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Future Growth Of Software Engineering Baccalaureate Programs In The United States

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Issues in Software Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.653.1 - 10.653.8



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Paper Authors

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Steve Chenoweth

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Donald Bagert

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Future Growth of Software Engineering Baccalaureate Programs in the United States

Donald J. Bagert, Stephen V. Chenoweth Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


Despite the large current number of software engineering professionals in the United States, as well as projections that it is one of the largest-growing fields in the nation for the current decade, growth in the number of Bachelor’s degree programs in the United States has recently declined. There are currently only about thirty schools in the United States that offer a baccalaureate degree in software engineering (including several online programs), without many more in sight. This paper looks at the growth and development of the Bachelor’s degree programs in software engineering in the United States, possible causes for the paucity of new programs, and what this might mean for the future. Included is a survey of software engineering educators in programs which do not currently have a Bachelor’s degree program in software engineering, as well as comparisons with other computing fields when they were in similar stages of development.

1. Introduction

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists “software engineer” as one of the fastest growing job categories in the United States, over three times as fast as job growth in general expected for the period 2002-2012. In fact, according to BLS data, there are currently more software engineers in the U.S. than any other engineering discipline, and by 2012 there will be three times as many software engineers than the next largest engineering field; furthermore, those nearly one million software engineering jobs are in addition to nearly 1.4 million “computer scientist” positions (computer system analysts, network systems and data communications analysts, database administrators, research computer and information specialists, and other computer specialists11). Table 1 provides a summary of BLS growth projections between 2002 and 2012 for computer scientists, software and other major engineering disciplines, and for all occupations9.

There have also been some significant efforts in the area of undergraduate software engineering education over the past five years. In the late 1990’s, the ABET, the accreditation body for applied science, engineering, computing and technology degree programs in the United States, approved criteria for accrediting software engineering under the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC). Four programs were accredited in 2003, and another two in 20048.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Chenoweth, S., & Bagert, D. (2005, June), Future Growth Of Software Engineering Baccalaureate Programs In The United States Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14753

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