Bachelor of Software Engineering

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A Bachelor of Software Engineering (B.SE.) is an undergraduate academic degree (bachelor's degree) awarded for completing a program of study in the field of software development for computers in information technology.

"Software Engineering is the systematic development and application of techniques which lead to the creation of correct and reliable computer software."[1]

A three/four year degree[edit]

The course syllabus of software engineering has been heavily debated and still is. Institutions will often offer slightly differing course structures, many may have a stronger focus on mathematical foundations for example.

Students of a four-year software engineering course will typically have a similar first year of study as students of Computer Science, including classes such as:

The first year is designed to build up a solid base of knowledge essential to any computing degree. The following years offer students more flexibility, allowing them to choose their classes from a range of related subjects. It is only in the later years that the course really differs from other Computer Science degrees. Students usually take a work placement between years 3 and 4, greatly expanding their skills and allowing them an insight into the current industry.

In following years a software engineering student will often have a much stronger focus on Software systems and data management. The inclusion of human factors in a software engineering degree has been heavily debated, arguing that products of software engineers often are too difficult to use by consumers.[2]

Sample B.S. in Software Engineering Degree Information from the University of Virginia - Wise
Core SWE Requirements:[3]

  • Introduction to Software Engineering
  • Software Requirements & Modeling
  • Software Design & Construction
  • Software Testing, Verification, and Validation
  • Software Quality Assurance
  • Software Project Management
  • Software Configuration Management

CS Requirements:[3]

  • Fundamentals of Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Introduction to Algorithms
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Architecture
  • Programming Languages
  • Human - Computer Interaction
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Database Designing

Math Requirements:[3]

  • Probability & Statistics
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Calculus III
  • Linear Algebra
  • Boolean Algebra

General skills acquired through a Bachelor's degree course in Software Engineering[edit]

Employers generally seek applicants with strong programming, systems analysis and business skills.

"A large difference exists between the software engineering skills taught at a typical university or college and the skills that are desired of a software engineer by a typical software development organization. At the heart of this difference seems to be the way software engineering is typically introduced to students: general theory is presented in a series of lectures and put into (limited) practice in an associated class project."[4]

Graduate prospects[edit]

Graduate prospects are projected to be excellent with the amount of software engineers in the industry estimated to rise by roughly 38% from 2006 to 2016, with total real wage in the industry increasing by an estimated 38.2%.[5] The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Job Outlook for Software engineers and Developers 2019-29 predicts only a 22% growth.[6] After the crash of the dot-com bubble (1999–2001) and the Great Recession (2008), many U.S. software professions were left without work or with lower wages.[7] In addition, enrollment in computer-related degrees and other STEM degrees (STEM attrition)[8] in the US has been dropping for years, especially for women,[9] which, according to Beaubouef and Mason[10] could be attributed to a lack of general interest in science and mathematics and also out of an apparent fear that software will be subject to the same pressures as manufacturing and agriculture careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook 2014-24 predicts a decline for Computer Programmers of -8 percent, then for 2016-26 predicts a decline of -7 percent, and finally predicts a decline of -9 percent from 2019 to 2029.[11]

International variations[edit]

PAKISTAN and Nepal and Morocco etc[edit]

In Pakistan and Nepal, Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering (BE Software) is an 8-semester course of study.[12] This degree is provided by Virtual University of Pakistan and Pokhara University Nepal. The degree is awarded to those who successfully complete an eight-semester program.

Combine with BS Computer science but some subjects are different.


  1. ^ [1] Archived 2009-08-02 at the Wayback MachineSoftware engineering description at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.
  2. ^ [2] "A proposed 4-year software engineering curriculum", Randall W. Jensen, Hughes Aircraft Company, Charles C. Tonies, Hughes Aircraft Company, William I. Fletcher, Utah State University
  3. ^ a b c "UVa-Wise's Software Engineering Degree Information". Department of Mathematics & Computer Science at The University of Virginia College at Wise. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
  4. ^ [3] "Teaching Software Engineering through Simulation", Emily Oh and André van der Hoek Institute for Software Research University of California, Irvine
  5. ^ [4][permanent dead link] Software engineering prospects over a decade from 2006 to 2016
  6. ^
  7. ^ Mann, Amar; Nunes, Tony (August 2009). "After the Dot-Com Bubble: Silicon Valley High-Tech Employment and Wages in 2001 and 2008" (PDF). Regional Report, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 1–8. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Theresa Beaubouef and John Mason, Why the high attrition rate for computer science students: some thoughts and observations., ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 2005
  11. ^ "Computer Programmers : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics".
  12. ^ "Bachelor of Software Engineering". Retrieved 2018-01-08.

External links[edit]