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Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Software Engineering

What are some of the reasons you may want to earn a software engineer bachelor degree online? Well, in today’s world, technology does more and more for us with each passing, day, week, month, year, and decade. Still it takes humans to build the technology that makes our lives increasingly easier and more productive. While basic hardware is still essential, these days, and for some time now (until our brains become the hardware!), software is where technological innovation and evolution lives. Gaining competency in creating, running, and managing software through earning an online bachelor’s degree in software engineering is a great way to thrust yourself toward the epicenter of technological advancement. This article will cover some of the coursework, possible career opportunities, potential earnings, and how to generally get started when exploring a bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

Essentials of Earning a Software Engineer Bachelor Degree Online

If you are thinking about applying to a four-year bachelor’s degree program in software engineering, it’s necessary for you to have already earned your high school diploma or the equivalent. Most software engineering BA programs require a combination of coursework, including, of course, things like classes and lectures, but as an online software engineering student, you may be required to participate in research, engage in internships, as well as perform hands-on group activities.

Some of these tasks may need to be completed in person, which may mean that your software engineer bachelor degree online program turns out to not actually be 100% online! So be sure to ask questions about the requirements of each school before committing. You can reach out to the school’s sponsored listings on this page for more information.

How online learning works

Are you a self-starter who is revved and ready to go, but you just really don’t have time in your crazy-busy schedule to go to a classroom all the time? Distance-learning may not necessarily be any easier than classic campus learning—you still have to do your work--although for some people online classes may be more convenient since you can pace yourself for a lot of activities. Plus, since they are obviously computer-based, you can log in and study from just about anywhere—the library, a café, your gramma’s house. . . . For self-starters, this kind of flexibility could be a big plus while you are pursuing your online software engineering BA!

Online doesn’t mean cookie cutter classes

However, not all software engineer bachelor degree online programs are cut from the same cloth! Some programs may have live-streaming webinars, while others might have pre-recorded sessions for you to watch on your own time. One of the things you may want to check out is what resources for online learners are offered by the college, like whether such things as career-counseling services are offered or whether tech support is available and is it 24/7 or just at certain hours, and so on. Think about the things that are important to you and confirm details about them with the schools up front so you don’t get any surprises.

How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Software Engineering Program

As you look into online bachelor’s in software engineering programs, always do your due diligence before committing to a degree to pursue. If you already know what kind of career you would like to eventually put your hat in the ring for, well, good for you! Now you can choose a specific course of study that is tailored to help you run down that dream. For instance, if you are super-into online gaming, you might search for an online bachelor’s degree program that is intended for the budding applications software developer.i  If you think you would like to work developing operating systems for computers, then you may want to pursue a bachelor’s degree program that is designed for systems software developers.

What Is the Potential Coursework for a Bachelor’s in Software Engineering Program?

Year one is used almost universally to build strong foundational skills essential to almost any career in computer science. So, students in a four-year software engineering program will typically experience a similar first year of study to that of students in other concentrations within computer science. That basic first-year coursework of a software engineer bachelor degree online is likely to include subjects like:

  • Computer programming
  • Program design
  • Computer systems analysis
  • Fundamentals of hardware
  • Networking
  • Computer architecture
  • Professional awareness
  • Mathematics for computing
  • Introduction to databases
  • Academic skills for computing

Thereafter coursework diverges into different areas of concentration depending on the students’ interests and the offerings of the programs in which they are enrolled. At this stage in the degree program, students are more free to explore specific areas of training they find appealing. Still, some general trends in degree progression do exist. For example, software engineering students whether online or in-person tend to have a much stronger focus on software systems and data management than other concentrations within computer science.

Potential Career Opportunities and Earnings

Those who earn a degree in software engineering can look forward to a projected job growth of 9 to 13%  (from 2014 through 2024). That growth is expected to create about 107,000 new jobs by the end of the projection range.  If you earn your bachelor’s degree, potentially through a software engineer bachelor degree online you’ll be in good company since 77% of people who work in software engineering have earned a bachelor’s degree, with 17% having earned a master’s degree. But the bachelor’s degree is considered the entry-level educational level for this job.

Those who successfully pursue a career as a software engineer can typically expect to perform tasks such as the following:

  • Modify existing software to correct errors, to adapt it to new hardware, or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance
  • Develop or direct software system testing or validation procedures
  • Direct software programming and development of documentation
  • Consult with customers or other departments on project status, proposals, or technical issues, such as software system design or maintenance
  • Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan installation of a new system or modification of an existing systemiii

In terms of projected salaries for software engineers, the median wage for software developers, applications as of 2015 was $98,260;iv  for software developers, system software that number was $105,570 a year, or just north of $50 an hour. 

Getting Started

To start looking at options for pursuing an online degree in software engineering , check out the sponsored listings right here on this page and reach out directly to any school you find intriguing for more information on the software engineer bachelor degree online that fits you. 


[i]bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-2 [ii]http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1133.00#WagesEmployment [iii]onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1133.00#Tasks [iv]bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-5

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