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Software Engineering

What is Software Engineering?

Software Engineering deals with the engineering problems, opportunities and needs associated with the development and utilization of computer software. The discipline also addresses the design of computers, computer science and the integration of software into computer systems, as well as the applications of software systems. The software industry is growing rapidly and of increasing importance to our economy and standard of living. Software engineering is finding its way into many industries, including telecommunications, power generation, biomedical and industrial product companies.

The software engineering sector is continually advancing. New opportunities and challenges include the development of more powerful software and computers. The array of software engineering applications is growing, and ranges from special-effects software for the movie industry, through to the software controlling devices such as digital cameras and robots, to the software that drives businesses and the financial sector.

The software industry has grown dramatically over recent years and has significantly impacted the global economy. Many companies are involved in the software engineering industry across the region, province and country.

What do Software Engineers do?

Mechanical and electronic devices in automobiles, airplanes, communication equipment and manufacturing systems are being replaced or enhanced by software components to provide more adaptability and enhanced functionality. Software components are more easily adapted, integrated, and upgraded to meet future needs and are less expensive to implement. Software engineers are at the heart of such activities.

Software engineering focuses on the analysis, design, development and manufacture of software systems and computer networks. Software Engineers are increasingly found in many industries.

Some aspects of software engineering also include computer engineering and computer science and programming, as well as electronics, automation and control, so Software Engineers often interact with professionals in those areas. Maintenance, repair and testing of software designs are additional areas of employment for graduates who will be highly qualified to perform research and development, systems engineering, and economics assessments of software engineering.

Software Engineers often work closely with other members of technical teams to help find ways to enhance designs, while accounting for such factors as cost, quality and reliability.

What types of careers do Software Engineers find?

Software engineers find careers with companies that develop and design software systems, and in industries that utilize and apply software.

Examples of careers involving Software Engineers are varied. Many opportunities exist in the software industry where Software Engineers develop productivity, database, business-solution and other software. Software Engineers also serve as software consultants and produce software designs that are customized to meet the needs of users. In addition, Software Engineers find careers in industries where software is applied. For instance, software systems are used extensively in medical applications, transportation systems, and the financial system to automate important tasks. Engineers, scientists and business researchers use software to compile and evaluate information in data warehouses and to identify critical facts or trends. The banking, insurance, telecommunications and other service-oriented industries use software to automate and personalize service to their customers.

Other firms and agencies that employ software engineers include power plants, consumer goods and industrial equipment manufacturers, telecommunication and computer industries, and biomedical engineering companies. Software engineering opportunities also arise in fields such as:

  • Electronics, mechatronics and robotics
  • Wireless transmission systems
  • Video, image and speech signal processing
  • Control and automation of industrial machinery and processes

Software engineering graduates will have the expertise to work productively as engineers and to manage effectively the work of others. Graduates may also choose to pursue graduate studies or start their own business.

With the emerging need for more powerful and higher-quality software systems, the demand for software engineers continues to grow. Rapid advances in technology will likely accelerate this growth in software engineering opportunities.

Program Description

The software engineering program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills required to carry out engineering work for a wide range of software and computer companies and for the many industries that use software products.

Developed in consultation with industry, the Software Engineering curriculum provides a solid grounding in fundamentals, with significant content in engineering sciences and engineering design.

In the first year, you study mathematics, sciences, computing and technical communications. These courses represent the foundation of most engineering programs. In the second year, you cover basic engineering courses like electronics, digital systems, and introductory software design. In third and fourth year, you study a range of applied and advanced software engineering courses including computer architecture, operating systems, algorithm design, data management systems, programming languages, computer networks and security, and computer control.

State-of-the-art laboratories and facilities are being developed to support the program, including laboratories for electronics and microprocessors. Our laptop computer approach to education allows laptop computers to be used for many laboratories and tutorials in software engineering.

Complementary studies including collaborative leadership, economics, and ethics and law for professionals, promote a broader understanding of the needs of society and technology's impact on it. Students gain technical expertise along with the understanding of business and humanities required for an integrated approach to the software and computer industry.

Program Map for Software Engineering

Engineering and Management Program

Students can choose to complement their technical studies in this engineering program with business and management courses by opting for the five-year Engineering and Management program that corresponds to this discipline.

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