As computers and mobile applications become ever more an integral part of our lives and our economy, the demand for professionals with the skills to design, develop, and maintain software is rising rapidly. Software development degree programs prepare graduates to develop new computer software systems and incorporate them into a wide range of applications. They provide the theoretical and practical background, and the languages and technologies in software development and maintenance to create applications that meet customer specifications and satisfy project requirements.
This page has more details of the programs, where they can be taken, what the career prospects are after graduation, and more. If you are interested in a degree in software development, you might also like to consider one in a closely related field such as computer science, information systems or technology management.
What do you study?
A typical software development degree would include: information technology, web development, analyzing user needs, designing and managing database systems, software applications (enterprise applications, embedded systems, and mobile applications), software development methodologies, the software development life cycle, scripting and programming, and operating systems.
Also included would be the critical skills a software developer needs such as: project management, information security, networking fundamentals, leadership and management, technical writing and communication skills. Programs may also include the impact software development has on business, enabling graduates to evaluate trends, practices, and products to determine their effectiveness.
Programs will include selected industry-standard programming languages. Some programs will also incorporate industry-recognized certifications, such as the Oracle Certified Professional and Java SE 7 Programmer, and these clearly give graduates an advantage in the job market.
What are the prospects with a software development degree?
Demand for software developers is rising rapidly. Some of the expected jobs that are available to software development graduates are in programming, software design, development of mobile applications, and web design. Some may also find work in network support and security, which are two important roles in the information technology field.
In the US, graduates of software development can expect to make around $40,000 to $60,000 a year, after gaining some experience in the field. Experience helps boost salary rates. Maintaining updated knowledge through professional development in the chosen field is important, as things change rapidly in this field.
List of schools and programs