Posted: September 7, 1999
With an eye toward meeting the intense demand for talented computer professionals, California State University, Sacramento has become the state's first public university to offer a master's degree in software engineering.
The new program is intended to help fill a training void created by rapid development in computer technology.
Students will learn the latest practices in software development, and how to build today's complex software systems within time and budget constraints. Courses in the new program are being offered this fall and applications are currently being accepted.
"It used to be that you learned a programming language and you just started to code, without any real structure. Well, that is no longer acceptable," says John Miles, chair of the computer science department.
"Today, software has millions of lines of code that interacts with many other applications, so it is important that computer professionals have more specialized training," Miles says. "Software obviously isn't like a bridge, you can't point to it and touch it, but failures of software systems can be quite costly."
The addition of the new degree continues a tradition of leadership in the CSUS College of Engineering and Computer Science, which was among the first in the CSU system to offer a degree in computer engineering in addition to a degree in computer science. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the University's engineering program 26th in the nation among those focused on undergraduate education.
Enrollment growth in the University's computer programs in recent years has been strong.
Undergraduate enrollment in computer engineering grew from 220 students in 1994 to 361 in 1998. In the same period, undergraduate enrollment in computer science grew from 415 students to 565, and graduate enrollment in computer science has remained full with about 150 students.
Demand for graduates from these programs has grown along with the region's high-tech industry.
Development of the degree at CSUS began three years ago and is based on a model created at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute. It is expected that most of the students in the new program will be working professionals.
More information is available by contacting Carole McNamee at (916) 278-7652 or John Miles at (916) 278-7628.
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