University of Minnesota
Master of Science in Software Engineering

You are here

Why an MSSE Degree?

Jim Pichler - Alumni Story

MSSE Grad:

Current Job:
Senior Director
Digital River, Inc.

Jim’s Story:
“Ever since I got my undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1992, I had always wanted to go back to school at some point to get a Master’s degree in a related field. This goal was always a little bit more of a personal goal that I was wanting to achieve to help me feel like I was doing a good job towards continuing my education and getting to the next level. I thought that getting my Master’s degree... More

Advance your career with a Master of Science in Software Engineering degree. MSSE is a full-time, 2-year Master's program with a 95% graduation rate and is designed for working professionals.

MSSE Prospective Student Brochure for 2016

The need is clear

Recently, a "skills development and preparedness" study was conducted in Maryland. This survey found that: "In the high-tech area, more than two-thirds of businesses that hire computer engineers, laboratory or technical personnel... reported difficulty in finding qualified workers. Overall, nearly 40 percent of survey respondents reported that a lack of skilled workers negatively impacted their firm's ability to do business..."

Industry needs qualified leaders - those who can understand the fundamentals of a software system, and be able to guide its development and deployment through an organization. These leadership roles are integral to the success of a company, and are not easily outsourced.

Critical thinking

The Master of Science & Software Engineering (MSSE) degree prepares students to become Software Engineering leaders. The core of the program is focused on building a foundation of critical thinking skills on which to make professional judgements.

Often, in the workplace, that's what is needed of an engineer - his or her professional judgement; to assess a request and judge whether it makes sense. 'Is the request reasonable?' 'Given the constraints of my organization, can something be produced that will be acceptable to the users?' 'Do we understand the risks?' 'If yes, how could a solution be structured?' 'After all is said and done, is it a good solution?' 'Why?'

Theory and practice

The MSSE program builds these thinking skills through a solid understanding of theoretical methods, principles, and tools and an examination of fundamental software development issues and processes. Topics include requirements engineering, project management, quality assurance, and database management systems.

Acclaimed faculty with both academic and industry backgrounds also provide practical perspective. Real-world problems and opportunities with software intensive systems are explored, and methods to evaluate, adopt and take advantage of emerging technologies are learned.

MSSE students will also be working closely with fellow software professionals, completing applicable class assignments within teams. Working relationships developed will be a significant resource throughout one's career.