Get Matched With Software Engineering Colleges

What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering degrees can be found at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, though some programs may offer concentrations in software engineering within a broader computer science curriculum. Most software engineering schools and degree programs will include coursework in programming languages such as C++, Java, and Python; data structures; algorithms; database systems; operating systems; computer architecture; cryptography; distributed systems; and networks. Students may also take courses that cover topics like system security and artificial intelligence.

At the graduate level, many universities will offer master's degrees in software engineering, computer engineering, or related fields such as computer science with a concentration in software engineering. These degree plans typically include coursework on advanced topics like software design principles, formal methods of verification and validation, quality assurance testing, project management strategies, and more. Additionally, students often participate in an internship or complete a thesis project to strengthen their understanding of the field. Any student interested in attending the best colleges or schools in Illinois can find options all over the state such as the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) or any university in the Illinois University System.

Compare Popular Online Software Engineering Programs

Online Software Engineering Education in Illinois

Software engineering is a field that combines computer science, programming, and mathematics to create software programs and applications. Software engineers use a variety of tools and techniques to develop reliable, secure, and efficient software systems. They design, construct, test, deploy, maintain, and improve software solutions for businesses or individual clients.

Software engineers have the expertise to choose the correct methodology required for designing a system that can meet the customer’s requirements. Knowledge of algorithms and data structures are important in this field as they are used frequently when creating software systems. Additionally, knowledge of programming languages such as Java or C++ is necessary, as well as familiarity with database systems like Oracle or SQL Server. Software engineering also requires an understanding of operating system concepts, such as Linux or Windows, so that they can effectively interact with hardware components.

Software engineers may specialize in various areas such as web development, mobile application development, or distributed computing, which involve different technologies and frameworks according to each specific area of specialization. With continuing advancements in technology, software engineers need to stay up to date on the latest tools and trends in order to remain competitive within their profession. Typically, most employers require candidates to have a degree in software engineering.

Online Associate Degree in Software Engineering (AS)

An associate degree in software engineering typically takes two years to complete and covers a variety of topics related to computer programming, software development, and other aspects of the technology industry. Common courses may include object-oriented programming, database design, system administration and development, operating systems principles, web design, network security fundamentals, and digital logic. Upon completion of this degree program, students will be prepared to pursue entry-level positions as software developers or engineers in various IT fields, though it may be hard to earn a promotion unless you gain more education.

In addition to technical coursework related to software engineering principles and applications, this type of degree program also includes general education classes, such as English composition and math. A portfolio is often required for graduation, which could include projects completed during coursework or independent work done outside the classroom. This provides employers with an opportunity to evaluate a student’s abilities beyond what can be seen on a resume or during an interview. An internship may also be part of the curriculum for a comprehensive educational experience that combines practical knowledge with theoretical understanding.

Online Bachelors Degree in Software Engineering (BS)

Software engineering degree programs provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop, maintain, and test software applications, and it can help you move up in the field. Software engineers are responsible for creating efficient, secure, and reliable programs for a wide range of industries and applications. Bachelor's degrees in software engineering typically include coursework in programming languages, computer science theory, system architecture design, project management tools, networking concepts, data structures algorithms, artificial intelligence models, and linear algebra. Additionally, some schools offer specializations such as embedded systems or mobile app development. In addition to classroom instruction, many programs also include hands-on experience with coding practices through labs or internships.

A bachelor’s degree in software engineering is essential for those interested in becoming competitive software engineers and staying current on the latest trends in technology. Software engineers may find employment opportunities across all sectors including government agencies, private companies, or start ups. Graduates may pursue career paths such as application developer/engineer, network engineer, database administrator, gaming programmer, quality assurance analyst, systems analyst/administrator or web developer/designer, among others.

Find Your Online Software Engineering Program

Online Masters Degree in Software Engineering (MS)

A master's degree in software engineering provides aspiring software engineers with a comprehensive understanding of the field and the ability to advance to higher-level roles. This type of program combines technical knowledge, engineering principles, and specialized skills to prepare students for a career as a software engineer or manager. The curriculum typically includes topics such as programming languages, operating systems, system design, database management, computer architecture, and networks. It may also cover project management techniques and principles that are used in software engineering. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as artificial intelligence, embedded systems development, or another concentration available at their school of choice.

The courses that make up a master’s degree program in software engineering can vary depending on the institution offering the program. However, they often include classes related to web development, object-oriented design and analysis, software testing, modeling techniques, security protocols, requirements analysis, algorithms, statistical methods, ethical considerations, and more. Upon completion of this degree program, graduates should have developed an advanced knowledge base along with real-world experience in designing and developing software applications for various industries including aerospace engineering, finance, and healthcare


Online PhD Degree in Software Engineering (PhD)

A PhD in software engineering provides students with the advanced theoretical and practical knowledge to become leading experts in software engineering. Students can focus on a specific area of research such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, or software architecture. These programs include courses in core topics like software engineering principles and practices, computer systems design and analysis, database management systems, and software project management. Students may also need to complete an independent research project to explore their chosen field of study. This culminates in a dissertation which demonstrates students' expertise in their chosen area of study.

Additionally, students may be required to take additional classes related to quantitative methods or other related areas of study depending on their specialization. Upon completion of these programs, graduates are prepared for successful careers as researchers or professors at universities or industry professionals responsible for developing sophisticated software solutions for businesses around the world.

Online Software Engineering Certifications

Software engineering certifications can be a great way for a software engineer to demonstrate their skills and expertise. Certifications serve as proof of a certain level of understanding or proficiency in the software engineering field. In addition, many employers look favorably on individuals who possess certification from an accredited organization or institution.

Certifications can be obtained through various organizations and institutions, including universities and technical colleges. Individuals should research the different certifying organizations to decide which one best meets their needs. Some of the more popular ones include the IEEE Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) program, Microsoft's MCP certification, Oracle's Java SE certification, and CompTIA's A+ Certification program. Furthermore, there are specialized certifications available in specific fields like cloud computing or artificial intelligence that can help build expertise in these areas.

Overall, obtaining software engineering certifications is a great way to enhance job prospects and show commitment to the field of software engineering. It also demonstrates mastery over core concepts, such as data structures and algorithms, as well as design patterns used for developing robust applications.

Become a Software Engineering in Illinois

Becoming a software engineer requires education and experience. You should also keep up with the latest trends in the tech world to stay current and relevant. Here are some steps to help you become a software engineer.

  • Step 1: Earn an Education:

    The first step towards becoming a software engineer is to earn a degree in computer science. A degree program typically covers topics such as programming language proficiency, cyber security principles, algorithm analysis, operating system fundamentals, artificial intelligence, and database management systems.

  • Step 2: Gain Professional Experience:

    After earning your degree, gaining professional experience will help you build the skills necessary for a successful career in software engineering. Internships and apprenticeships are great ways to gain relevant experience by working on real-world projects under the guidance of experienced professionals. In addition to valuable hands-on training, these opportunities also offer the chance to network with industry veterans who can provide invaluable advice and referrals.

  • Step 3: Stay Current with Industry Trends

    Technology is ever-evolving; what worked yesterday may not work today or tomorrow. Keeping up with industry trends can give an advantage over other job candidates who don’t stay current on the latest topics or innovations in technology. Following new products or technologies that interest you can help you remain knowledgeable of emerging technologies in the field of software engineering.

  • Step 4: Grow Your Network

    Networking is essential if you want to make it far as a software engineer, and building strong relationships can lead to potential job opportunities both now and later down the line. Joining online communities related to your passion for programming or attending meetups related to technology can open up doors for collaborations and contacts that could ultimately result in career growth and personal development within this field.

Find Online Software Engineering Programs

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Software Engineering?

A bachelor's in software engineering can open doors to a wide range of software development, engineering, and programming careers. Graduates with this degree are qualified to develop computer applications, design software systems, troubleshoot technical problems, and implement new technologies. They can also use their skills to create innovative solutions for businesses or research institutions. With a bachelor's in the field, graduates can find work as data engineers, mobile application developers, computer system analysts, or network administrators. Additionally, they may specialize in areas such as interactive multimedia content creation or game development. They may even use their knowledge to become security specialists and protect networks from cyber-threats. A bachelor's in software engineering provides students with the necessary skills for any of these career paths and more.

Potential Careers for Software Engineering Graduates

  • Software Developer:

    Software development is a growing field in the computer industry. There are people who specialize in developing new software, updating existing programs, and troubleshooting issues with current software. This is an important job within many businesses and organizations as they rely on their computer systems operating correctly so that their business decisions are based on accurate data. It takes dedication, technical skill, knowledge of coding languages, and an understanding of engineering principles to become a software developer.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree or higher in software engineering, computer science or related field
    • 5+ years of experience in software development
    • Proficiency in programming languages such as Java, C++, HTML 5, JavaScript, etc
    • Excellent problem-solving skills
    • Knowledge of database management systems and operating systems

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developer, quality assurance, and testers in the US in 2021 was $109,020
    • The mean annual wage for software developers in Illinois is $109,970
  • Information/Cyber Security Analyst:

    An information security analyst’s job is to protect networks and data systems from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks. They need an in-depth understanding of information security, risk management, and incident response.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, information technology, or related field
    • 2+ years of experience in information systems security
    • Good understanding of network protocols and security best practices

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for information security analysts in the US in 2021 was $102,600
    • The mean annual wage for information security analysts in Illinois is $112,830
  • Application Developer:

    An application developer, also known as a software developer or programmer, is responsible for designing, coding, and maintaining applications. In general, application developers work with technology like computers and mobile devices to ensure that their applications are safe, secure, user-friendly, and built to the specifications of the client.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in software development or related field
    • Strong knowledge of object-oriented programming techniques
    • Proficiency in developing web and mobile applications
    • Experience with at least one scripting language such as Python, Ruby or JavaScript
    • Knowledge of database design and development

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers in the US in 2021 was $109,020
    • The mean annual wage for software quality assurance analysts and testers in Illinois is $109,970
  • Game Developer/Designer:

    A game developer is someone who designs, creates, and programs video games and related software. Game developers may use programming languages such as C# and Java to develop game content for computers, video game consoles, websites, and mobile devices. Game developers work with art teams, music composers, and other professionals to create a cohesive gaming experience.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in game development or related field
    • Strong understanding of computer programming languages such as C++, Java, and Python
    • Proficient in game development software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, etc
    • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a team environment
    • Excellent problem-solving skills and strong attention to detail

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers in the US in 2021 was $109,020
    • The mean annual wage for software quality assurance analysts and testers in Illinois is $109,970
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager:

    Computer and information systems managers are responsible for overseeing the technology operations of any organization. It’s a career that requires critical thinking, strong organizational skills, and an understanding of the importance of systems security and data privacy.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, Information Technology or a related field
    • 7+ years of experience in an IT leadership role
    • Experience with network administration, system design/implementation, database administration

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer and information systems managers in the US in 2021 was $159,010
    • The mean annual wage for computer and information systems managers in Illinois is $152,820
  • Web Developer:

    Web development is the process of designing, creating, and maintaining websites and applications. Web developers are responsible for building functional websites from scratch or expanding existing sites, as well as creating custom applications that facilitate user interaction with content on the page.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field
    • 2+ years of experience developing websites and web applications
    • Proficiency in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other web development languages
    • Working knowledge of databases such as SQL and MongoDB
    • Understanding of security principles
    • Excellent problem solving skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers in the US in 2021 was $77,030
    • The mean annual wage for web developers in Illinois is $88,880
  • Systems Administrator:

    The primary responsibility of a systems administrator is to maintain the performance and reliability of an organization’s computers and networks. This includes monitoring system performance, ensuring proper backup procedures are in place, updating software regularly, handling security issues, ensuring data storage requirements are met, troubleshooting hardware/software malfunctions, resolving network connectivity issues, setting up new user accounts, responding to user queries promptly, dealing with technical requests from external vendors, and providing training to new staff members on basic computer usage.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology or related field
    • 5+ years of experience in systems administration, network operations, or related field
    • Knowledge of Windows Server, Linux/Unix operating systems
    • Working knowledge of networking protocols such as TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP
    • Working knowledge of system monitoring tools
    • Ability to work with minimal supervision

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for network and computer systems administrators in the US in 2021 was $80,600
    • The mean annual wage for network and computer systems administrators in Illinois is $91,930

Search All Programs