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How do I get a Software Engineering Degree?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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There are four requirements to obtain a software engineering degree: meet the application criteria, select the appropriate school, pay the tuition, and complete the coursework. A software engineering degree is widely available from a broad range of universities and online schools. This type of degree provides training in the creation of software programs.

In order to gain acceptance in a software engineering degree program, there are specific application criteria that must be met. Candidates must have successfully completed high school courses in calculus, statistics, algebra, and English. The number of applicants for a software engineering degree is quite high, which in turn makes the marks required to gain admissions also quite high. Many people also take courses in computer programming and systems, although this is not a requirement for admissions.

When selecting a school for a software engineering degree, it is important to review three main items: reputation, breadth of program offerings, and internship opportunities. A school with an excellent reputation has dedicated significant money, time, and resources to the program over a period of years. Look at the qualifications of the professors, their areas of expertise and research. Review recent publications in computer science magazines and journals to learn more about their philosophies and approach. Read the school website for detailed biographies.

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Internship and cooperative job placement opportunities are critical to gaining valuable experience. When selecting a school, this may be the most important item to consider. Software engineering programs with deep connections to local business and industry can provide a wider range of potential opportunities and greatly improve your resume.

A software engineering degree is often significantly more expensive than a bachelor of arts degree. This is because it is considered a professional degree, providing opportunities for positions with a higher starting salary than other programs. Talk to your academic adviser about scholarships, student loans, bursaries, and grants to help reduce this cost.

The coursework in a software engineering degree is divided into two streams: theory and application. The theory-based courses include a significant amount of advanced math, logic, system structure, and software design methodologies. The application stream provides courses on project management, systems integration, implementation, and the steps required to realize a software design project.

The software engineering degree courses are designed to meet the requirements of the National Society of Professional Engineers, which is the association responsible for the professional engineer (P.Eng) designation. This internationally recognized designation is required to work at an engineering level. A combination of education, experience, and a certification exam is required to obtain the designation.

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