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.

Start a fulfilling career in software engineering today by earning a computer education and use your passion for computers within a profitable career. Search out online colleges and universities that offer accredited degree programs that fit your schedule and chosen career path.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org. Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

The Challenges of a Software Engineer

While it’s true that the engineer is also a programmer, and there are some design duties included in the core job functions, there are also some very fundamental, critical differences in the manner in which software engineers, programmers, and designers complete their work. Many engineers would also argue that there is a marked difference in the quality and performance of the products they produce as well.

Software engineer jobs take a more formal approach to the process of programming software. The manner in which engineers complete their work is much more similar to traditional engineering processes than it is to software programming or designing methods.

Software engineers are often involved in the most complex of design or programming activities. Though every day, run of the mill programs can be designed by less skilled folks, many programs can’t be trusted to just any old programmer.

For example, programs that control important processes – especially in circumstances where human lives may be lost if an error occurs in a program – are primarily the realm of highly skilled software engineers. After all, you don’t want the software that runs a key piece of medical equipment or that which drives the operating system of a nuclear submarine to fail.

This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of design engineer jobs with which incumbents must constantly contend. They are tasked with ensuring the smooth and efficient operations of incredibly complex and sometimes frightening processes with computer enhanced systems.

Design engineers are tasked not only with creating a software program that will serve the basic needs of a business, organization, or other client, but they must also foresee the potential pitfalls associated with the program as well. They must be able to grasp the technological concepts of the methods or practices with which the program is intended to interface and design the software appropriately for the highly technical, and often potentially dangerous, environment in which it will be used.

Although the average programmer or designer may be able to afford a few minor glitches, for those working in design engineer jobs, there is often no such thing as a minor glitch. Of the software fails, the consequences can be great. The pressure that design engineers face on a daily basis is tremendous for this very reason.

Software engineers also face some other unique challenges in the IT world. They must often complete a lot more paperwork than most IT professionals. Once again remaining true to the engineering trade, software engineers will draft designs, test them for quality, integrity and performance, and will frequently redesign them several times before moving from paper or prototypes to the real deal. In fact, many of those who work in software engineer jobs will spend as much as 70 – 80% of their time dealing with paperwork and only 20 – 30% actually writing code for the software itself.

Getting Started On Your Career Path As A Software Engineer

When you are at the crossroads of your career, you might stop and contemplate the advantages of becoming a software engineer. Every business has its own computer systems or might require personalized programs to be written for them. A software developer or engineer writers or manages computer systems and programs, and helps a business keep in pace with the rapidly changing world of technology.

If your chosen career path is on the lines of becoming a software engineer or a software developer, there are some skills and qualifications that you need to acquire. You also need to determine which field of software engineering you would like to enter into and master. If networking or computer system administration is your forte, you would require specialized training in those areas. On the other hand, if you would like to get into the world of development, you will need specific training on a programming language of your choice, or a group of languages that go hand in hand.

What To Study

Most companies require that you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in any computing stream, science or applied math, before you can be taken on as even an inexperienced software engineer. With some companies, your experience counts towards educational qualifications, but those that consider work experience above qualifications are not really found around every corner.

If you’ve decided on a specialty in software engineering or development, consider getting a diploma or additional certification in that specialty. Apart from equipping you with skills in your preferred niche, it highlights your abilities to prospective employers and helps narrow down your job search.

Required Skills

To pursue a career in software engineering, you need to have strong analytical abilities as well as the ability to pay careful attention to minute details. You also should be able to work well in groups, think creatively, be proactive and understand the business process and technical processes followed in different organizations. Good communication skills, and the ability to rise to the occasion in the event of crucial projects is also vital.

Job Prospects

Once you’ve got your degree and certifications in hand, you are all set to jump into the job market and showcase your skill to prospective employers. Many larger companies with specialized computing requirements hire people fresh out of college and train them in a particular niche. While this is a good way in which to start off your career in software engineering, be prepared to sign a contract with these companies, since they will require you to stick around for at least a year after you get trained. After all, it would be unreasonable for them to train you and let you move on to another company without getting the full worth of the training they’ve invested in you.

If you would prefer to give the open job market a try, prepare a professional resume that highlights your educational qualifications, your skills, and any experience you might have acquired through internships during your degree. Prepare a brief covering letter introducing yourself to prospective employers, and you are all set on your career path as a software engineer!

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