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Computer Software Engineering

Program Description

Just the Facts

Computer Software Engineering. A program that prepares individuals to apply scientific and mathematical principles to the design, analysis, verification, validation, implementation, and maintenance of computer software systems using a variety of computer languages. Includes instruction in discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, computer science, managerial science, and applications to complex computer systems.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Your life as a software engineering student will be much easier if you're already familiar with the inner workings of a computer. But there's a lot more to learn in this program.

Software engineering falls under two categories: software engineering and computer science engineering. In software engineering, students study the design, planning, implementation, testing and maintenance of software. In computer science engineering, studies focus on computer hardware and software and the interface between the two.

The University of Wisconsin at Platteville offers a four-year software engineering program. Internships and co-op work programs are also available. However, they are not required, says Joseph Clifton, program coordinator of software engineering at Wisconsin.

Through Wisconsin's program, students develop skills in language, communication, math, engineering, programming, analysis, design and software testing.

Plus, students acquire a basic understanding of elementary digital circuits and microprocessors. They also develop analytical skills for solving problems in real-time domains and learn the skills to come up with maintainable software solutions to large problems, Clifton says.

Your studies will be easier if you know the basics of programming and computer hardware, says Susan Grant. She is a high school liaison and communications officer for an applied science and engineering department. "This information will be taught to them, but the lectures move at a fast pace."

Students must be good at math, sciences and problem solving, Clifton says. A student must also be willing to work in teams and be able to present his or her work to peers, he says.

"Take and do well in the basics: math, science, English," Clifton advises. "Take extracurricular activities that involve teamwork and presentations."

Ramachandran Venkatesan is a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He recommends that high school students not only take math and physics, but also engage in quizzes and logic games to increase analytical and logical problem-solving abilities.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Computer Systems Analysts, Database Administrators and Computer Scientists

Software Engineering Glossary
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Software Engineering Institute
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