Software Engineering Online – A Career in Computer Education

In today’s technology driven society understanding how to use computers is essential. However, knowing how to create applications that make computers and technology run is an even more essential skill. Individuals in all walks of life would not be able to utilize the numerous benefits that computers offer without the dedicated trained professionals who make computer use possible. Many accredited online colleges and universities offer computer education in software engineering.

Online computer education offers many different degree program opportunities for prospective students who are interested in working with computers and the software that makes them run. Specifically, education in software engineering will have students learning a variety of computer programs and languages in order to provide them with the ability to improve software applications as well as create brand new ones. Students who enter this field will gain a wide range of computer skills to help them be successful within the industry. The industry is vast and students will be able to pick from multiple career paths upon completion of an online computer education in software engineering.

Let’s look at the skills students will acquire through courses and school related experience that are necessities when working within the field. First, students will have to become comfortable with numerous computer languages that enable them to manipulate computer software and create computer software. Technical skills will be obtained and students will continually build upon this foundation by gaining exposure to old and new technologies. Students will have many chances to practice software engineering on new technologies in a variety of settings. Students will obtain problem-solving skills through courses that will help them think critically about software problems encountered by companies and organizations.

These skills will be taught in an all-inclusive computer education program. Through different courses students will learn how to implement these skills in practical situations and non-technical situations. This is an important combination because professionals work with both computer technology and the people using that technology. Courses in this area may cover logical thinking and game theory. Computer education will cover these skills and more in order to promote a successful software engineer.

Online education in this field gives prospective students the option to gain a certificate in software engineering and to prepare the student for higher education opportunities. Students who want to further their education can pick an online program that will allow them to earn an associate’s degree to a doctorate’s in software engineering. Each level of education will teach students the ins and outs of software engineering to prepare them to enter the career path they have chosen. For example, a bachelor’s degree program is often required to start a career in the field. Students will take general education courses and courses that exclusively focus on software engineering.

Many different career options are available to graduates. One career option for individuals who hold a degree is computer applications software engineer. This career has the professional designing and maintaining computer applications. Applications are programs on a computer that have a specific function like editing photographs.

Computer Software Engineer Jobs – Are You Interested in a Career As a Software Engineer?

Computer software engineers are responsible for using mathematics and computer science in order to develop and test computer programming. They will have the primary responsibility of developing a number of different programs, which can include word processing applications and computer games, in addition to operating systems and network applications.

Computer engineering professionals will first analyze the needs of their clients, and then they will create a detailed set of algorithm instructions which can include programming, although this will usually be outsourced to computer programmers. Applications software engineers will often use raw codes such as Java, in order to create applications software, while system engineers will often help a corporation organize its operating systems.

Systems software will usually require a lot of tinkering in order to make sure that it can be utilized effectively by corporations, and engineers will frequently need to modify operating systems and programming in order to meet the needs of their clients.

These individuals will usually work in teams which can include marketing departments, manufacturing, engineering, designers, and artists, in order to work together to bring a software product to market.

System software engineers may work alone depending on the size of the business that their servicing, and they may have assistants underneath them in order to perform the more routine tasks of installing operating systems and other systems applications.

These individuals will frequently work 40 hours a week in clean and comfortable office environments, although they may experience repetitive motion strain and back discomfort. Most employers will require a bachelor’s degree and experience in computer programming, and four fifths of all software engineers had at least a bachelors degree.

In 2006, software engineers had about 850,000 jobs in America, with most working on applications, and about a third working on systems software. A minority of these individuals are freelance computer programmers. Job prospects overall are expected to be quite good and this field will be one of the fastest areas of growth in America over the next decade.

In 2006, the middle 50th percentile of these professionals made between $63,000 and $98,000, while computer systems engineers made more at between $68,000 and $105,000. In 2007, Robert Half Technology reported that software engineers made between $66,500 and $99,750 annually.

Why a Career As a Software Engineer is Not Sound

I believe the value (or pay) of a person in the market is defined by the following factors:
1) innate qualities
2) knowledge & experience
3) people skills & network

Innate qualities are born with, including appearance, intelligence, personality, etc. And educational background, academic performance, etc, are closely related with one’s innate qualities. But since it’s almost impossible to improve this aspect, it’s useless to say too much about it.

Knowledge & experience, people skills & network are the two aspects that differentiates people’s value (pay). However, a career in IT excels in neither fields on the long term.

The following are my reasons. Now and then, I will refer to the three factors mentioned above.

1 IT is a fast-changing industry by its nature, so in most domains of technology, knowledge is hard to accumulate steadily. A 20-year software engineer is likely the same as a 10-year software engineer in terms of knowledge (but inferior in terms of energy level).

1.1 Some might argue that a good software accumulates a set of knowledge (such as desgin patterns, algorithms, debugging experience) that survives the fast-changing industry, but the fact is that these account only for a very small portion of knowledge required for real projects.

1.2 Also, some might argue that there are domains of technology that changes slower, such as system-level programming (compiler, OS). This is true, and one might be lucky enough to accumulate a huge amount of expertise. But the risk of such a career is still high. Since one is very deep into one technology, once the technology is out-of-date the penalty is severe. This is the nature of technology, it will be out-of-date sooner than many other things such as people skills & network.

1.3 Well, going deep in one technology is risky, then what about going wide in many technologies as a generalist engineer? But rarely are there any projects need such kind of people instead of experts of each individual domain of technology.

2 In addition to the fast-changing nature of the IT industry, limited personal influence also contributes to the low ceiling of the career. A good engineer cannot directly make other people on the team better software engineers, while a good manager can directly make the whole team, divsion, or even the company succeed. With many other careers such as sales, surgeons, traders, the vital difference is that sales, surgeons, traders play a greater role as an individual, while a software project requires a team of 30 to 3000 people.

2.1 Moreover, sales, surgeons, traders also deal with people, that makes them potential people managers in future, while software engineers deal with technology which hardly leads them to people management roles. In fact, most senior managers in IT are not previous software engineers. The point is that software engineers accumulate little in terms of people skills & network.

3 The IT industry is also infamous for its locations. Since the nature of the career requires little interaction with customers, software engineers often have to work in remote locations with lower rent or undeveloped districts with lower pay. The suburban sci-tech parks in China and the outsourcing trend in the U.S. are respective evidence of such claim.

4 Software engineers are not very much respected. The reason could be comprehensive. I personally believe that it is closely related with the low pay growth.

Shape the Future With a Career in Computer Software Engineering

Like the architects that helped push the European Renaissance forward hundreds of years ago, the computer engineering of today create the underpinning and framing of the digital world that surrounds us. In the infancy of the internet, it was possible to qualify for positions in this field without a formal education. Decades later, though, high-paying software engineering jobs in this field require a bachelor’s degree at minimum.

The best candidates for software engineering jobs are those with a combination of creativity, analytical skills and a driving interest in the mechanics of bytes, megabits and microprocessors. This means that the field is dominated by men, but with a 21 percent increase in available computer engineering jobs over the next decade, opportunities for women will surely increase.

When choosing among computer engineering schools, look for coursework that will familiarize you with multiple programming languages such as Java, C++ and Python. You will also want classes in computer systems administration, internet programming, data structures and algorithms and database design. A minority of jobs are available for those who only hold certificates in specific programs or who have earned associates degrees, but a four-year software engineer degree will guarantee employment. A specialized master’s degree in computer arts or computers and business can result in even higher pay.

In the world of business, software engineering jobs can be found either at companies that specialize in computers or, increasingly, at companies that require in-house software to accomplish tasks such as billing, database management and even email and online advertising. The average salary for an engineer is more than $90,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Generally speaking, compensation grows the more education, specialization and experience you obtain.

Careers in the video gaming sector are among the most competitive in the computer engineering industry. Luckily, one of the requirements for this work is experience playing the games themselves. You will also need to work closely with game designers and marketers, not to mention graphic artists and investors.

Regardless of your area of emphasis, you will need to be an expert problem-solver to succeed. This skill can range from “swatting bugs” in existing programs to conceptualizing electronic solutions for everyday business operations such as invoicing or human resources management. In many software engineering jobs, that results in a relatively constant influx of new projects. For that reason, the best engineers have a finely honed ability to concentrate fully on one task at a time.

A problem that has plagued recent computer engineering students has been the relative ease of outsourcing technology departments overseas, to places like China and India. There, much of the same work that U.S. engineers perform can be performed at much lower wages. To remain relevant in the global economy, build top-notch communication skills and be willing to travel nationally and internationally on relatively short notice. You might also consider training in foreign languages so you can manage employees that may be continents away.

When software engineers build the web pages and complex programs that make the digital world possible, they outline the way we think, communicate and even prioritize. The world is changing right alongside the very experience of being human. You can quality for software engineering jobs by completing a computer engineering degree. North Orion has more information on computer programming, the skills you need to succeed and the educational opportunities available.