Interested in a career as a software engineer, programmer or developer? Maybe you want to develop games, apps, websites or manage complex databases.
A software engineering degree is an ideal way to acquire the foundational knowledge needed to get noticed by employers. If you’re already working in the field, you can showcase the degree to employers and compete for leadership roles.
Benzinga is here to help you find an online software engineering degree program — plus a few other options! — that can suit your busy lifestyle.
Why Choose an Online Software Engineering Degree?
With a software engineering degree under your belt, you’ll enjoy career flexibility, job security and a generous salary.
Software engineers are in high demand in many thriving industries. These include business, defense, financial, government, healthcare, retail and tech sectors. This equates to job security as opportunities are in abundance across the U.S.
Wondering what types of jobs are available? It’s a lengthy list filled with hot opportunities for recent graduates:
- Computer and information systems manager
- Computer programming
- Computer support specialist
- Cyber-security manager
- Data engineer
- Data scientist
- Network engineer
- Software architect
- Software engineer
- Software developer
- Software publisher
- Systems analyst
- Video game designer
Also, know that software engineering degree holders who go to work in the field earn competitive salaries. You can make close to 6 figures in many entry-level positions. With hard work and strategic networking, it’s possible to rise up the ranks and command an even higher salary in record time.
Find an Online University
How to Choose an Online Software Engineering Degree
You want an online software engineering degree program that helps you meet your educational and career goals. Keep these factors in mind as you evaluate your options.
Is the degree program offered by an accredited institution? Is it reputable in the eyes of the top employers? What do reviews from past students say? How is the job placement rate among new graduates? These are just a few questions to ponder as you evaluate the reputation of online software engineering degree programs you’re considering.
The best online software engineering degree programs offer individualized support to distance learning students. You should be provided with the resources needed to succeed, whether they’re related to enrollment, financial aid or tech support. It’s also a plus if career counseling services are available to help you secure employment when you graduate.
Cost of Attendance
You can expect the cost of attendance to vary by program. However, options with far steeper tuition and fees should be eliminated from your list. It’s not a smart move to spend thousands more on an online software engineering degree program that won’t yield better job prospects.
Jobs Waiting for You With a Software Engineering Degree
Here are a few of the top opportunities for software engineering majors.
Software developers create computer applications and build out systems that are needed to control networks or run devices. Software and system testing, modeling and maintenance are also other primary duties that you will complete in this role.
On average, software developers earn $105,590 per year. This equates to $50.77 per hour.
Computer programmers are instrumental in code writing and testing processes. They are also responsible for converting program designs from engineers and software developers into a language that computers can understand. Once the applications and programs are developed, they conduct tests to ensure proper functionality.
In 2018, the median pay for computer programmers was $92,610.
Database administrators implement, manage and test computer databases. They also oversee any modifications that are needed to computer databases and implement security measures to minimize or eliminate breaches.
The average annual salary for database administrators is $92,030.
Best Online Colleges for a Software Engineering Degree
We’ve included a review of the best online degree programs for aspiring software engineers to help you narrow down your options and find the best fit.
1. Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in software engineering. A component of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, this degree program highlights the flexibility of computing, project leadership and software construction in project-driven engineering education.
The curriculum embodies the concepts of engaged learning, learning-by-doing and discovery-based education. It prepares students to work as computing professionals or enter graduate degree programs for computing or a related field.
Classes are led by distinguished faculty members who’ve amassed some of the most prestigious awards in their fields. Core courses for software engineering majors include:
- Applied Linear Algebra
- Engineering Secure Software Systems
- Operating Systems and System Programming
- Principles of Database Management
- Principles of Distributed Software Systems
- Software Enterprise: Construction and Transition
- Software Enterprise: Design and Process
- Software Enterprise: Inception and Elaboration
- Software Enterprise: Project and Process Management
- Computing Capstone Projects I and II
Alumni work as computer programmers, computer science professors, computer software quality engineers, information technology managers, software developers and software engineers.
You need 120 credits to complete the program.
2. Penn State World Campus
Seeking a solid foundation in software engineering? Consider an online Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Penn State World Campus. It is accredited by the Engineering Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
The rigorous curriculum prepares you for a position in aerospace, business, communications, general industrial, medical, military and scientific computing. It combines computing skills, engineering principles, project leadership and software construction to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the field.
You will take the following upper-level core courses:
- Basic Management Concepts
- Communication Networks
- Database Management Systems
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science
- Elementary Probability
- Embedded Real-Time Systems
- Object-Oriented Software Design and Construction
- Operating Systems
- Programming Language Concepts
- Software Architecture
- Software Engineering
- Software Engineering Design
- Software Engineering Project
- Software Verification, Validation and Testing
Upon completion of the 126 credit hours required to earn your degree, you will be ready for many highly-sought-after engineering jobs. You will be qualified to work as a computer systems administrator, computer systems analyst, project manager, sales manager, software developer, software testing engineer, user interface designer or video game designer.
3. St. Cloud State University
The online software engineering bachelor’s degree program from St. Cloud State University prepares you for work in the field or a related graduate degree program. It is offered by the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology and accredited by ABET.
During your studies, you will hone your communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills. Students are also introduced to emerging technology used for big analytics, game design, mobile and web application development and software cybersecurity.
Software engineering majors take the following core courses:
- Applied Undergraduate Research
- Computer Science I and 2
- Database Theory and Design
- Introduction to Operating Systems
- Linear Algebra
- Software Analysis
- Software Construction or Object-Oriented Software Development
- Software Design
- Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction
- Software Project I and II
- Software Project Management
- Software Qualify
- Statistical Methods I for Engineering
- Writing for the Professions or Communication in the Workplace
Students also complete an internship to gain valuable real-world experience.
You must successfully complete 122 hours to earn your Bachelor of Science in software engineering from St. Cloud University.
Other Related Degrees
Looking into other options? Here are some other options you may want to consider.
Southern New Hampshire University
Learn the essentials of software engineering from the comfort of your home. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in computer science.
This program delves into interface/user experience design and development techniques, secure code development, reverse engineer coding and systems architecture trends. You’ll also learn how to solve everyday challenges faced by software engineers.
Computer science majors must successfully complete these core courses:
- Applied Linear Algebra
- Client/Server Development
- Computational Graphics and Visualization
- Current and Emerging Trends in Computer Science
- Full Stack Development I and II
- Mobile Architecture and Programming
- Software Security
- Software Testing, Automation and Quality Assurance
These additional courses are also required for the software engineering concentration:
- Emerging Systems Architectures and Technologies
- Secure Coding
- Software Reverse Engineering
- UI/UX Design and Development
When you finish the program, you’ll be positioned for success in a role as a full stack developer, secure software developer, software engineer, systems architecture designer or a UI/UX developer.
SNHU requires 120 credit hours to earn your degree. However, up to 90 transfer credits are allowed from an accredited college or university.
University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta offers a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems. It teaches you vital skills needed to design web pages, maintain databases, work with integrated development applications, use spreadsheet applications and write computer programs. You will also acquire analytical, communication and organization skills to help you become a well-rounded professional.
You can choose to concentrate in data science, information systems security, networking, software development or web development.
Required upper-level courses for computer information systems majors include:
- Computers and Culture
- Database Design
- Introduction to Information Security
- Networking Concepts
- Operating Systems: Linux
- Organizational Behavior
- Project Management
- Systems Analysis
You must also complete an internship and one of these programming courses:
- Introduction to C++ Programming
- Introduction to Java Programming
- Introduction to Visual Basic Programming
- Programming in C# and .NET
If you choose the software development concentration, you must successfully complete these classes:
- Advanced Java Programming
- Algorithms and Data Structures
- Applied Linear Algebra
- Principles of Human Computer Interaction and User Design
- Software Engineering
- Software Quality Assurance
Western Governors University
Interested in a career as an application developer? Acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and educational background needed to land a role working with the Java or C# programming language. Consider an online bachelor’s in Software Development from Western Governors University to show you the ropes.
This degree program allows you to choose from 2 tracks — Java or C#. You will take courses on a many relevant topics like:
- Data management
- Data manipulation
- Network and security
- Operating systems
- Scripting and programming
- Software and software applications
- Technical communication
- Web development
There’s also a software development capstone requirement.
When you finish the program, you will also have these certifications under your belt:
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Project+
- CIW User Interface Designer
- Oracle Database SQL
- ITIL® Foundation
Many alumni go to work as computer hardware engineers, computer network architects, computer programmers and computer systems designers immediately following graduation.
University of Florida
Join the Gator nation by enrolling in the online computer science bachelor’s degree program from UF Online. It positions you for success in many thriving industries.
You’ll gain a foundational knowledge of computer science and deepen your understanding of other related subjects, like software engineering and database management. Core courses include:
- Applications of Discrete Structures
- Data Structures and Algorithm
- Digital Logic and Computer Systems
- Information and Database Systems I
- Introduction to Computer Organization
- Introduction to Software Engineering
- Numerical Analysis: A Computational Approach
- Operating Systems
- Programming Fundamentals I and II
To finish the program and earn your degree, you need at least 120 credit hours.
University of Maryland Global Campus
The University of Maryland’s Global Campus features an online bachelor’s in Software Development and Security. It delves into the mechanics of designing, developing and testing secure software applications. You will also learn how to perform software penetration testing and make recommendations for minimizing computer security risks.
These courses are required for software development and security majors:
- Introductory Programming
- Intermediate Programming
- Building Secure Python Applications
- Current Trends and Projects in Computer Science
- Database Security
- Detecting Software Vulnerabilities
- Mitigating Software Vulnerabilities
- Relational Database Concepts and Applications
- Secure Programming in the Cloud
- Secure Software Engineering
- Software Security Testing
When you finish the program, you will be ready for a leadership or technical role in the field. You need a minimum of 122 hours to earn your degree.
Get an online Bachelor of Science in software development from Champlain College. This 120-credit hour program caters to working professionals who want to position themselves for career growth.
Faculty adopt a hands-on approach to teach you the fundamentals of software development. You will acquire advanced knowledge of more than 23 applications, platforms and programming languages, like C++ Programming, Java Programming and Visual C#. The curriculum is also designed to hone your communication and leadership skills so you can effectively lead others in the field.
As a software development major, you will take these upper-level core courses:
- Applied Software Practice I
- C++ Programming II
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Enterprise Database Systems
- Ethics in the Professions
- Linux/ Unix Programming I
- Operating Systems Architecture
- Operating System Security
- Usability in Website and Software Design
- Writing in the Workplace
Graduates of the program work as computer programmers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, quality assurance engineers, software developers and software engineers.
Interested in learning how to build games, create software or work as a web-based developer? The online bachelor’s in software development from Hodges University may be the perfect fit.
Offered by the Fisher School of Technology at the Hodges University, this degree program comprises 2 core components — computer information technology and software development.
Required courses for the computer information technology core includes:
- A+ Hardware I and II
- Advanced Computer Applications
- Advanced Database Management
- Introduction to Database Management Systems
- Java Programming I
- Principles of Information Security
- Project Management
- Web Design I
- Systems Analysis and Solutions Architectures (Capstone)
You will also take a series of classes for the software development core, which entail:
- Advanced C++ w/ Object-Oriented Programming
- Enterprise Applications
- Internet Application Programming and Databases
- Introduction to Game Programming
- Mobile Application Development
- Java Programming II
- Organizational Applications of Social Media and Collaborative Technologies
- Programming Concepts II
- Software Engineering
- Web Applications
Software development majors need 120 credits to reach the finish line.
Get Started with an Online Software Engineering Degree Program
You don’t need to spend countless hours searching for an online software engineering degree program or related degree that meets your needs and budget. Explore our top recommendations and review the in-depth descriptions to make an informed decision.