Online Software Engineering Master’s Degree


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Software engineers and developers are consistently included among the “Best Jobs” list for a number of publications, including U.S. News. Low stress, high wages and a stable job outlook make this a desirable occupation.

An online master’s degree in software engineering teaches engineering, computing and project management skills, which are critical in developing innovative software applications. This professional degree is ideal for engineering professionals who would like to transition into software engineering or for those already in the field who would like to enhance their expertise.

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Course Work

Example courses
Pattern-oriented design
Software testing and debugging
Software project management
Development of distributed systems
Software architecture
Software development processes

Students in an online software engineering master’s program will complete course work in the fundamental and theoretical concepts of software engineering, including software construction and design. Other classes, such as project management, can prepare professionals for leadership positions.

Most online programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in engineering, computer science or information science to enroll. Some programs will admit students with undergraduate degrees in other majors provided they can show equivalent experience.

Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Software engineer $78,000
Senior software engineer $104,000
Software architect $119,000
Software engineering manager $131,000
Software engineering/development director $143,000
Vice president, engineering (computer software) $166,000


Software engineers work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, telecommunications, intelligence, the nonprofit sector, biomedical and government.

Software development is one of the fastest-growing information technology fields, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 271,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2020, a 30 percent increase from 2010, according to the BLS.

Software engineering managers often make salaries in the six figures; the median salary is about $131,000, according to PayScale, an online salary database.

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