus and the University’s professional education division, University College. The thirty six credit curriculum has several courses in project design and management, preparing students for supervisory roles in software and systems design. Electives include a course in Engineering Economics & Financial Analysis and an Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.

Arizona State University has one of the highest ranked computer and electrical engineering programs in the country. They are also proactive in the development of online degree options; the Master of Science in Software Engineering is available to Arizona students on campus and to students from across the country online. This program incorporates instruction for designing and developing software projects with the business and management skills needed to manage a team engaged in software systems development or redesign.

Santa Clara University turns out many of the computer science and computer engineering graduates that go to work in the Silicon Valley firms located throughout the region where the campus is located. The Master of Science in Software Engineering requires applicants to have an undergraduate degree in computer science or engineering; or to pass the computer science section of the GRE exam. This degree is oriented to the science and technology of software development with a minimum of the curriculum devoted to project management. The programming requirement in the program may be waived for professionals who have at least a year’s experience.

University of Minnesota offers a two year program for the Master of Science in Software Engineering that is designed for professionals who have work experience in software development or a related field. The course load is flexible enough to allow students to continue working, and classes are taught on alternating Fridays and Saturdays so that normal work hours are not significantly disrupted. There is an industrial seminar series incorporated into the curriculum that includes instruction in software re-engineering & maintenance, as well as a course on legal and intellectual property issues.

Software Engineering and the Intelligence Community – Setting Real Time Standards

Software engineering is an essential discipline when designing and implementing high performance data enterprises. Although software engineers are not certified or sanctioned by any standards body, use of software engineers with experience in the Intelligence Community increases chances of success.

Software Engineering Defined

Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches; that is, the application of engineering to software. (Source Wikipedia)

Knowledge of programming is the main pre-requisite to becoming a software engineer, but it is not sufficient. Many software engineers have degrees in Computer Science or mathematics and physics due to the lack of software engineering programs in higher education. An organized mind and an interest in problem solving are also prerequisites.

However, as data networks become more complex and indispensable in large organizations higher education has started to change with the introduction of new software engineering degrees, especially in post-graduate education.

Software Engineering as a Discipline

Software engineering contains a number of separate yet interrelated disciplines.

* Software requirements

* Software design

* Software development

* Software testing

* Software maintenance

* Software configuration management

* Software engineering management, see also project management

* Software development process

* Software engineering tools and Computer Aided Software Engineering

* Software quality

* Social Software Engineering

Each sub discipline has its own performance requirements and processes for success.

Jobs in Software Engineering – A Strong Market

Because the field of software engineering is broad and growing more complex because of the introduction of new technologies and applications, the potential for job growth is significant even in a down economy.

According to the Federal Government studies, the demand for qualified software engineers is significant and will continue to grow,

  • Computer software engineers are one of the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2006-16 decade.
  • Excellent job prospects are expected for applicants with at least bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or computer science and with practical work experience.
  • Computer software engineers must continually strive to acquire new skills in conjunction with the rapid changes that occur in computer technology.

Because computer networks and computing hardware and software are growing in power and complexity, the demand for qualified Software engineers is high. As the United States continues to be an information driven society new, high paying jobs with quality benefit packages are available in the economy.

This is particularly true as the economy emerges from its depressed state.

Employment of computer software engineers is projected to increase by 38 percent over the 2006 to 2016 period, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will generate about 324,000 new jobs, over the projections decade, one of the largest employment increases of any occupation.

Significant drivers of growth in the demand for software engineers include adoption of new technologies for information efficiency in a competitive environment. This is particularly true as information networks grow in sophistication and interconnect.

In addition, information security concerns and cyber threats have given rise to new software requirements.

Concerns over “cyber security” will result in businesses and government continuing to invest heavily in software that protects their networks and vital electronic infrastructure from attack. Cyber Security has become a major area of concern for the U,S, Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

Very few organizations are willing to trust the security of their networks to low cost, offshore software engineering firms.

Finally, in economic and competitive terms low cost offshore outsourcing is not a real threat because software engineering requires innovation and intense research and development expenditures. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

One area with a tremendous appetite for software engineers is the Federal Government. The Federal Government continues to grow and, with the present trend in Government spending, greater demand for IT and Cyber Security engineering specialists will also generate job demand..

Ensuring Quality Standards – A Problem

While there is tremendous demand for engineering professionals, the systems and networks designed and implemented by software engineers are often the heart of any large business of government enterprise. Quality and efficiency cannot be sacrificed by substandard performance.

Many who call themselves “Software Engineer” are not fully qualified and often produce low quality work output.

Many professions enforce quality standards through professional certification boards but professional certification of software engineers is confusing and, while many view it as a tool to improve professional practice, others consider it as an unnecessary encumbrance.

In the United States, most certification programs in the IT industry are oriented toward specific technologies, and are managed by the vendors of these technologies.

No matter which way the debate goes, full accreditation will not serve as a quality standard backstop for software engineers in the foreseeable future so other, on the job standards, must be used to ensure engineering quality.

Documented past performance that is favorable or a history of software development in a demanding industry has now become a major factor to determine future success.

Software Engineering and the Intelligence Community – Real Time Certification

With the absence of any standard certification programs, employers and government service contractors must exercise great care when utilizing software design or restore critical network or enterprise software.

Because networks and the software that run them are becoming more critical to business operations and more complex, the chances of an inexperienced or unqualified software engineer irrevocably damaging all or part of the network has increased.

One major error by an unqualified engineer could ruin an entire networking enterprise and bring down an organization. This is particularly true for large government.agencies tasked with the collection and processing of sensitive data.

Of all Federal Government agencies, a case can be made that the Intelligence Community [] is the most demanding and discriminating when it comes to software engineering. This level of excellence requirement is because of the size of the data networks involved and the mission requirements to ensure national security.

In addition to the mission critical demands of each agency and its clients for real time data, continuous, massive amounts of sensitive data are collected on a 24×7 basis.

This data must be processed, analyzed, protected and disseminated in an efficient way that protects national security interests. Data protection and cyber security are new challenges to the software engineer and place additional performance demands..

A design flaw in the architecture of a network could be fatal for the entire collection system and and the introduction of a virus or other cyber breach could crash the entire system.

Because of the classified/sensitive nature of the data collected in the Intelligence Community high level security clearances are also required and this places further burdens on the integrity of the individual.

Servicing the needs of the Intelligence Community is a demanding task but the experience will test the skills, work ethic and judgment of even the most seasoned software engineer. Thus engineers with IC experience command a premium wage and benefits based upon proving themselves capable,

When a formal certification is not available, broad and extensive software engineering experience in the Intelligence Community on a job candidate’s resume is often a valuable real time substitute.