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Best Software Engineering Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Leah Clark - June 28, 2022


To get ahead in your tech career you might want to consider pursuing a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering. These degrees prove you’re an expert in this field, making you more desirable to tech giants and groundbreaking companies across a variety of industries. The best software engineering master’s degree programs can also prepare you for research in PhD programs.

You can choose various options to earn your software engineering master’s degree. Some schools offer a thesis and non-thesis option, while others also allow self-paced learning. This article features the best software engineering master’s degree programs as well as the top careers for this degree, their salaries, and more.

What Is Software Engineering?

Software engineering is a field within computer science. Professionals in software engineering use computer science techniques and programming languages to develop software applications and products. They will also design and test software products to ensure they fulfill business requirements.

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Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

You can get a Master’s Degree in Software engineering at a public university, private college, or technological institute that offers graduate degrees. Some of the schools where you can get a software engineering master’s degree are Auburn University, Drexel University, and Rochester Institute of Technology.

What Schools Offer the Best Software Engineering Master’s Degrees?

  • DePaul University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stratford University

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or a related field is the main admission requirement for a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering. Some schools may also accept extensive experience in the industry, and many will have additional requirements for incoming students.

Your bachelor’s degree GPA must be 3.0 or higher and you’ll have to submit your official transcripts to prove this. Some schools for software engineering also require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores. If you don’t fulfill all the admission requirements, many programs offer foundational courses to help you brush up your technical skills.

Software Engineering Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or a related field
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above
  • GRE scores
  • Resume or CV
  • Official undergraduate transcripts

How to Get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering

To get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering you will need to complete the required courses and a thesis or capstone project. You will also need to maintain a GPA above 2.0 in all of your coursework. Some programs may have additional graduation requirements, like an internship or teaching assistantship.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

You need between 30 and 45 credits for a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering. These credits are made up of elective courses, software engineering courses, and a thesis or research project.

Software Engineering Degree Requirements

  • At least 30 credits of coursework
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above
  • Completion of a thesis or final project
  • Payment of all tuition and fees
  • Internship or assistantship

Best Software Engineering Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Auburn University Master of Science – Computer Science and Software Engineering Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
DePaul University Master of Science in Software Engineering Higher Learning Commission
Drexel University Master of Science in Software Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Master of Science in Software Engineering Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Florida Institute of Technology Master of Science in Software Engineering Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
New Jersey Institute of Technology Master of Science in Software Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Rochester Institute of Technology Master of Science in Software Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Stevens Institute of Technology Master of Science in Software Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Stratford University Master of Science in Software Engineering Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
The University of Texas at Dallas Executive Master of Science in Software Engineering Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Schools for Software Engineering: Top Software Engineering Master’s Degree Programs

Many reputable universities offer software engineering programs. These on-campus programs are ideal if you want face-to-face learning and the experience of campus life. Keep reading to find out details about the best schools for a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering.

1

Auburn University

Auburn, AL

Auburn University is a public, four-year university that opened in 1859. The school offers over 150 majors from its 12 colleges to 31,526 students. There are currently over 5,000 graduate students pursuing degrees at Auburn. The university offers tutoring, career support, scholarships, and student clubs to all of its students.

Master of Science - Computer Science and Software Engineering

You can choose a thesis or non-thesis option when applying to this program. Your core courses include advanced algorithms, operating systems, and computer architecture. If you opt for the thesis track, six credits will be dedicated to your research and thesis. There are also options to specialize in topics such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, and data science.

Master of Science - Computer Science and Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $5,913/semester (in state); $$15,993/semester (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus or online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 79%

Master of Science - Computer Science and Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE (waived for applicants to the online program)
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Official graduate and/or undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, online application, resume

Applying to Auburn University

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities you’ve previously attended.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references.
  4. Submit a copy of your current resume.

2

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

DePaul University is a private, not-for-profit university founded in 1898. It has a current student population of nearly 22,000 and is the largest Catholic university in the United States. The school has 300 majors available for graduate and undergraduate students. This university offers tutoring, advising, and career services.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

You’ll learn a wide range of skills and practices in this degree program, like emerging technologies, and software design, solutions, and applications. Students will join a team-oriented learning environment and hone their communication and critical thinking skills. There are four concentrations available in entrepreneurship and technology leadership, real time game systems, software architecture, and software development.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $14,063/term
  • Required Credits: 52 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus or online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts

Applying to DePaul University

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit official transcripts.
  4. Submit optional supplemental materials, such as letters of recommendation and a copy of your resume.

3

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University was founded in 1891 and offered its first Bachelor of Science program in 1914. The school offers 200 degree programs through its 15 colleges and schools. Drexel University currently has more than 23,000 students enrolled in its programs, over 8,000 of whom are graduate students.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Drexel University offers this program so you can learn software engineering principles while having the option to pursue a dual degree. One of the core courses in this program is a hands-on capstone project, and students can also tailor what they study to their career ambitions. Drexel University welcomes part-time and full-time students to this program.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,342/credit
  • Required Credits: 48 credits
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Learning Format: On campus or online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirement (GRE is recommended for those applying with a GPA lower than 3.0)
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, two or three letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, professional resume

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Upload official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts.
  2. Upload your resume.
  3. Submit at least two letters of recommendation.
  4. Send in your statement of purpose/personal essay.
  5. Submit your completed online application.

4

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach, FL

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was founded in 1926 as a private university offering programs in aviation and aerospace engineering. It now offers 100 graduate and undergraduate programs to its students in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona. According to the school, 94 percent of its student body receives some form of financial assistance.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Students enrolled in this program can pick a thesis or non-thesis option for this degree, and have access to several elective courses. The core courses cover software project management, software engineering trends, security assessment, engineering and assurance, and software architecture.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,624/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 62%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, resume, letters of recommendation, statement of objectives, resume

Applying to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Upload your unofficial transcripts and test scores.
  3. Upload your letters of recommendation, statement of objectives, and resume.
  4. Have your official transcripts and test scores be sent directly to the university .
  5. Pay the application fee.

5

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL

Florida Institute of Technology was founded in 1958 by Jerome Keuper as a night school for training “missilemen” in the early days of NASA. It is now a private research university that focuses on providing education in STEM. The school offers 200 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

In this software engineering program, you’ll learn software testing, software design, software maintenance, and computer security. Concepts like quality assurance, problem-solving, and communication also play a critical role in this program. You can expect to have opportunities to participate in tons of on-campus events, arts and culture, and student organizations.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,241/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 60%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, or a related discipline
  • Other Requirements: Resume, official transcripts, statement of objectives, letters of recommendation

Applying to Florida Institute of Technology

  1. Complete the application for graduate admission.
  2. Submit your resume, test scores, statement of objectives, and letters of recommendation.
  3. Send in your official undergraduate transcripts.
  4. Pay the application fee.

6

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, NJ

New Jersey Institute of Technology opened its doors as the Newark Technical School to 88 students in the winter of 1885. This public institution now has a student population of over 11,800 that attend its 125 academic programs.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Your core courses for this program include a capstone project, software architecture, project management, software design, and quality assurance. Some elective courses are Java programming, data mining, systems analysis, project management, and machine learning.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,350/credit (in state); $1,856/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 70%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: One letter of recommendation, completed application, official transcripts

Applying to New Jersey Institute of Technology

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit your letter of recommendation.
  3. Send in your official transcripts.
  4. Pay the application fee.

7

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY

Rochester Institute of Technology was founded in 1829. The school now has over 19,000 students and four international campuses in addition to its original Rochester location. On-campus students can join student clubs, benefit from student wellness programs, and get access to career support services.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Students can complete a thesis or capstone option for this degree, and learn software architecture , quality assurance, and many more techniques. There are foundational courses available to aid any skills gaps you might have. The school offers internship and co-op opportunities to students in this program. There is a thesis and a capstone option for this program.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $2,257/credit (part-time, 1-11 credits); $54,176/year (full-time, 12-18 credits)
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE (only required for international applicants)
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, online application, two letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume/CV

Applying to Rochester Institute of Technology

  1. Submit your online application.
  2. Upload digital copies of your personal statement, transcripts, and resume.
  3. Send in two professional or academic letters of recommendation.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Official transcripts must be provided after admission.

8

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ

Stevens Institute of Technology was founded in 1870 after the death of inventor Edwin A. Stevens. The school has 8,287 students, over half of whom are graduate students. Ninety-six percent of the 2021 graduating class of master’s students found work related to their degree within three months of leaving the school.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

This degree program covers agile methods for software engineering, software maintenance, testing and quality assurance, and a capstone project. You have to pick three elective courses in addition to the seven core courses. You’ll find a career center on campus, along with arts and culture, and athletics.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,776/credit (part-time students); $19,704/semester (full-time students)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus or online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, personal statement (for full-time applicants), online application

Applying to Stevens Institute of Technology

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Submit unofficial transcripts online or by mail.
  3. Submit a one-page personal statement explaining why you chose your program of study at Stevens.
  4. Upload two professional or academic letters of recommendation.
  5. Pay the application fee.
  6. Official transcripts will be requested upon acceptance.

9

Stratford University

Alexandria, VA

Stratford University is a private higher education institution founded in 1976. It has a nine-to-one student-to-faculty ratio and only 1,947 students are currently enrolled in its programs. There are around 300 students attending the school for master’s programs. The school has a total of four campuses in Virginia, Maryland, and India in addition to a virtual campus.

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Within 15 months, you can earn your master’s degree from this program. The core requirements will teach you software modeling, project management, and database systems technology, and you will complete a capstone project. Stratford University provides career development support, student services like tutoring, and support for military members.

Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition (and Fees): $495/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 73%

Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Other Requirements: Official transcripts, online application form

Applying to Stratford University

  1. Submit your online application.
  2. Complete the enrollment agreement.
  3. Send in your official transcripts from previous colleges or universities.
  4. Pay the $50 application fee.

10

The University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX

The University of Texas at Dallas was founded in 1961 as a part of The University of Texas System. In 2021, the school had 29,698 students enrolled in its program, 28 percent of whom are in graduate programs. The school offers 146 academic programs and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 24-to-one.

Executive Master of Science in Software Engineering

Gaining skills in critical thinking, project management, computing techniques, and software engineering practices is what this program entails. You’ll study for over 20 months and complete five common courses and six electives. Resources available at The University of Texas at Dallas include financial aid, a career center, athletics, and student clubs.

Executive Master of Science in Software Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,866/credit (in state); $2,765/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 20 months
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 69%

Executive Master of Science in Software Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, Computer Science, or a related field
  • Other Requirements: Three years of full-time employment in software, detailed professional resume, three letters of recommendation, application form, copies of transcripts, signed tuition payment form, strong foundation in programming

Applying to The University of Texas at Dallas

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Upload three letters of recommendation and copies of your transcripts.
  3. Submit your resume.
  4. Submit GRE test scores.
  5. Pay the application fee.

What Is a Software Engineering Master’s Degree?

A Master’s Degree in Software Engineering is a two-year degree that tests your professional experience in this field. This degree program is ideal if you’ve completed a bachelor’s degree or have many years of professional experience in software development. Master’s degrees teach students specialized knowledge in a wide variety of crucial software engineering techniques.

You’ll also find online master’s degree programs to study software engineering. Some schools may offer part-time and full-time learning options, as well. Graduate students can complete this graduate program while accessing resources like career support and tutoring.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

A Master’s Degree in Software Engineering is important for those who want access to high-level positions in the tech industry or for those who wish to pursue PhD or doctorate programs. However, you can also access high-level positions by getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and accruing many years of professional experience in your field.

What Types of Master’s Degree Can You Get in Software Engineering?

You can get two types of Master’s Degrees in Software Engineering. They are a Master of Science and a Master of Engineering in Software Engineering. Although a Master of Science is the most common type of software engineering master’s degree, some schools also offer Master of Engineering programs.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or Master of Engineering in Software Engineering?

It is better to get a Master of Science in Software Engineering if you are more interested in learning theory and participating in research. If you want to gain more technical skills and their applications, you should get a Master of Engineering in Software Engineering.

Whether you choose a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering in Software Engineering, you will still have access to hands-on learning opportunities, co-ops or internships, and collaborative classroom experiences.

What Is the Difference Between a Software Engineering Master’s Degree and a Software Engineering Certificate?

The difference between a software engineering master’s degree and a software engineering certificate is that a master’s degree covers many subjects, while a certificate focuses on one or a few topics. A master’s degree is a two-year academic program that teaches advanced skills in many areas of software engineering. A software engineering certificate is a shorter program.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

It costs $12,171 per year on average to get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If you opt for a private school, you’ll pay around $25,929 annually. However, there are many options that can help you finance your software engineering master’s degree.

These options include scholarships, private loans, federal loans, and GI Bill benefits. You can also sometimes find on-campus work-study options or get paid for being a teaching assistant. It’s best to check with the school you want to attend to learn more about the available finance options.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Software Engineering Master’s Degree?

It takes an average of two years to get a software engineering master’s degree. The length of your program will depend on the school you attend and if you attend as a part-time or full-time student. You may also be able to find accelerated master’s degree programs for software engineering that allow you to graduate after one year of full-time studying.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

It is hard to get a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering because it is an advanced program that covers complex topics and skills related to software engineering. This is why most software engineering master’s degree programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject and previous work experience in the field.

Why Should You Get a Software Engineering Master’s Degree?

You should get a software engineering master’s degree because it allows you to apply for senior and management-level positions in the field. A Master’s Degree in Software Engineering can also allow you to earn a higher salary than you would with a bachelor’s degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, master’s degree holders earn $240 more per week than bachelor’s degree holders.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Software Engineering?

The courses you need to take in a master’s degree program in software engineering cover topics like software architecture, software testing, and quality assurance. Most software engineering master’s degree programs also require students to complete a thesis or capstone project. The Master’s Degree in Software Engineering course list below is based on the program offered at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Fundamentals of Software Engineering

This course acts as an introduction or re-introduction to software engineering and development. Students will learn about the software life cycle and industry-standard tools used in the field. Students will also gain soft skills in collaboration and problem-solving.

Software Architecture and Component-Based Design

This course teaches students how to design the many steps of the software design process. Students will learn how to create software design plans and carry out software quality assurance.

Software Testing, Quality Assurance, and Maintenance

This course covers the full process of software testing. This includes debugging, project management, software maintenance, and software reverse engineering. It focuses on the quality assurance aspects of the software product cycle.

Software Requirements Analysis and Engineering

This course focuses on the requirements acquisition phase of the software development cycle. Students will learn how to take requirements given by stakeholders and use them to create a new or updated software product. Aspects of quality assurance will also be covered.

Software Engineering Capstone

Students usually work in a group to complete their capstone project. This is a hands-on project that applies all of what has been learned over the course of the software engineering master’s degree program. It usually involved following through the entire software design cycle.

Continuing Education Paths for Software Engineering Master’s Degree Graduates

After completing your software engineering master’s degree program, you can choose to continue your education through a PhD program. PhD in Software Engineering programs focus on research in the field.

Related Software Engineering Degrees

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What to Look for in the Best Software Engineering Master’s Degree Programs

You should look for flexibility and concentration in the best software engineering master’s degree programs. You may also want to consider the reputation and accreditation of the school, as well as the estimated costs you will accrue during your program.

Accreditation

Accreditation is important because it verifies that the school offers an education that meets a set standard of quality. Schools are evaluated periodically by the relevant accrediting body to ensure that the standard continues to be met.

Flexibility

If you wish to continue working while you attend a master’s program, you will want to verify that the program you’re applying to allows students to study part-time. Many master’s programs are designed for adult professionals, so they may offer some courses online or in the evenings to accommodate busy schedules.

Specialization/Concentration Options

Software engineering is a broad field. If you are hoping to specialize in a niche such as information security or data science, look for a school that allows students to concentrate on a niche within software engineering.

Cost

Before applying for software engineering master’s degree programs, you should research the cost of each program and the financing options available to you. Common financing options are scholarships and grants, which don’t need to be paid back, and federal or private financial aid, which must be paid back within certain terms.

Reputation of the School

Although reputation isn’t the most important factor to consider, elite schools will add some validity to your skills and will look better on your resume. Ensuring that a school has a relatively high graduation rate and relevant accreditation are some of the ways to assess a school’s reputation.

What Is the Most Affordable Software Engineering Master’s Degree?

The most affordable software engineering master’s degree is the Master of Science in Software Engineering at Stratford University. They charge $495 per credit, which is about half the average amount charged by other schools on our list of the best software engineering master’s degree programs. At Stratford, the 36-credit program will cost $17,820 before additional expenses and fees.

Salary and Job Outlook for Software Engineering Master’s Degree Graduates

Close-up of a person’s hands using computer hardware tools on a piece of motherboard. Software Engineering Master's Degrees
Software engineering graduates have the technical knowledge in complex software systems they need to become industry leaders.

The job outlook for software engineering master’s degree graduates is high and generally higher than the average for all occupations. Similarly, Master’s Degree in Software Engineering graduates earn high salaries. Find out more details on these two topics below.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Software Engineering Master’s Degree?

It can be hard to get a job with a software engineering master’s degree because technology can be a competitive field. However, professionals with a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering will have an easier time finding jobs than those with bachelor’s degrees because they have a deeper knowledge of software engineering and more years of experience in the field.

What’s the Average Software Engineering Master’s Degree Salary?

The average software engineering master’s degree salary is $111,000 per year, according to PayScale. With additional experience and certifications, you can increase this median salary. Your salary will also depend on your location, employer, and job title.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Software Engineering Master’s Degree?

You can get senior-level types of jobs in information technology with a software engineering master’s degree. This includes positions that specialize in a specific programming language and management positions.

Software Engineering Degree Jobs

  • Computer and Information Research Scientist
  • Software Architect
  • Senior Java Developer
  • Senior Software Developer
  • Software Developer

Potential Careers With a Software Engineering Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

You can make between $110,140 and $159,010 with a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering based on the jobs listed below. You may make more or less, depending on the specific position you take on, your tenure at the company, and the cost of living in your city.

Highest-Paying Software Engineering Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Software Engineering Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Manager $159,010
Software Architect $132,506
Senior Java Developer $129,716
Senior Software Engineer $128,349
Software Developer $110,140

Best Jobs for Software Engineering Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for software engineering master’s degree graduates utilize skills in project management, software design, and programming. Find out more about some of the highest-paying jobs for professionals with software engineering master’s degrees below.

1

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Average Salary: $159,010

Computer and information systems managers oversee all computer-related operations in a business. These professionals must coordinate the development and technical teams to ensure they are fulfilling the defined requirements.

2

Software Architect

Average Salary: $132,506

Software architects lead development projects and work among software development and engineering teams. They must evaluate and identify software solutions and document software applications throughout the software engineering life cycle.

3

Senior Java Developer

Average Salary: $129,716

Professionals in this career are experts at using Java and understand all its components. Your duties include designing, developing, maintaining, and debugging Java-powered software. You'll also have to stay ahead of programming trends and create reports for stakeholders.

4

Senior Software Engineer

Average Salary: $128,349

This is one of the most popular career options for students with a software engineering master’s degree. In this senior role, you’ll oversee software engineering teams, communicate progress to stakeholders and stay ahead of software engineering technologies and trends.

5

Software Developer

Average Salary: $110,140

Working in software development, you’ll complete your duties alongside software engineering professionals. These duties include designing and developing software products and applications. You’ll also need to test new software programs and maintain them.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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Is a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering because this level of education can qualify you for senior jobs at world-class companies and a competitive salary. While it is very possible to work in this field with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree can help you stay a step ahead of the competition for senior roles.

There are countless degree program options to suit your lifestyle. Prospective students can study in-person, online, part-time, or full-time. If you have extensive experience in software engineering and an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, you can get your software engineering master’s degree.

Additional Reading About Software Engineering

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Software Engineering Master’s Degree FAQ

How long is a software engineering master’s degree?

A Master’s Degree in Software Engineering takes around 18 to 24 months to complete. Part-time students have more flexibility than full-time learners and take a bit longer to earn their master’s degrees. Although it’s rare, some schools offer an accelerated degree option so you can become qualified sooner.

Is a software engineering master’s degree hard?

Yes, this degree program can be challenging. Prospective students usually have a bachelor’s degree or years of experience. You may already have a handle on the fundamentals of software systems, but it requires advanced analytical thinking to complete a master’s degree.

What do I need for a software engineering master’s degree?

Usually, you need a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or a related field. However, some universities and colleges may consider professionals with extensive industry experience. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you might need a GPA of 3.0 and above.

What can I do with a software engineering master’s degree?

Professionals with a software engineering master’s degree can progress into senior roles at world-class companies. You will also maximize your career options as many employers will be highly impressed with this advanced degree.

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Leah Clark

About the author: Leah, from South Africa, joined Career Karma in April 2021. She has worked for seven startups in the B2B, digital marketing, and music industry sectors. A versatile freelance writer, she has worked on both SEO content and copywriting, producing blog posts, landing pages, and social media content for a variety of publications. Her work has recently appeared in MND X MTR, PeertoPeerMarketing, Eunoia Gifts, Systeme, and TiaraEssentials. She enjoys studying content marketing technologies and researching and writing informed content. She also loves listening to podcasts and TED talks.

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