Software Engineering

The Computer Information Systems discipline at Oakland Community College has many different opportunities available for students who are interested in writing computer programs for a living.  There are an abundant number of programming jobs in Michigan and across the country – jobs that pay very well.

The CIS discipline offers the courses needed to establish a solid set of core programming skills, and courses to develop specific skill sets in mobile device applications and game programming.


Our discipline serves several different groups of people, with various backgrounds and goals.  Some common groups that we serve are those:

  • With no post-secondary degree who would like to enter the software development market as soon as possible.
  • With no post-secondary degree who would like to transfer to a four-year university after OCC.
  • Who already have an associate or bachelor's degree in a non-computer field and would like to switch as quickly as possible to a software development career.
  • Who are already working in the computer industry and would like to keep up with the current technology

The group that you fall into will influence which path you will choose to pursue within the area of software engineering. 

Current working computer professionals are often not pursuing a degree or certificate, but instead choose a selection of our cutting edge courses in mobile application development, server-side web programming, enterprise programming, and game programming.  Even though employers prefer a bachelor's degree, the demand for software developers is high enough that there are some opportunities for employment for students who get our Software Engineering associate degree.


For students looking for employment as a software developer, many employers prefer to see the applicant have a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering.  Students who come to OCC with a bachelor's degree in a non-technical field are very successful finding software development jobs if they add the Software Engineering certificate to their existing non-technical bachelor's degree.

Students may choose from one of four “focus areas” within the SWE certificate program: Game Design and Development, General Software Development, Mobile Application Development, and Web Application Development. Each focus area begins with five core courses followed by four courses specific to that focus title. 


career information

Software Engineering

With a 22% expected growth rate from 2019-2029 in the United States and over $110,000 annual salary as median annual salary, software engineering is one of the top jobs in the country. LinkedIn rates software engineering as #11 in its list of top jobs in 2017.

Software engineering, as a discipline, is relatively young compared to many other engineering disciplines. However, this doesn't stop it from having one of the highest number of available jobs as well as having an enormous amount of variety.

Software engineers work on embedded systems in vehicles, airplanes, medical devices, and even kitchen appliances. They're found in companies that produce mobile software for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and a host of other mobile operating systems. Backend and full-stack Web developers must possess a strong skillset including the ability to effectively engineer software systems to handle the massive data transmission and processing of today. Game engineers, who are software engineers who apply software engineering principles to game development make the exciting games and infotainment systems that provide excitement for millions of individuals, and produce well over $20 billion in annual revenue.

Some software engineers decide to branch out and find jobs as project and program managers, analysts, data scientists, researchers, and a host of other exciting careers.

If you're looking for an exciting, high-salary career, then look no further. Software engineering is where it's at.

Quick Facts: Software Developers

Job information from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • 2020 Median Pay: $110,140 per year, $52.95 per hour
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
  • On-the-job Training: None
  • Number of Jobs, 2020: 1,847,900
  • Job Outlook, 2020-30: 22% (Much faster than average)
  • Employment Change, 2020-30: 409,500

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