Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Software Engineering BS

Program Overview

Software Engineering is a diverse field offering a wide range of opportunities for students.  Software Engineers define requirements, design system architecture, and write and test code as part of the software development life cycle.  Professionals in this field are in demand in a wide range of industries, including software companies, financial services, defense contractors, interactive entertainment, health services and more.  Software Engineering has consistently been ranked one of the top jobs in the US, with high growth potential.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science


  • Approximately 500 students

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Students are required to complete at least 2 semesters and 1 summer of co-op work assignments, and are available to work 3 or 7 months at a time.
  • Co-op positions must incorporate various phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (for example, requirements gathering and analysis, design, development, documentation, and/or testing), and include duties beyond just programming.

Salary Information

Co-op:   $21.82                   $9.00 – $57.30
BS:         $80,600                 $55,000 – $115,000

Student Skills & Capabilities

Students learn principles, methods and techniques for the construction of complex and evolving software systems. The software engineering program encompasses both technical issues affecting software architecture, designs and implementation, as well as process issues that address project management, planning, quality assurance and product maintenance. The program has a strong emphasis on teamwork and communication skills. The software engineering coursework maintains a balance between engineering design and software process in both required and elective courses. As with other engineering fields, mathematics and natural science fundamentals are taken in the early years.  A three-course sequence in a domain outside the program’s core requirements allows students to apply their software engineering skills to a variety of fields including science, engineering, and business. Finally, students complete a two-term senior project as the final demonstration of their abilities and preparation for immediate employment and long-term professional growth in software development organizations.


The Bachelor of Science degree program in Software Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Equipment & Facilities

The department provides a variety of facilities where students collaborate on projects, polish their skills, and consult with faculty. Outfitted with the latest hardware and software technology, our facilities reflect our commitment to teamwork, interactive learning, and professional education.  From the team rooms to the Collaboration Lab, our facilities are designed to support students and mimic a real-world software development environment.

Nature of Work

Software engineers apply the principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis to the design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that enable computers to perform their many applications. The tasks performed by these workers evolve quickly, reflecting new areas of specialization or changes in technology, as well as the preferences and practices of employers. Software engineers working in applications or systems development analyze users’ needs and design, construct, test, and maintain computer applications software or systems. Software engineers can be involved in the design and development of many types of software, including software for computer games, business applications, operating systems and network distribution, and compilers, which convert programs for execution on a computer. In programming, or coding, software engineers instruct a computer, line by line, how to perform a function.  Software engineers must possess strong programming skills, but are more concerned with developing algorithms and analyzing and solving programming problems than with actually writing code. Applications software engineers analyze users’ needs and design, construct, and maintain general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. These workers use different programming languages, such as C, C++, and Java. Some software engineers develop both packaged systems and systems software or create customized applications. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Training / Qualifications

For software engineering positions, most employers prefer applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree and broad knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of computer systems and technologies. The usual college majors for applications software engineers are computer science, software engineering, or mathematics. Systems software engineers often study computer science or computer information systems. Graduate degrees are preferred for some of the more complex jobs. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Outlook

Employment of computer software engineers is projected to increase by 17 percent over the 2014 to 2024 period, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will generate more than 186,000 new jobs, over the projections decade, one of the largest employment increases of any occupation. Employment growth will result as businesses and other organizations adopt and integrate new technologies and seek to maximize the efficiency of their computer systems.(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Titles

Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Quality Assurance Specialist, Software Tester, Software Designer, Software Requirements Engineer, Programmer.


Computer software developers held about 1.1 million jobs in 2014. Although they are employed in most industries, the largest concentration of computer software engineers is in computer systems design, applications development and related services.Many also work for software publishers, manufacturers of computers and related electronic equipment, financial institutions, and insurance providers. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Significant Points

  • Computer software engineers are among the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2014-24 decade.
  • Excellent job prospects are expected for applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and with practical work experience.
  • Computer software engineers must continually strive to acquire new skills in conjunction with the rapid changes that occur in computer technology.

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Amazon, Amplify, Apple, Blackbaud, Brand Networks, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Constant Contact,  Datto, Inc., EagleDream Technologies, eBay, Facebook, GE Transportation, General Dynamics – Mission Systems, Google, Harris Corporation, HubSpot, Hudl, IBM Corp., Intel, Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Liberty Mutual, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation,  Mitre Corp., MOOG Inc., NASA, Oracle,  Paychex, PFP Cybersecurity, Rochester Software Associates, Target, Thomson Reuters, UTC Aerospace, Vistaprint, Wegmans, Xerox Corporation

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Jill Jablonski, the career services coordinator who works with the Software Engineering program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at
Jill Jablonski, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5632
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603