Software engineering is a branch of computer science. It involves designing, developing, testing, and maintaining software applications using engineering principles. Software engineers build all types of software including business applications like word processors and spreadsheets, operating systems, graphic design packages, mobile apps, websites, and video games.

The field has seen incredible growth in recent years. This is largely due to the boom in mobile communications, the Internet, and the popularity of smart devices. Smartphones, smart TVs, and tablets have changed the way we consume information forever. Software engineers are responsible for building the websites and apps we use on these devices.

If you’re an aspiring tech wizard and interested in a software engineering career, read on. This article will help you understand how to get started in this rewarding and lucrative field. We’ll discuss the different study options available to you and answer the ultimate question lingering in your mind: are software engineering degrees really worth it?

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Types of Software Engineering Degrees

Software Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

A BSc (Bachelor of Science) in Software Engineering is the most common, and traditional program taken by aspiring software engineers. It covers the study of computer programming, which is an essential component of software engineering. It also teaches the methodologies, practice, and tools to develop software.

Most bachelor’s degrees take 4 years to complete and cost around $40,000. They give students a broad understanding of the software development life cycle. This includes requirements engineering, software architecture, software design, testing, implementation, configuration management, and release.

Some colleges also offer integrated BSc courses in computer science and engineering that cover computer engineering and provide a strong foundation in software design and development. These programs have the added advantage of providing students with a deeper understanding of how software works with hardware components like RAM (random access memory), storage, and the CPU (central processing unit).

Software Engineering Master’s Degree

Master’s degrees usually last 2 years and are typically taken after a bachelor’s degree. They provide more insight into software engineering and give students the opportunity to specialize in certain areas.

If you’re interested in learning advanced coding and in-depth programming techniques that weren’t covered in your bachelor’s course, a master’s could be for you. This degree can help prepare you for real-life projects and includes modules like advanced project management, quality assurance, software metrics, and software verification.

Can You Become A Software Engineer Without A Degree?

A degree is great for in-depth learning of software engineering topics, but not necessarily required for a future career in the field. If you have clearly defined career goals, learn all the skills necessary, and find an experienced mentor, you can achieve your dream job without investing in a 4-year degree course.

In recent years employers have been recognizing software engineering bootcamps as an effective way to get started. They’re faster-paced, career-oriented education programs designed for students that know exactly what they want. Bootcamps often include mentorship and community support and are geared around getting aspiring software engineers hired at top tech firms.

Alternatives to a Degree in Software Engineering

Software Engineering Certification

Certification courses give students the opportunity to validate their software engineering skills and keep up to date with the latest coding techniques. They’re more affordable than degree programs and can be completed in a much shorter time frame.

With the right certification to your name, you could even increase your software engineering salary potential.

Plus, they look great on your resume and demonstrate to future employers that you’re dedicated to the field and motivated to keep your skills on-trend.

A software engineering course can typically be completed in less than a year. Some certifications last just weeks. Instead of teaching a wide range of subjects like a degree program, a certification course is focused on validating just a handful of specific skills.

Having completed a software engineering certification course, aspiring software engineers will increase their chances of getting hired in the field.

Kickstart Your Software Engineering Career Today

You should now have a solid understanding of how to get started in software engineering. Degrees are the more traditional route, but alternative, highly focused learning programs could be better suited to you. Especially if you want a career-oriented approach.

Enroll in our software engineering bootcamp to take your first step in becoming a fully qualified software engineer. You’ll learn all the skills necessary to land a well-paid job in tech, and see first-hand what a software engineer does all day.

We provide one-on-one mentorship and give you the chance to build a professional portfolio to wow prospective employers. Schedule a call with admissions and we’ll talk you through the options.

If you’re interested in reading more about careers in tech, check out our software engineering blog. It’s updated regularly with insightful learning resources on programming, web development, and coding.

FAQs:

How Much Does A Software Engineering Degree Cost?

According to usnews.com, you should expect to pay at least $37,000 for a Software Engineering degree.

Do I need a software engineering degree or a bootcamp to get a job?

If you want to pursue software engineering, enroll in a bootcamp instead of shelling out for a degree. A bootcamp is more efficient and less expensive than a degree.

While a software engineering degree offers plenty of value, you don’t necessarily need one to get hired.

Many employers – especially tech companies – value demonstrable skills over a diploma. And you can display those skills through a porfolio, volunteer experience, or work you completed in a software engineering bootcamp.

Do I need a computer science degree to become a Software Engineer?

If you’re getting a BA and you’re interested in becoming a Software Engineer, then computer science is your best bet (unless your college offers a degree specific to software engineering). However, you don’t need a computer science degree to excel in web development. You just need to be committed to learning a variety of programming languages and constantly honing your coding skills.

Will a software engineering degree get me a job?

Yes, software engineering and computer science degrees are likely to lead to a high-paying job.

More and more companies are looking to hire talented Software Engineers, so this career track is growing more quickly than average job growth. But if you want to land a great position, you should be prepared to follow up your education with hands-on coding practice through a Software Engineering internship or volunteer work.

What are the requirements of a software engineering degree?

The requirements for enrolling in a software engineering degree vary by institution. Regardless of which college you attend, you’ll certainly need a high school diploma and a strong work ethic to succeed.

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