System development is concerned with the methods and models used to develop software systems and the processes used to create or alter these types of information systems. It combines the study of computer science, information technology, and computer engineering. In the IT field, it differs from other development majors, such as Web development and game development, in that it focuses on developing software applications for consumers and businesses.
As a major, system development is focused on the principles of computer science, software development methodologies and processes, and information system design and implementation. Students learn about the phases of systems development such as investigation, analysis, design, testing, operations, and maintenance. They study the practice of software engineering, as well as the formal methods, architecture, and design. Courses cover topics like computer architecture, networking, operating and intelligent systems, programming, and more. Possible course titles include: human-computer interaction, system tools and programming languages, computer graphics, computational science, data communication and computer networks, parallel computing, system validation and verification, system quality and standards, and database design and management.
Students may also be required to complete business course work like business platform technologies, strategic management, and business systems analysis and design. Some programs might allow majors to concentrate their studies on a particular area of system development, for example, robotic systems development, mobile system development, Internet system development, instructional system development, etc.
Upon earning a degree in system development, students have a broad knowledge of computer science and solid skills in programming, design, and development. This specialized knowledge and skill set can lead them to careers in various areas of the IT field, such as business intelligence, software engineering, system design, and more. Possible job titles include: computer software engineer, systems developer, business systems analyst, infrastructure designer, IT architect, and development manager.