Major to Career: Software Engineering


Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.

Software Engineering provides students with a solid foundation in both the breadth and depth of the principles and practices of software engineering as well as skills in computer programming. The 2012 median salary for software engineers in the USA is $90,000.

Students learn and practice the industry standard approach to the design, development and implementation of complex software systems.

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it. If the program does not work as expected or people find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to computer programmers.

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