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Software Engineering is projected as one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. in the decade spanning 2004-2014 – this according to the Department of Labor.  Software engineers working in applications or systems development are charged with the task of making software programs work for the specific business application his/her employer needs.   

Software engineers can also be involved in the design and development of many types of software. That may include software that adapts operating systems and programs that make networks function properly for a particular business use.  For programming purposes a software engineer may be required to write code, particular for the compiler function – which converts programs for execution.  The job function is really more concerned with developing programming concepts however.  A software engineer must be able to develop algorithms, analyze and solve programming programs.  The code writing is often left for a technician to perform.

A software engineer generally needs a bachelors’ degree in computer engineering, science or software engineering.  Someone going into systems analysis that involves industrial functions, for example, may get by with a certification in the software involved combined with a background in business operations.  With the increasing concern about data security, software engineers with some background in math and/or systems design are highly sought after in the corporate world.

The one aspect of software engineering that is true across the board is continuing education.  Software programs are continually updated, and business systems are increasingly automated.  A software engineer who is interested in the field of finance or banking would do well to get some educational background in the fields of finance and economics. 

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Salaries with Software Engineer Degrees

Average annual earnings with Software Engineer Degrees in May 2004.

  • Lowest 10 % earned $46,520
  • Median $74,980
  • Highest 10% earned $113,830

Related occupations with Software Engineer Degrees:

  • Software publishers $79,930
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 78,460
  • Computer systems design and related services 76,910
  • Management of companies and enterprises 70,520
  • Insurance carriers 68,440