Online software engineering degrees are a good fit for people who want to design software for a living, and who are interested in creating new and better computer games, word processors, operating systems, web and mobile applications, and more.
While software engineering degrees may cover similar course work as computer programming degrees, software engineering is a much more extensive. Programming is primarily concerned with writing code, while software engineering involves the analysis of user needs, design of software, and testing of that software. In other words, programming is only one of the many components involved in producing high-quality software, and while a software engineer is also a programmer, a programmer is not necessarily a software engineer.
In the first two years of a bachelor’s program in software engineering, students will learn broad computer science skills, including programming, discrete structures, data structures, computer organization and architecture, and computer algorithms. The second two years are dedicated to software engineering skills, including software process and management, model-driven software development, technical communication, and software quality assurance. The best programs will also conclude with a senior project in software engineering where a student plans, designs, and tests a software project on his or her own.
Graduates of online software engineering degree programs may go on to pursue careers as applications software developers or systems software developers. As a developer, you may specialize in working in Java or Ruby on Rails, and you may work in front end development (look and usability of a software product) and/or back end development (coding/server side of a software product).