Online Software Engineering Degree Guide

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Earn an Online Software Engineering Degree

By earning an online software engineering degree students can enter a growing, fascinating, and lucrative field.

The average annual salary of someone with an online software engineering degree is $75,000, according to Payscale. These individuals go on to work as software engineers and developers, systems engineers, computer analysts, web developers, and leading or senior software engineers. They work in cyber security, ensuring that places like hospitals and banks can keep their clients' data safe, or in businesses or governmental organizations.

The difference between earning a degree on-campus and earning a degree online amounts to programs allowing students to adapt their learning to their needs. Some individuals do not want to sacrifice time with their families, and other individuals cannot afford to interrupt their work life to earn an education. Still others are trying to balance work, family, and education. This is why nontraditional learners prefer the flexibility of an online learning environment.

What kind of online software engineering degree should you get?

If you find yourself in a situation that makes going back to school or enrolling for the first time either logistically or financially problematic, then getting an online degree can be a great option for you. Online undergraduate programs in software engineering are an affordable, accessible, and flexible way to earn your BS in software engineering.

Despite the stigma online programs once held, they have mostly shed those stereotypes and have increasingly solid reputations, in large part because online programs are developed and taught by the same faculty who teach the traditional, on-campus courses. And in most cases, the diploma looks exactly the same as those garnered by “traditional students,” yet it was obtained at half the price.

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How much money does one make with an online software engineering degree?

In the next few years, the employment of software engineers is projected to increase by a huge 22 percent. Furthermore, those engineers will make, on average, an annual salary of $100,690, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And these numbers reflect just those engineers who have a Bachelor’s of Science degree. Both employment rate and salary go up exponentially for those with advanced degrees. So if you're committed to getting a degree, expand your horizon by looking at our list of the top online colleges.

What can you do with an online software engineering degree?

Naturally, graduates from these programs have gone on to become software engineers for a range of companies and across industries. But the opportunities don't stop there. In fact, this is a highly versatile degree.

But don't just take it from us. Look at the stats! Graduates from these programs have secured careers as:

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Sales Engineers
  • Chief Technology Officers
  • Video Game Designer
  • and much more

What are the requirements for an online software engineering degree?

Because these are bachelor degrees you will have to allocate at least the first year or so to completing some general education coursework. But once those credits are fulfilled you will jump into the major. This will first entail foundational classes that will introduce you to software engineering fundamentals.

In your final years you will take highly technical and specialized coursework in software engineering. It will also be expected that, before graduation, you participate in either a capstone research project or internship, sometimes even both. We've been sure to note which programs have which requirements.


What are the best online Bachelor's of Science in Software Engineering degree programs?

Below are the Best Online Bachelor's in Software Engineering degree programs in the country. Here at College Choice we’ve collated and compared the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of early career software engineering from online programs across the country to create a definitive ranking of the nation’s fifteen best.

We first chose programs with the most renowned academic reputation according to U.S. News & World Report, and from those pared the list down to those with high retention rates—a reflection of student satisfaction.

Then, we ordered them by weighting reputation and retention rates with tuition price and the averages of early career salaries (care of PayScale) to arrive at a list marked by thorough research and extensive data aggregation.

Our figures come from the university and colleges’ websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Top 10 Best Online Software Engineering Degrees

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Western Governors University

    Salt Lake City, UT




    The online software engineering degree at Western Governors University typically takes students between 9 and 31 months to complete, given the programs average transfer credit rate of 31 hours. Topics in the program include structures query language, integrated physical sciences, IT foundations, and web development foundations. Admission to the program requires either an associate degree in technology, an IT certificate, at least three years of IT work experience, or proof that a student has completed multiple IT, college-level courses prior to applying. Those interested in the program also need to provide proof of a high school diploma or GED.

  2. Brigham Young University-Idaho

    Rexburg, ID




    Brigham Young University’s online software engineering degree prepares graduates for careers in computer systems and software development or engineering. Some of the listed core courses include introduction to software development, object-oriented software development, data structures, and fundamentals of digital systems. Students who take more than 11 credits per semester pay the same flat tuition rate, giving them the chance to earn more credit for less money. Students can enter the program in September, January, April, or July and must provide evidence of a GPA of at least a 2.0 for prior college credit before being admitted to the program.

  3. Kennesaw State University

    Kennesaw, GA




    Kennesaw State University, part of the University System of Georgia, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia and offers over fifty degrees in business, education, sports management, engineering, An online software engineering degree from Kennesaw State University requires about two to three years of study on a full-time basis. Incoming students must hold at least an associate of applied science in computing (or its equivalent); completing the remaining 80 credits at Kennesaw. Transferable classes include Cisco network specialist, computer information systems, computer programming, and computer specialist. The school offers financial aid to student taking at least 12 credits through grants, scholarships such as the HOPE Scholarship, and loans. To apply, transfer students need to fill out the application and submit the processing fee along with their official transcripts from other postsecondary institutions.

  4. Arizona State University

    Tempe, AZ




    Arizona State University offers an online software engineering degree that requires a total of 120 credit hours to complete. Taking 41 total classes over four years, graduates of the program can enter positions such as computer software engineer, information technology manager, and computer programmer. The program requires both that students maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and that students complete 45 credit hours in upper-division coursework. Courses include computer organization and assembly language programming, design and analysis of data structures and algorithms, software enterprise: testing and quality, and engineering statistics. Students must have earned a minimum 24 ACT score for admission.

  5. Southern New Hampshire University

    Manchester, NH




    To receive an online software engineering degree from Southern New Hampshire University, students need to complete coursework on topics such as computer science’s role in industry, introduction to structured query language, computer platform technologies, and foundation in application development. They also need to complete general education requirements in, for example, remedial and advanced math and writing and research. Distance learners can access their coursework at any time of day, and the school boasts accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Military members and their spouses enjoy a 30% discount on both full-time and part-time study.

  6. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE




    Bellevue University’s online software engineering degree gives students exposure to Java, project management, SQL, and Ruby on Rails. Active-duty military personnel, including the National Guard, Reserve, and Coast Guard, receive a substantial tuition discount. Applicants must possess least an associate degree or 60 total credits dedicated to computer technology, a high school transcript or GED, and transcripts from all colleges previously attended. The program administers courses focused on topics such as structured system analysis and design, web scripting, information security, and server-side scripting with Ruby on Rails. Graduates go on to work as software developers, web developers, and computer programers.

  7. Champlain College

    Burlington, VT




    Earning an online software engineering degree from Champlain College allows students to flexibly schedule their education around their filial and career concerns. This fully online and accredited degree offers classes with studies in web page development I-HTML, networking fundamentals, information systems analysis and design, and relational database design and SQL. To gain admission into the program students need to provide proof for all previously earned postsecondary credit, fill out the school’s online application, and answer three to four essay questions regarding their to successfully complete online college coursework. Those who speak English as a second language also need to provide evidence of their English proficiency.

  8. University of Maryland-University College

    Adelphi, MD




    The University of Maryland-University College established its online software engineering degree to provide graduates with a pathway to careers in programming, security, auditing, and computer systems architecture. Learners in the program focus on subjects such as relational database concepts and applications, building secure web applications, detecting software vulnerabilities, and secure software engineering. Faculty in the program boast some of the highest credentials in the field, with many of them holding experience as incident responders, penetration testers, and security analysts. Military members receive tuition assistance, and the school holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  9. Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Springs, CO




    Courses in the online engineering software degree at Colorado Technical University focus on subjects such as structured query language for data management, information technology architectures, introduction to operating systems and client/server environments, and spreadsheet applications. To graduate, students must complete 184 credit hours of coursework. Because the program offers the degree online, those with busy schedules who still want to earn their degree can design their course schedule around their life. Those who speak English as a second language must provide either their TOEFL or IELTS certification. All students must supply their high school diploma or its equivalent.

  10. Full Sail University

    Winter Park, FL




    Full Sail University’s online software engineering degree focuses on a holistic approach to software engineering, from the creation of software to its application in a real-world context. Two examples of courses include software engineering, in which students learn how to solve problems and design new software, and computer organization and architecture, in which students combine their knowledge of software and hardware building to design a project or solution. The online program takes approximately 29 months to complete, and incoming students must demonstrate that they completed high school (or its equivalent), provide a government ID, and submit proof of their English proficiency.

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