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Software Engineer

Justin Fox
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Joined: Jan 24, 2006
Posts: 802
um, I'm going to school to get my B.S in Computer Science, and was wondering, what all can you get your masters in? At first, I thougth it was what ever you did your thesis on, But then I heard there are set programs that you have to choose from.

I want to be, and work as a software engineer, but wasn't sure if you could do that in masters or if I would have to wait until the P.H.D.

Thanks,
Justin


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Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39409
    
  28
Which country are you in? I can only help about master's in UK.

Round here you get masters in Computing, Multimedia, Animation, Web Design, Games, Web Business, etc, etc. More details on our local University website (this page is part-time).
For a Master's in UK, you have a taught part, with about 6 modules (one of which is always Research Methods or Research Paradigms or similar), which take from September to May. If you are part-time that could be anything up to 6 years, or full-time it is all done in one year.
Then there is a project, which is a research project, taking up to 12 months part-time, or from early June to late September full-time.
All the modules, as well as the project, are assessed, usually by in-course assignments which can be carried out over several weeks, but a few modules have exams. Funding may be available to pay the course fees and a small contribution towards your living expenses, but only for full-time students. There are many modules to choose from, depending which course you are doing, and the projects can be anything, but it is easier if it is related to research interests already active in the School.

I hope this is of some help.

Additional: You would have to find somewhere with an interest in Software Engineering. When are you finishing your Bachelor's? You would want to go round visiting lots of departments to find out what their master's courses are like.
[ May 07, 2006: Message edited by: Campbell Ritchie ]
Jeroen T Wenting
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Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Originally posted by Justin Fox:

I want to be, and work as a software engineer, but wasn't sure if you could do that in masters or if I would have to wait until the P.H.D.


Most people who are software engineers have degrees in something completely different (or no degree at all).
Of the 20 or so on the team I'm part of, at least 3 are former schoolteachers, two are chemists, two mathematicians, several physicists (including myself), a biologist or so, etc. etc.
AFAIK none have a software engineering or other computer related degree except one guy who only got it several years after starting with the company.


42
Daniel Lucas
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Joined: Apr 24, 2006
Posts: 48
My parents showed me in a magazine the top 50 jobs. Ranked #1 is software engineer, but how the heck do you go about becoming one?
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14269
    
  21

Study on a technical university: go for something like information technology, mathematics, physics, electical engineering.

I studied electrical engineering myself. In the higher years of my study I concentrated on the software side - the subject for my final thesis was algorithms for digitally encoding speech (which is used in cell phones, for example). This taught me a lot on mathematics, algorithms and programming in C and C++. Java didn't exist (or was only very new) when I was studying.

By the way, don't go for the #1 job only because it's the #1 job. Go for the job that fits you most and that you like best!
[ May 08, 2006: Message edited by: Jesper Young ]

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Daniel Lucas
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Joined: Apr 24, 2006
Posts: 48
I'm attending the University of Maryland: Baltimore County, which is known to be a big engineering and science school. I'm majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. Would it be possible for me to become a software engineer?
Jeff Albertson
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Joined: Sep 16, 2005
Posts: 1780
Originally posted by Daniel Lucas:
My parents showed me in a magazine the top 50 jobs. Ranked #1 is software engineer, but how the heck do you go about becoming one?


Just curious: how did supermodel and brain surgeon rank?
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Daniel Lucas:
My parents showed me in a magazine the top 50 jobs. Ranked #1 is software engineer...

When I was in school, actuary was #1. So I majored in mathematics. (Thankfully, I am not -- nor have I ever been -- an actuary.)
[ May 08, 2006: Message edited by: marc weber ]

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Daniel Lucas
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Joined: Apr 24, 2006
Posts: 48
What's an actuary?

Brain surgeon is a pretty tough profession get into. It pays high, but there are a lot of liabilties. Just think, anything dealing with the brain is pretty serious.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Daniel Lucas:
What's an actuary? ...

"An accountant without the personality."
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Moving to the Jobs Discussion forum. Please continue this discussion there.
Linda Walters
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Joined: Apr 30, 2005
Posts: 100
First of all, please note that what I am about to say applies to the USA and the specifics will most likely be different elsewhere. The basic entry level education is a BS in Computer Science. An MS is nice and will definately enhance your job opportunities, but is not require (particularly of entry level people). A PhD is really unnecessary for perhaps 99% of software engineering jobs.

I would strongly caution any high school students that while one may, on occassion as someone here suggested, find a software engineer who has no degree and, on even rarer occassions find one who never even set foot in a college, that these folk are the extreme exception and they usually had obtained some sort of work experience by unusual channels, such as the military (a course I would also strongly caution against).

As for my own bona fides for saying anything on this topic, I have been a software engineer for the better part of 30 years and I have also been an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. My own path was non-traditional. My first degree was in biology followed by a number of years in military intelligence (the world's greatest oxymoron), where I learned FORTRAN programming on the job as an intelligence officer working on tecnincal intelligence. When I got back to civilian life, I found a programming job and then went back to school nights to get a second BS in Computer Science and then an MS too.

My best advice to any high school student is to continue to get good grades in all your subjects and take as much mathematics as you can. You should also take physics and also either chemistry or biology. If your school offers computer programming classes, take them, but not at the expense of math and a lab science or two. Don't neglect your other classes, particularly English and composition. Despite the stereotype of the computer geek who can't put two words together, good writing skills are important in any field in business.

[ May 08, 2006: Message edited by: Linda Walters ]
[ May 08, 2006: Message edited by: Linda Walters ]

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Linda Walters
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Joined: Apr 30, 2005
Posts: 100
Daniel,

The computer engineering major and cs minor is certainly well qualified to be a software engineer. The CS is giving you the programming skills, data structure, algorithms, etc and the computer engineering is giving you the engineering dicipline that is so sadly lacking in most CS programs.

Also UMBC is a great school. I did most of my computer science degree at U. Maryland, University College.

Go Terps!
Linda
Saliya Jinadasa
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Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 49
I am an analyst programmer and working towards becoming an actuary. If actuaries are accountants without personalities then I got to say analyst progammers are doing just monkeys jobs in the eyes of management( I have heard this myself from management)

So you got to select which one you want to be either a monkey or an accountant without personality
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Linda Walters:
...Despite the stereotype of the computer geek who can't put two words together, good writing skills are important in any field in business...

This is a critical point. I've seen a lot of people stifled professionally because of inadequate communication skills.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Saliya Jinadasa:
...So you got to select which one you want to be either a monkey or an accountant without personality

What you really need to decide is whether you want to be in management or not.
 
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subject: Software Engineer