Software developers are among the most highly paid and highly sought-after employees in today’s workforce. Software engineers utilize methods and principles of design, engineering and testing that enable the creation and maintenance of larger and more sophisticated products, in less time, and on lower budgets than are otherwise possible.

The Software Engineering Emphasis at BYU builds upon the core Computer Science degree; adding exposure to and additional application of, principles, tools and practices that enhance a student’s ability to contribute to and manage large software projects. The emphasis begins with a series of labs that are taken concurrently with standard CS courses, adding both breadth and depth to the curriculum. Additional course requirements including CS 340, CS 386, and CS 462 expose students to topics of special interest to software engineers such as software design, testing and verification, cloud computing, and more. Finally, a capstone experience working with a small team on an industry sponsored project offers students an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency as software engineers on a project of significance.

About a Software Engineering Career

What do Software Engineers do?

The day-to-day tasks of a software engineer are varied and diverse. Some of the tasks that such professionals perform include:

  • Creating Software Plans and Designs
  • Working and communicating with large groups of people
  • Creating new software products
  • Developing new software features for existing products
  • Upgrading systems to ensure continued and future compatibility
  • Working with very large code bases
  • Integrating smaller pieces of software into larger and more complex systems

What are the roles of a Software Engineer?

Not all software engineers focus on the same responsibilities. Each engineer functions as a specialized part of a larger team that works together to accomplish the goals of the organization. Some of the roles that software engineers perform are:

  • Programmer/Software Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Software Architect
  • Manager
  • Software Engineering Director
  • VP of Technology
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

How well are Software Engineers Compensated?

Software engineers are among the best paid professionals in industry…


Figure 1: Average Software Engineering Salaries [Source:, February 2019]

… but beyond a good salary, thanks to the challenging and rewarding nature of the work, software developer positions are ranked #1 by the US News and World Report in several categories:

2019 Job Rankings

  • #1 in 100 Best Jobs List
  • #1 in Best Stem Jobs
  • #1 in Best Technology Jobs

Completion of the Software Engineering Emphasis at BYU provides Computer Science students with the tools and experience they need to have a running start in this exciting and evolving area of today’s technology industry.

To find the specific requirements for the emphasis, refer to the emphasis entry in the BYU undergraduate catalog and the software engineering emphasis map.


This emphasis requires a capstone course to be completed. For more information, please see this page.