Choose a Masters in Software Development Degree + Online Option

This article provides an overview of the masters in software development degree program, some of the subjects and courses covered as part of the degree, and why this degree could be beneficial for your overall career advancement. It also highlights a high-quality online masters in software development program that you may want to consider.

What Is a Masters in Software Development?

A masters in software development is a degree designed for those who already have a professional role within the world of software. In fact, schools usually require extensive work experience before they admit someone to this graduate degree program, on top of having to hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as computer science. Usually, schools will also require a number of prerequisite courses in areas, such as software engineering and computer languages. The aim of the program is to ensure that students have a thorough understanding of computer science that exists today, and also to be able to innovate for future software development.

It is common for this degree program to be offered online, because it is designed for those who are already employed and who need a program that is flexible can can easily be scheduled around their current work. Even online, it is possible to complete this type of degree in as little as six months. Some schools do also have a requirement for a practicum experience, although that may not always be the case.

Software development is a rapidly changing field. As a result, many schools actually make changes to their degree program almost constantly. They often plan their curriculum around professional developments, therefore, changing it as and when required. That said, there are a number of common courses included as part of the core curriculum core, such as:

  • Software system modeling, which is understanding the different system models and why they should be used and when
  • Software development, which will be the most integral part of the degree itself, focusing on existing pieces of software and on how to create new ones
  • Software development management, which looks at project management

Why Earn a Masters in Software Development?

A bachelor’s degree is generally sufficient in order to gain a job in software development. However, a master’s degree can significantly advance someone’s career. Additionally, students have the opportunity to obtain further voluntary credentials, for which some will require a master’s degree.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has stated that software developers had a median salary of $102,280 per year as of May 2016. However, this is at the bachelor’s degree level. Those who hold a master’s degree are more likely to be in the top 10% of earners, who earn $157,590 or more per year. The BLS has also estimated that there will be 17% increase in demand for these professionals from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the national average. This will translate into some 186,600 new jobs.

Online Option for Masters in Software Development

Maryville University

If you are interested in getting a masters in software development, you may want to consider the Master of Science in Software Development program offered by the John E. Simon School of Businesses at Maryville University. This degree develops experts who are fully up to date with modern trends in areas, such as interface design, agile systems, and apps. The degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

The degree does not require a GMAT or GRE for acceptance and is offered 100% online. Start dates are three times per year, and students must complete five management courses, four coding classes, and a capstone project. It is possible to complete the degree in just 10 months and no prior experience is required.

By completing this degree, students can find career opportunities in a rapidly developing and growing field. Graduates are found in many different walks of life and across various industries. Statistics has shown that:

  • There were around 1.1 million software developers employed in 2014
  • The average annual salary for a software developer in 2016 was $102,280
  • There is an expected job growth of 17% from 2014 to 2024.

Maryville University is a highly respected university. Graduates are known for their ability to think big and outside of the box, and to launch their ideas as well. Indeed, the school is respected the world over for its affordability, value, and quality. This is something they have been known for since 1872. Some of the key elements of distinctions for the school are:

  • A 2018 Apple Distinguished School
  • Listed in the Best National Universities 2017 by the U.S. News and World Report
  • Listed as Top Colleges by Forbes for three years running
  • Listed as Best College Values 2017 by Kiplinger’s

The curriculum of the degree program has been developed with the student in mind. It is very broad-based, focusing not just on software development and design, but also on vertical studies that look at specialized, complex applications. Core courses include:

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Web Applications
  • Object-Orientated Coding
  • User Interface Design
  • Agile Analysis and Design
  • Database Management
  • Applied DevOps
  • Advanced Topics in Software Development
  • Software Development Capstone

Graduates can find employment in a huge variety of fields. One of the reasons for this is the global growth of mobile technology. Everybody wants to be able to access apps and games, and virtual reality and smart home technology is developing rapidly as well. Everything, from home appliances to personal computers, require software to properly operate. Furthermore, people are becoming increasingly reliant on them, which means that the need for software developers has increased significantly as well. Hence, while work is available for those with a bachelor’s degree, those with a graduate degree are far more likely to experience more significant career advancement while also taking on positions of leadership.

Some of the roles taken on by graduates of the Maryville University program include:

  • Software consultant, earning $75,000 per year on average
  • UX designer, earning $90,000 per year on average
  • Web software developer, earning $90,000 per year on average
  • DevOps engineer, earning $91,000 per year on average


As you can see, obtaining a masters in software development is a great and proven way to significantly advance your career. While a bachelor’s degree is still the minimum requirement, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to seek out those who hold a graduate degree and therefore have the proven leadership skills to take on the really complex software issues facing the world today. Most of all, therefore, obtaining this degree will give you a great deal of personal and professional satisfaction.