A lot of computer programmers are making lots of money these days. These include independent programmers who make money selling apps online. The larger companies are also making a killing. Microsoft and other software firms have always been popular and profitable, but now computer and console game manufacturers are making more in one week than the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. You can probably thank the software engineers for that.
What is Software Engineering?
It’s one thing to be a computer programmer. But it’s another thing entirely to become a software engineer. Software engineering is much more rigorous. It is the disciplined and systematic approach to developing computer programs. As a software engineering major, you will learn how to analyze, design, develop, and then maintain software.
You will learn how to address specific problems with computer programs, and then develop quality software. You’ll also learn how to build these programs within a set schedule.
The subjects covered will include courses from the computer sciences, but it may also have a business or managerial component too. The courses you’ll take may include calculus and mathematical fundamentals, computer science, advanced programming tools and techniques, database management, and computer networking. You’ll also cover the foundations of software engineering as well as the interaction between computers and humans.
Of course, with this degree you will end up as a computer programmer, except that you have the discipline to approach your work more scientifically. You can work for the countless companies out there creating computer programs for commercial use, or you can also choose to work for consultancy companies that create customized software for their clients.
But the fact is that you can work in just about any large company that has an IT department. Every large company uses computers, and sooner or later they also create their own programs and databases. As part of their IT department, you can help with those efforts by creating tailor-made software.
Or you can also work on your own. Freelance software engineers are in hot demand right now. You can create apps which you can then sell online or sell to your clients. Your apps can help your clients advertise their wares or locations, or you can sell apps such as games or exercise programs that may prove popular with the consumer public. Other products such as plugins for websites may also prove profitable.
Tops Schools for Software Engineering
If you’re looking specifically for a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, you may want to take a look at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. It offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Software Engineering program that was one of the first four programs to receive approval from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Another good school is the Michigan Technological University, where you can earn a B.S. in Software Engineering from its Department of Computer Science. The Florida Institute of Technology is also an excellent choice, where undergrads study computer science and math principles while at the same time devoting their time to emerging technologies.
You may also want to try the California Polytechnic State University, East Carolina University, Oakland University, and the University of Wisconsin.