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Software Engineering Option

UMass Dartmouth offers a Software Engineering (SWE) option within the BS in Computer Science program. Computer Science majors who successfully complete the requirements of the SWE option will receive a diploma noting their completion of the option in Software Engineering.

What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering brings a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. Drawing on computer science and mathematics as foundations, software engineering seeks to develop systematic models and reliable techniques for producing high-quality software.

What do Software Engineers do?

Software engineers are engaged in the analysis, specification, design, programming, and maintenance of software. They are concerned with issues related to management and quality, to novelty and creativity, to standards, to individual skills, and to teamwork and professional practice that play a vital role in software development.

What is the job outlook for Software Engineers?

  • In April 2006, Money Magazine rated Software Engineer as the No. 1 Best Job in America, with 44,800 annual job openings, and an average salary of $80,500.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that software engineering will be "one of the fastest-growing occupations from 2004 to 2014."
  • In Massachusetts, there are currently over 2,500 software-oriented companies with almost 120,000 employees and $10.5 billion in annual revenue.

Is the Software Engineering option the right choice for you?

The SWE option may be right for you if:

  • You would enjoy expressing your creativity within a disciplined professional framework.
  • You are interested in large-scale commercial software development.
  • You are interested in managing software development projects.

The SWE option may not be right for you if:

  • You are primarily interested in artificial intelligence, soft computing, robotics, game design and programming, bioinformatics, parallel and distributed systems, computer networks.
  • You are primarily interested in working on operating systems, device drivers, embedded software, or similar systems.
  • You are interested in pursuing graduate studies or a research career in Computer Science or related area.

How soon must you decide?

The program of studies for students in the Software Engineering option is identical to the normal program for Computer Science students for the first three semesters, and nearly identical in the fourth semester. Beginning in the Junior year, however, the programs of study differ significantly, so students should make their decision by the end of their Sophomore year.

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