Global demand for software engineers is exploding. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 10-year growth for this career at a remarkable 22%. Now in its second year, the software engineering program is jointly administered by the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Systems and Industrial Engineering.
“There is an increasing need for software engineers as the world becomes more connected and technological advances continue to rely heavily on software to deliver the functionality that has become an integral part of modern lifestyles,” said Sharon ONeal, professor of practice and director of the newest undergraduate degree program in the College of Engineering.
Software engineers are developing the technology to advance economies, keep nations safe, build smart cities, automate manufacturing, treat and cure diseases, and explore and command space.
“Software engineers are some of the most highly sought-after career professionals today,” added ONeal.
Industry has been involved in the degree program from the early days of curriculum planning and continues to play an instrumental advisory role. ONeal brought to the table more than 35 years of experience with Raytheon Technologies, including as software engineering director charged with overseeing more than 550 employees.
In addition to Raytheon, several companies and organizations – Hill Air Force Base, Intel, Jet Propulsion Lab, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman Corp., Oakridge National Labs, Sandia National Labs, Snap Inc. and UA Data Science Institute – have supported the program. They are all involved for much the same reason: to ensure students are well prepared for the workforce.
The built-in industry perspective is one big reason courses are highly relevant to modern software engineering practices.
“Throughout their four years in the undergraduate program, students are immersed in real-world projects that use tools and practices mimicking what students will encounter in their careers,” ONeal said.