Online software engineering programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. These online schools and universities allow students to earn a degree in this in-demand field from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, these schools offer a wide range of programs and specializations. Students from all backgrounds have a flexible and convenient option to develop their skills and knowledge. With the ability to access coursework and connect with classmates and professors remotely, online software engineering degrees have become a top choice for anyone seeking a career in this rapidly growing field.

Best Online Colleges for Software Engineering

Over the years, online degree programs have become a popular choice for many students. Often, these students have work or family commitments that make it hard to attend in-person classes. With remote learning, students have a more convenient and flexible option to obtain a degree in software engineering. Is an online college the right choice for you?

The main benefits of these programs are the flexible options. Assignments and coursework can be completed at your pace, helping you to balance college studies with other priorities. These flexible programs allow non-traditional students to attend classes without entering a physical building. Many of these online software engineering programs offer a range of courses and specializations to students. With access to diverse coursework, you can find a degree that caters to your interests and career goals. 

 Whether you’re interested in front-end web development, cybersecurity, or mobile app development, there is likely an online program that fits your needs.

Specializations for Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

Many students pursuing a career in software engineering may want to focus on a specific area in the field. Since software engineering is a diverse industry, various courses and classes can help students develop their skills. Focusing on a particular field can make you more valuable to companies, allowing you secure future industry opportunities. Keep in mind that not all online degrees will offer these specific classes. If you want to specialize in a particular area, always ensure your chosen online college provides the option for you. 

How do you choose a specialization for your software engineering degree? Look at some of the most popular and valuable classes that can help you reach your career goals. 

Software Development

With this specialization, students can begin their careers in software development. These classes will teach you the skills to design, code, test, and maintain software applications. Students will also be able to delve deeper into common programming languages, such as JavaScript, Python, C++, and Java. Many classes also focus on software methodologies that involve Waterfall and Agile. This specialization will also cover software testing techniques and tools, including unit and automated testing. 

Data Science

Students taking these classes will learn how to use statistical methods and work with large datasets, which can help to make predictions and draw insights. Python and R are the top programming languages used in these classes. Some of your programs could also focus on data analysis tools, such as NumPy and Pandas. Within this specialization, you will also learn about machine learning, which can be used to build predictive models. Many graduates who focus on data science can find careers in the data engineering, data analysis, or business intelligence fields.

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This specialization protects computer systems and networks from cyber threats. Students will learn about security technologies like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption. You can also gain experience in ethical hacking and vulnerability testing. Graduates of this specialization can pursue careers as cybersecurity analysts, network security engineers, and security consultants.

Mobile App Development

Students interested in mobile app development can focus on creating apps for iOS and Android devices. Generally, you will learn about the various mobile app development frameworks, including React Native and Flutter. Also, it would be best if you were prepared to understand the principles of mobile app deployment and maintenance. Once you graduate, you can pursue a mobile app developer, app designer, or app tester career.

Web Development

For those who want to specialize in developing websites and web applications, you will look at specific development languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In addition, all students will gain experience focusing on user experience (UX) design and other web design principles. With this specialization, you can find work as a web developer, front-end developer, or UX designer.

Career and Salary Information for Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

An online software engineering degree will prepare you for various careers in the technology sector. According to Harvard University, rapid growth and high demand for these skilled professionals will continue into the next decade. However, your career and salary prospects will depend on several factors, such as your level of education, specialization, and experience.

Software Developer

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for software developers in 2021 was $111,620. The job growth for this profession is projected to be much faster than average.

Similar Professions

There are many jobs a person with an online computer engineering degree can successfully pursue. Here are a few jobs along with the annual mean salaries.

PositionDegree RequiredMedian Pay
Information Systems ManagerBachelor’s degree$159,010
Information Research ScientistMaster’s degree$131,490
Computer Hardware EngineerBachelor’s degree$128,170
Computer Network ArchitectBachelor’s degree$120,520
Information Security AnalystBachelor’s degree$102,600
Database AdministratorBachelor’s degree$101,000
Data ScientistBachelor’s degree$100,910
Computer Systems AnalystBachelor’s degree$99,270
Mathematicians and StatisticianMaster’s degree$96,280
Computer ProgrammerBachelor’s degree$93,000
Web DeveloperBachelor’s degree$78,300

Remember that these salary and job growth projections are based on national averages. They can vary based on several factors, such as industry and location. Some graduates of these programs may want to specialize in other areas, including game development, cloud computing, or artificial intelligence. With an online degree in software engineering, you will have the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a rewarding and lucrative career in the industry.

Curriculum and Courses for Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

With any software engineering degree program, students can build a strong foundation in the theoretical and practical aspects of software engineering. Many of these programs typically cover core software design, development, and maintenance topics. If you want to specialize in online applications, take courses focusing on web development, mobile application development, and cloud computing. Look closely at some typical courses that may be included in your curriculum.

At the core of any software engineering program, you will learn the basics of designing, implementing, testing, and maintaining various types of software. In these programs, students will learn about the multiple tools and methodologies used in the field. All software engineering students must have an understanding of data algorithms and structures. 

Most software engineering programs’ curricula will focus on learning common programming languages. If you want to succeed in the field, you need to know how to use these tools to design an application. However, which languages to choose will depend on your future aspirations in the field. These classes will usually devote time to the most common programming languages. For those who want to focus on another language, you can find a course specializing in the one that piques your interest. 

With any online software engineering degree, you can expect to spend plenty of time learning about complex principles related to the field. However, students will also use these theories in real-life applications, helping them to boost their skill sets. 

Admissions Requirements for Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

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You should be aware of a few admission requirements for those who want to apply to an online software engineering program. Some of them may vary depending on the institution or university. 

In many cases, you will need to have a high school diploma or complete an equivalent level of education. Some universities will want you to have already taken specific courses in computer science, mathematics, or another related field. It would be best if you also were prepared to submit a transcript with your GPA. Typically, these online schools will have a minimum GPA requirement of around 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students with strong academic records in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) classes will be advantageous when applying for a place in the program. 

For non-native English speakers, most schools require proof of English language proficiency, such as a TOEFL or IELTS score. Remember that these admission requirements vary widely between online providers. All applicants should carefully review the specific requirements for each school before applying. 

Accreditation for Online Colleges With a Software Engineering Degree

You will want to choose a program accredited by one of the numerous agencies in the country. With accreditation, that means the program has met specific quality standards, providing students with a top-level education. These reviewed programs have met rigorous academic standards and offer an up-to-date software engineering curriculum. Additionally, any nationally recognized accreditation ensures that the faculty members are qualified and experienced in the field. 

If you want to pursue a degree, make sure to choose an accredited program. Otherwise, you may not be eligible to receive financial aid or scholarships. Many government and private organizations only provide financial assistance to students who attend accredited institutions. Also, accreditation is important for students who plan to transfer credits or continue their education at a different institution. These accredited programs are more likely to be recognized by other institutions. That means these credits earned at an accredited program are more likely to transfer to another school. 

Finding an accredited program is vital for students seeking employment in the software engineering field. Most employers prefer to hire candidates who have graduated from accredited programs. It assures them that the candidate has received a quality education and has the necessary skills to succeed.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is the most respected software engineering accreditation agency. In addition to having an accredited program, your online college should also be regionally accredited. Here are the six accrediting bodies that provide regional accreditation for online colleges and traditional schools: 

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Financial Aid & Scholarships for Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

Fortunately, financial aid and scholarships are available for students who want to pursue an online degree. You should check out a few federal financial aid programs. Students can apply for grants, loans, and work-study programs by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. 

Several private foundations, corporations, and organizations offer scholarships to individuals interested in these programs. Some of the top scholarships include:

  • The Google Lime Scholarship
  • The National Science Foundation Scholarship
  • The Society of Women Engineers Scholarship
  • The Palantir Future Scholarship

In a few instances, employers will offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees who want to pursue higher education in a relevant field. Active-duty military personnel or veterans may be eligible for various educational benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Tuition Assistance, and Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). 

Additionally, you want to look at your state’s resources. Many states also offer financial assistance to residents seeking higher education. Students can check with their state’s Department of Education to see if they are eligible for programs. You can reduce the financial costs of pursuing an online software engineering program by researching and applying for all available aid and scholarship options.

What Can You Do With an Online Software Engineering Degree?

All online software engineering programs help graduates develop a broad range of skills and knowledge required to excel in the field. The curriculum covers various subjects, including computer programming languages, software design, algorithms, data structures, software testing, software architecture, and project management. When you graduate, you will have plenty of employment opportunities. You can find work as a software developer, software quality assurance engineer, software architect, or computer systems analyst. Graduates are not limited to just a single industry. You can also find employment in various fields, such as technology, healthcare, finance, or education.

With the skills gained from an online software engineering program, you can apply them to all aspects of the software development life cycle. These skills can be used to design and develop applications from scratch, improve existing software products, or customize the software to meet specific client needs. You may find more employment opportunities if you specialize in a particular development area. 

How Much Does a Software Engineering Degree from an Online College Cost?

When considering pursuing an online degree in software engineering, a few factors can affect the program’s overall cost. Believe it or not, your state of residency does matter. Many colleges and universities charge higher tuition fees for out-of-state students. Those charges can significantly increase the cost of the degree program. However, some schools offer a flat tuition rate for online students, no matter their residency status.

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Technology fees play a big part in the costs of the program. These fees are frequently applied to all courses for online students, but their on-campus counterparts do not have to pay these extra charges. These charges will cover the cost of software licenses, technology infrastructure, and other resources needed to support online classes. The technology fees can vary widely between institutions.

All these fees and extra charges can add up quickly during your studies. According to U.S. News, the cost-per-credit for an online software engineering degree is typically $320 to $720. Remember that the prices can change based on the institution and the specific program. You can expect to pay between $37,000 to $91,000 in total tuition for an online bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

All prospective students should carefully consider these factors when choosing an online software engineering program. You can find a program that fits your budget by carefully researching and comparing different programs.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Software Engineering Degree?

Like many online students, you probably want to know how long it will take to earn a degree. Typically, online software engineering bachelor’s degrees require students to earn between 116 to 126 credits to graduate. If you are a full-time student who can devote all your time to your studies, completing an online software engineering degree program can usually be done in four years.

However, several factors can impact the time it takes to complete the degree. For example, students who cannot attend classes full-time may need to spread their coursework over a longer period. Additionally, students who need to take breaks from their studies for personal or professional reasons may also need more time to complete the program.

Some online software engineering programs offer accelerated tracks, allowing you to complete coursework in a shorter period of time. With these programs, you must take more classes per semester and maintain a rigorous schedule. Despite the fast pace, it can be a great option if you want to earn your degree as quickly as possible.

Are There Affordable Online Software Engineering Degree Programs?

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Yes, there are affordable online software engineering degree programs available. While the cost of tuition for online programs can vary, many schools and universities make their programs accessible and affordable for students.

Consider looking for public universities that offer online programs. These institutions often offer lower tuition rates for in-state students. Additionally, they have developed robust online learning programs in recent years, meaning that students can still access high-quality education even if they cannot attend classes on campus.

Several private universities offer online software engineering degree programs at affordable prices. You must carefully research these institutions to ensure they are reputable and accredited. Some programs can offer a degree but must be recognized as accredited institutions.

Is a Software Engineering Degree From an Online College Worth It?

Online education has come a long way in recent years. Many reputable colleges and universities now offer online degree programs that provide students with the same high-quality education and resources as their on-campus counterparts. Whether you study in class or take an online course, these software engineering degree programs will provide you with a way to gain the knowledge and skills to start a successful career in this exciting field.

10 of the Best Schools Offering Online Software Engineering Degree Programs

As the field of software engineering continues to grow and evolve, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is on the rise. Fortunately, many universities and colleges now offer online software engineering programs that allow students to gain the skills and knowledge they need to pursue rewarding careers in this industry.

You will want to look closely at ten of the best schools offering online software engineering degree programs. From traditional universities to strictly online colleges, these programs offer students a flexible and accessible way to earn a degree in software engineering while still meeting their other personal and professional commitments. Whether you are just starting your career or looking to advance your skills, these schools can help you achieve your goals and succeed in software engineering. Look at the top online colleges for your degree in software engineering. These schools are regionally accredited and listed alphabetically.

1. Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

online software engineering degree at ASU

The software engineering program at Arizona State University is designed to prepare students for successful careers in the field. The program focuses on the development of systems and applications, with an emphasis on planning, testing, and maintaining high-quality software. The curriculum covers programming languages, algorithms, and project management topics.

2. Champlain College (Burlington, VT)

online software engineering degree from Champlain College

Champlain College’s software engineering program helps students in the rapidly changing and competitive field of software engineering. The program provides students with a strong foundation in computer science and software engineering principles. Also, it offers students hands-on experience with software development tools and techniques.

3. Colorado Technical University (Colorado Springs, CO)

online software engineering degree from Colorado Tech

The software engineering program at Colorado Technical University provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the software development life cycle and the skills needed to design, develop, test, and deploy software applications. The program covers various topics, including programming languages, algorithms, data structures, software design patterns, and project management.

4. Eastern Florida State College (Cocoa, FL)

online software engineering degree from Eastern Florida State College

One of the unique features of Eastern Florida State College’s software engineering program is its emphasis on preparing students for the workforce. The program works closely with local employers to ensure that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in software engineering.

5. Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, NY)

online software engineering degree from Mercy College

Mercy College is a private college located in Dobbs Ferry, New York. It offers a variety of degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a specialization in Software Engineering. Students work on real-world projects throughout the program, allowing them to apply their skills in a practical setting.

6. Penn State World Campus (University Park, PA)

Penn State World Campus is the online campus of Pennsylvania State University. This institution offers a variety of online degree programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering. The program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in computer science and software engineering principles, preparing them for a career in software engineering or related fields.

7. University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)

The software engineering program at the University of Arizona includes a rigorous curriculum that covers programming, data structures and algorithms, software design and architecture, project management, and software testing and quality assurance. Students are also exposed to emerging technologies and trends in software engineering, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity.

8. Western Governors University (Millcreek, UT)

The curriculum of the software engineering program at Western Governors University includes courses in programming, database management, web development, software architecture and design, software testing, and project management. One unique feature of the program is the competency-based education model, which allows students to progress through the curriculum at their own pace.

9. St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN)

St, Cloud State University is a public university in Minnesota that offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in software engineering. The program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in computer science theory and practical skills in software engineering.

10. Saint Leo University (St. Leo, FL)

The software engineering program at Saint Leo University features courses in programming languages, development methodologies, testing, and project management. In addition, students can participate in a software engineering project course. In this course, students work to design and develop a software system, gaining valuable experience in project management, teamwork, and communication.

Getting your Software Engineering Degree From an Online College

Choosing the right online college to pursue your software engineering degree can be daunting, but the real challenge lies in the coursework itself. Learning through an online software engineering program requires significant focus and dedication to succeed. If you have excelled in high school, you already have the foundation to excel in your studies. However, you must stay on track and utilize all the tools for success.

One of the most significant obstacles for many students in an online software engineering program is keeping up with the pace. With courses stacked closely together and little downtime, procrastination is not an option. Staying organized is key to meeting each class’s goals promptly. Creating a personalized calendar highlighting significant course dates can help keep you on track.

Despite the challenges, being a student in an online software engineering program can be an enriching experience. You’ll be part of a supportive community of professors and classmates who are there to help you succeed. Whenever you face challenges in your coursework, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Collaborating with others in the program can provide valuable insight into the working world of software engineering and help you build your professional network.

In addition to the support of your professors and classmates, you’ll also have access to a wide range of resources, including virtual libraries, career services, and online tutoring. These resources can help you excel in your coursework and prepare you for a successful career in software engineering.

Deciding to pursue an online software engineering degree can be a challenging but rewarding experience. As long as you stay focused, remain organized, and utilize the resources available to all students, you can achieve your goals and thrive in your career as a software engineer.

Find Online Colleges for Your Degree

Pursuing an online software engineering degree can be an excellent option for individuals looking to advance their education and careers in technology. While there are many factors to consider when selecting a program, like cost, accreditation, and reputation, plenty of reputable institutions offer quality online software engineering programs. With dedication, focus, and the support of professors and classmates, you can successfully complete an intensive software engineering program and thrive in the constantly evolving tech industry.

Other Resources to Consider

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2023 Guide to the Best Online Colleges for Public Administration