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The University of Alabama

UA to Offer Concentration in Software Engineering

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — To meet growing demand for skilled, creative technology workers, The University of Alabama department of computer science will offer an option to concentrate in software engineering beginning this fall.

The demand for high-quality software engineers is growing rapidly, and that demand should continue. Software engineering is consistently listed as one of the top jobs in various surveys, and software engineers are well-compensated. Software engineers are involved in all aspects of software product development. Careers in software engineering offer exciting, team-oriented work environments with ample opportunities for creativity.

“Computing is a key factor to our continued economic growth,” said Dr. David Cordes, professor and head of the computer science department. “This concentration will help ensure that UA continues to provide the people in the state with the educational opportunities needed to successfully compete in tomorrow’s global economy.”

Students studying to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science have been able to take courses in software engineering, and this new track within the degree will allow a formal mechanism to officially recognize software engineering expertise. That should benefit students competing for jobs, said Dr. Jeffrey Carver, associate professor of computer science.

“The software engineering concentration will make our students competitive for the increasing number of local, regional and national high-paying jobs for well-qualified software engineers,” Carver said.

Carver and Dr. Nicholas Kraft, associate professor of computer science, helped organize the proposal to the College of Engineering to begin the concentration.

“The concentration comprises coursework that emphasizes the foundations of software engineering,” Kraft said. “Students who complete the concentration will have knowledge of fundamental software engineering techniques, as well as experience with industrial strength tools that support those techniques.”

The software engineering track is a concentration of 12 semester hours of specialized coursework. Students will gain more in-depth knowledge about human computer interaction, software design, project management, testing and quality assurance, maintenance, evolution and web-based systems. By taking advantage of the electives already built-in to the curriculum, the concentration can be completed without increasing the hours needed for the degree.

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In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,900 students and more than 110 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Mitchell, Portz and Truman scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.