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Choosing from among computer software schools partly depends on the area of software engineering that a student wants to pursue as a career. Some software engineering degrees focus on the function of computer hardware, while others focus on an education in computer programming languages. A student can earn something as basic as a certification in a specific computer programming language to something as involved as a master’s or doctoral degree in software engineering. Software jobs often require a successful applicant to be able to write and program in multiple languages and to be up to date on the latest software development tools. Students may want to look for schools that can offer all of these things if they hope to pursue a career in software.
Students often try to attend computer software schools that can train them in the latest technologies. For example, many software engineering programs will offer courses on writing applications, or apps, for smartphones, MP3 players, and other popular mobile devices. Programming languages are often going through upgrades, and the student will want to select a school that has professors who are proficient in the latest developments. The top schools will also offer training in multiple programming languages, such as Java, C+, and Visual Basic. Some colleges will even offer students who successfully complete the coursework to earn official certification in individual programming languages, although this is less common.
In addition to emerging technologies, computer software schools should offer a solid base in computer programming. Coursework should include a history of programming languages, functionality between hardware and software, and high-level mathematics and logic. The classes should also offer students the opportunity to work on collaborative computer programming projects, and summer internships with software development companies are often a necessity. The student should also make sure that the schools they consider have coursework available for writing software on the operating systems they want to work on, such as Windows, Macintosh, or Linux. If the student is pursuing a software engineering degree in the United States, she should select from among computer software schools that are approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Although it may seem unrelated, many of the best computer software schools offer writing intensive courses as part of the required curriculum. Being able to communicate ideas through written reports and presentations is often an important skill in software careers. A student may not be able to advance in his career in spite of being an expert programmer if he is unable to communicate his ideas to other team members or the management of the company he works for.