Professionals who are interested in earning an accelerated online Master’s in Software Engineering degree are in good company. These professionals are among the pioneers that are changing the face of society as a whole; from social media to productivity apps, messaging tools to video call sites, the field is changing how Americans shop, interact with each other and even work. So it should come as no surprise that as the field develops, so too does the demand for high-quality professionals.

Software engineers work incredibly hard and most will never have the time to commit to a traditional on-campus program. They can, however, commit to an online program with few residency requirements, that offer live courses at different times to accommodate all working adults, and can be completed in two years or less. And because software engineering programs are now finding online homes, it has become important to dedicate an updated ranking to this very field.

Methodology: Ranking the Fastest Online Master’s in Software Engineering

To rank the most affordable accelerated online software engineering master’s programs, the editors of Fast Online Master’s researched accredited, trusted institutions offering online and hybrid programs. These are ranked according to current IPEDS information for tuition cost. 

1. California State University, Fullerton

At Cal State University, Fullerton students have the opportunity to pursue a Master of Software Engineering degree at the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Offering one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs, students can also earn their degree in less time via accelerated online class options. Graduates of California State University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science take more than the reputation and acclaim of this renowned program. They also take the skills and expertise necessary to excel and have successful careers.

Cal State University is also located in one of the hottest tech states in the country and the world. That means students will also be learning from an institution located near one of the meccas of technology. To this extent in part, could be one of the reasons why Cal State has been recognized time and again. Recently recognized as the best online software engineering master’s program by Intelligent.com, Cal State University is a great place to begin and advance careers in software engineering. California State University is also known for the affordability of its online program and has even been recognized as such by Best Computer Schools rankings. 

Degree: Master of Software Engineering

2. University of Michigan Dearborn

The College of Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Michigan Dearborn is one of the leading software engineering schools in the Midwest. This College also offers one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs, as evidenced by the CECS Online Department. This section of UM’s software engineering program is a separate department dedicated to the promotion, support, and to successfully continuing online education for advanced learning degrees.

In addition to offering one of the best online software engineering master’s courses, students can also earn an MS in Software Engineering with only 30 credits. This is only another benefit of choosing an established, esteemed, and renowned University and a program like the University of Michigan’s online software engineering course at the College of Engineering & Computer Science. Begun with a multi-million dollar donation from the Ford Motor Company with the idea of helping train their engineers, that spirit of co-op learning and internship opportunities still thrives. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

3. West Virginia University

Those pursuing a software engineering degree will want to enroll at West Virginia University’s MS in Software Engineering program. This 33-credit hour course is one of the best best online master’s in software engineering programs for working students and professionals. Designed with real-word application in mind, students leave this advanced software engineering program ready to hit the ground running. 

This is also one of the best online software engineering master’s programs based on flexibility and design. With options such as part-time programs, evening course options, and other working student and business professional-friendly features, earning an advanced software engineering degree has never been easier at WVU. Graduates of this Master of Software Engineering program also enjoy the reputation and respect that comes with a degree from such a proud and accomplished school. This school and program are also nationally recognized, ranking just outside the top 100 public schools base on US News Best Colleges rankings, and number one in the heart of Mountaineers everywhere.

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

4. University of Houston Clear Lake

The University of Houston provides one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs and does it with an emphasis on affordability. In addition to offering a comprehensive and leading software engineering course offering state-of-the-art instruction, this advanced online program is tailored to help students expedite the process of earning that degree. With 30 required credits, designed to be completed in 15 months, this online software engineering program is an excellent way for working students to fast-track getting their master’s. 

Another aspect that might be common for the best online software engineering master’s programs is having an exceptional staff of faculty and instructors. For the University of Houston-Clear Lake, they are no exception, as the software engineering faculty are distinguished and accomplished professionals within the field. The University of Houston Clear Lake offers big school benefits with that small campus feel, even online. As a campus of under ten thousand students, the University of Houston-Clear Lake also embodies that same small school feel and personal instruction in its online software engineering programs too.

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

5. University of Maryland Global Campus

As a recognized leader and forerunner of online learning, the highly acclaimed University of Maryland Global Campus is also one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs in the country. As one of the first major online colleges and schools of its kind, the University of Maryland Global Campus has been a trailblazer from day one. Students of this forward-thinking college also get the benefit of one of the more experienced and proven online institutions in the country.

Also helping the University of Maryland Global Campus to earn consideration as one of the best online software engineering master’s programs is the recognition and acclaim this school has earned. In addition to being a trend-setting program, programs at this online University are some of the most affordable too. These are only a few of the reasons why so many students seek to continue their education and pursue accelerated online software engineering degrees from a school like the University of Maryland Global Campus. The forward-thinking educational institution is also no stranger to recognition, and is ranked #9 by US News College Rankings as one of the most innovative programs in the country. 

Degree: Master of Software Engineering

6. East Carolina University

Offering an MS in Software Engineering degree, East Carolina University ranks as one of the best online software engineering master’s programs, providing students with many benefits. One of those benefits is the convenience and flexibility of East Carolina University’s remote Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) program. This program has received recognition for being a top option for graduate students in both value and quality of education.

As one of the best online master’s in software engineering graduate students, this excellent program affords affordable program costs, in addition to being a financial-aid-friendly school. That is evidenced by the more than 80% of students of this University that get some type of financial aid or assistance. There are many reasons to pursue an advanced software engineering degree, the online MSSE program at East Carolina simply offers a few more. The online software engineering program at East Carolina University has also been recognized by BestColleges.com as one of the best online programs in software engineering, among its many other accolades.

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

7. Arizona State University

Arizona State University has one of the best online software engineering master’s programs, only another feather in the cap of this prestigious school. In addition to having a sterling reputation as an educational leader, ASU has dedicated great efforts towards creating a first-class online college program. That is also a reason why graduates, working students, and industry professionals can earn an MS in Software Engineering at Arizona State University online with only 30 credits.

From excellent remote and online learning options to affordable and flexible advanced degree programs, ASU online has earned its reputation as being a leader in online learning. These are a few of the many reasons that Arizona State University’s online advanced degree deserves consideration as one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs. The online software engineering courses at ASU online are also taught by some of the most respected and top engineering instructors. The awards and recognition for Arizona State University’s online advanced degree programs doesn’t stop either, as ASU online was recently recognized as the #1 ranked school in innovation by US News and World Report. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

8. Texas Tech University

An MS in Software Engineering online from Texas Tech University is a great career path for those working professionals wanting to advance their careers by enrolling in one of the best online master’s in software engineering. The Master of Science in Software Engineering (MS SE) program at this proud University is designed to equip program graduates with a solid grasp and working knowledge of complex software systems. With online program options, these courses and degrees can also be completed in less time.      

Like many of the best online software engineering master’s programs, the courses and programs at Texas Tech online also offer more affordable advanced degree options without sacrificing quality. Those with a degree from Texas Tech University are among some of the most desired graduates anywhere, and that includes those who earn advanced online software engineering degrees too. The instruction at Texas Tech is from some of the most esteemed and experienced professionals in the field, providing students with not only textbook knowledge but real-world information. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

9. Colorado Tech University

The MS in Computer Science – Software Engineering program at Colorado Tech University qualifies as one of the best online software engineering master’s programs for several reasons. To begin with, this program is not only designed to help promote accelerated online learning for working students and busy professionals, but it is also designed to be affordable. The best online master’s in software engineering programs often have several things in common, and Colorado Tech University’s advanced online software engineering program offers all of them. 

The advance online degree programs at Colorado Tech University are offered with a variety of options to allow students more flexibility in classes, lectures, tests, and reports. These benefits, in turn, help promote student success and can help that software engineering professional to earn that promotion. The quality of CTUs software engineering program, combined with the affordability, accessibility, and accelerated course options also explain all the recognition and awards that the CTU program has received. 2021 marks the seventh consecutive year that US News and World Report rankings have recognized Colorado Tech University’s software engineering program, recently announcing it as one of the Best Online Master’s in Computer Information Technology Programs – again. 

Degree: MS in Computer Science – Software Engineering

10. University of Texas at Austin

At the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, students will discover one of the best online software engineering master’s in the state of Texas and beyond. This unique program also offers some course designs that are perfect for software engineering professionals too busy to attend regular classes or maintain regular schedules. The MS in Software Engineering hybrid course at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas as Austin only requires one weekend a month, and the program can be completed in two years.

Although this hybrid option won’t qualify as an accelerated degree program, it is one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs in terms of affordability, quality, and practicality. Few programs can match the structure and flexibility of this hybrid software engineering course, and the advantages it offers. An excellent education, flexibility in classes, and affordable advanced degree courses are only some of the reasons that this University is home to more than 2000 graduate students. It is also worth noting that the Cockrell School of Engineering is a leader in the field, and respected as one of the top programs in the country, in fact, the Cockrell School of Engineering is also ranked as the 12th best engineering school in the nation. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

11. Kansas State University

Earning a master of software engineering degree at Kansas State University is an opportunity to earn one of the best online master’s in software engineering degrees for a few reasons. An advanced online software degree at this revered college institution can be earned at competitive and affordable costs, while also offering accelerated course options too. A master of Software Engineering at Kansas State University’s online program requires 33 credits. These are only a few reasons that one of the best online software engineering programs is located through the other Manhattan school. 

In addition to enrolling at the Kansas State University Global Campus, and getting the benefits of an accelerated online software engineering degree, this advanced degree also prepares graduates with a degree that crosses every industry and sector. Those with a software engineering degree from Kansas State University will be able to work in areas like medicine, communication, education, manufacturing systems, and more. 

Degree: Master of Software Engineering 33 credits

12. Kennesaw State University

Students seeking the best online master’s in software engineering programs will want to consider the MS in Software Engineering program at Kennesaw State University. This program typically requires two years to complete but does offer accelerated class options as well. In addition to providing one of the more affordable advanced software engineering degree courses, the programs at Kennesaw State University are taught by some to the top instructors in the field of software engineering.

Being one of the best online software engineering master’s programs also means offering non-traditional paths to earning an MSSWE. With special foundation courses, those who don’t have a traditional coding or computing background can still have the opportunity to earn an advanced software engineering degree. These are also ideal options for graduate students or working professionals who may want to make a career move, or those vying for a promotion or advancement. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

13. Washington State University

At the Washington State University Global Campus, students are only 30-semester credits away from earning a degree from one of the best online software engineering master’s programs. That means that graduate students can earn an MS in Software Engineering from Washington State in less than two years using an accelerated program with a full class schedule. For graduate students who are also working professionals, part-time class schedules are often more practical. 

Another consideration for Washington State University having one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs is its College of Engineering and Architecture School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This department at WSU is an integral part of the online master’s software engineering program and is led by some of the leading experts in data science, computer science, and software engineering. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

14. St Mary’s University (TX)

Offering one of the most streamlined, well-supported and best online software engineering master’s programs, is the MS in Software Engineering course at St Mary’s University. This 30 credit program is not only completely available online, it is also offered as an accelerated program and teaches graduate skills necessary to successfully design, implement, and maintain software and software-related products. 

Led by a staff and faculty of leaders in the field of software engineering, is another feature of this program that earns it consideration as one of the best best online master’s in software engineering courses. In addition to accelerated course options and great course instruction, the software engineering program at St Mary’s University is also on of the more affordable advanced online software engineering degree options. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

15. Penn State World Campus

A Master of Software Engineering degree and one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs is what students get at the renowned Penn State World Campus. This College needs no introduction, nor does its reputation as a leader in education and the field of computers and software engineering. The Penn State World Campus is this storied program’s answer to remote learning, and today the Penn State World Campus also offers one of the best online software engineering master’s programs in the country. 

US News and World Report recently ranked the Penn State World Campus as one of the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs. Along with offering accelerated online software engineering course options, and in addition to providing affordable advanced degree options, Penn State also ranks just among top public schools according to US News College rankings. 

Degree: Master of Software Engineering

16. Regis University

Graduate students at Regis University will find one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs in the country based on the affordability of this MS in Software Engineering degree. Another consideration that should also earn Regis University some points as one of the best online software engineering master’s programs is the benefit of its accelerated degree course.

Not only is Regis University ranked #9 in terms of affordability, these leading advanced degree programs can also be completed in 12 months. These are just a few of the reasons why this program is considered one of the best accelerated online software programs for graduate students. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

17. Maryville University

Another one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs is the Master’s in Software Development offered at Maryville University. The program is not only a highly ranked and affordable advanced software engineering course, it can also be completed in as little as 12 months. 

These are a few of the many reasons why Marysville University has one of the best online software engineering master’s programs in the country. Marysville University has been ranked by Kiplinger as one the Top Value Colleges, and by Forbes as one of America’s Top Colleges, among other awards, accolades, and recognition.  

Degree: Master’s in Software Development

18. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

A Master of Software Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University means earning a degree from one of the best online software engineering master’s programs in the country. In addition to providing graduates with comprehensive education, they also leave with a degree for an educational institution renowned for its educational excellence.

Another often unrealized benefit of this program and what helps to make it one of the best online master’s in software engineering courses is the five to one student to teacher/faculty ratio. Personal attention, online convenience, and accelerated course options make the advanced online software engineering program at Carnegie Mellon worth a second look. 

Degree: Master of Software Engineering

19. Pace University

One of the best online master’s in software engineering is the MS in Software Development and Engineering at Pace University. This online software engineering program is typically two years to complete but also offers accelerated 12-month program options. 

Another facet of this program that earns it consideration as one of the best online software engineering master’s programs is the hybrid course options that are available. In addition to these unique program options, Pace University is also very financial-assistance friendly as more than 95% of enrolled students get some form of financial aid.

Degree: MS in Software Development and Engineering

20. Boston University

As an iconic symbol of educational excellence, Boston University offers an MS in Software Development at one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs in the world. That is no surprise, of course, coming from one of the most prestigious institutions in education.

This revered University also offers online accelerated courses that can be completed in 16 months, and only adding one more reason to recognize Boston University as having one of the best online software engineering master’s programs anywhere. Boston University is also pro scholarship, tuition assistance, and grants, often making the cost of earning an advanced degree even more affordable.

Degree: MS in Software Development

21. DePaul University

Another one of the best online software engineering master’s programs comes from another well-known and respected university. DePaul University offers an online MS in Software Engineering program that is among one of the best online master’s in software engineering options in the Midwest. 

In addition to attending a revered and esteemed program like DePaul University, graduate students also leave a program that reports a 95% success rate for program graduates. Traditionally speaking, DePaul has always been a financial-aid-friendly university. More than 70% of students receive some form of need-based financial aid, making the cost of earning an online software degree more affordable too.

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

22. University of Southern California

Needing little introduction and also offering one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs, the University of Southern California offers graduate students the opportunity to earn an MS in Computer Science – Software Engineering degree. 

This esteemed and well-recognized program is also one of the best online software engineering master’s courses available for graduate students seeking training and education in emerging trends like agile methods, COTS integration, and distributed network-centric architectures, and other related interests. Not surprisingly, USC has also been awarded as one of the top grad engineering schools in the country by US News and World Report, including one of the best grad engineering programs for veterans.  

Degree: MS in Computer Science – Software Engineering

23. Southern New Hampshire University

At Southern New Hampshire University students can earn an MS in IT – Software Application Development at one of the best online software engineering master’s programs on the East Coast. This program also offers accelerated course options enabling graduate students to complete the program within 15 months.

Offering one of the best online master’s in software engineering courses, Southern New Hampshire is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and offers one of the most affordable online advanced engineering degree programs in the country. SNHU is also more than affordable but it is also financial-aid and financial-assistance friendly, exhibited by the more than 90% of students currently attending class either on campus, or online.

Degree: MS in IT – Software Application Development

24. Baylor University

Another one of the most highly recognized and respected schools, Baylor University also offers one of the best online master’s in software engineering programs available. Students seeking online software engineering courses can earn a Master of Computer Science – Software Engineering at this esteemed college. Students at Baylor also enjoy the benefit of having some of the top instructors and experts in the field of software engineering at the head of the classroom, or virtual lesson.  

In addition to having one of the best online software engineering master’s programs in the country, Baylor is continually being nationally recognized. Ranked #25 as the Most Innovative School, and often being ranked in the top 100 by US News and World Report College Rankings, the Bears of Baylor have plenty of reasons to be proud.

Degree: Master of Computer Science – Software Engineering

25. Drexel University

Rounding out the list of the best online master’s in software engineering programs is the MS in Software Engineering course at Drexel University. This respected college is no stranger to excellence and that is evident in its online software engineering programs. The standard online software engineering course takes 2 years to complete.

As one of the best online software engineering master’s programs, Drexel University also has the recognition, accolades, and awards to show for it. The online graduate computer information technology program was ranked 15th best by U.S. News and World Report. The online software engineering programs at Drexel are also designed to work with the schedules, needs, and considerations of working professionals. 

Degree: MS in Software Engineering

Why Should I Get My Master’s in Software Engineering Online?

Many degrees open doors and lead to opportunities and earning a master’s in software engineering online is no exception. In fact, those who graduate from a master of software engineering online program may even be a step ahead of the competition, including those in other industries.

An online software engineering master’s degree does more than elevate one’s income bracket. And earning a master’s in software engineering affords many benefits that traditional brick and mortar classroom courses don’t and can’t. These include advantages such as more flexible class schedules, the ability to continue working (as most students pursuing advanced degrees are working students), and fewer class-related expenses. 

These are only a few of the benefits and reasons to consider enrolling in a master of software engineering online course from an accredited program. Another advantage afforded through earning an online software engineering master’s is those aforementioned opportunities.   

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Software Engineering?

Among the many reasons and benefits of earning an advanced software engineering degree is the numerous and attractive master’s in software engineering jobs. These jobs involve using computer languages, writing programs, and designing software and games. Here are a few of those opportunities and master’s in software engineering jobs:

  • Computer programmers and coding specialists
  • Video game designers
  • Senior software and applications developers
  • Web developers

These are all high-salaried positions and highly sought-after jobs that offer rewarding careers. Like any investment, however, including the investment in an online software engineering master’s program, it is wise to understand the expected return on investment. How much does a master’s in software engineering earn? How is the job market for software engineering, is it worth it?

Is a Master’s in Software Engineering Worth It?

The benefits of earning a software engineering degree answer the question, is a master’s in software engineering worth it? Add to the benefits of earning a software engineering degree the advantages of earning that degree online, and it makes earning that online software engineering master’s degree worth it, and it makes it a great return on investment too. 

Earing such a coveted and highly sought degree isn’t easy, and like most students seeking advanced degrees, it can be difficult balancing work, life, and studies. This is just another one of the major advantages of online schooling or remote learning options. The ability to schedule lessons, tests, and learn from the convenience of the home or office is not only a matter of comfort but promoting the success of the student too.

The greatest benefit of earning a master’s in software engineering degree, however, is arguably the financial benefits and professional rewards that follow. In addition to the opportunities opened up through these advanced degree programs, graduates are also welcomed by above-average earnings potential and a robust job market.

Will I Make More with a Master’s in Software Engineering?

It might not be the million-dollar question, but when it comes to the answering the question – how much money will I make with a master’s in software engineering degree, the answer is a lot. That is as in considerably more than without a software engineering master’s salary. So how much is a master’s in software engineering salary?

According to data from the US Department of Labor Statistics, those who work in the computer science/engineering field with a master’s degree can expect to earn a salary of $126,830. While those numbers may be influenced either way by other factors such as the cost of living for the job location, or the type of employer (e.g. public sector, private sector, etc.), master’s graduates can expect to earn a well-above-average salary.

Many software engineers are the brains behind the software we use and rely on every day. They are the creators, the inventors, and the people who make technology happen. That means they make it accessible, user-friendly, and helpful for everyday people, for moms and dads, children, students, and the world. 

There is a reason why a software engineering master’s salary is among the highest in the field of computers and technology. And there is a reason why companies are willing to offer a master’s in software engineering salary to the right candidates. The wages aren’t the only reason to consider pursuing an advanced software engineering degree either.

The job market for software engineering jobs is expected to see continued growth and outpace most other industries too. This is only another reason to consider investing the time, effort, and resources in earning an online software engineering master’s.

Related Rankings:

TOP 25 MOST AFFORDABLE ACCELERATED MASTER’S IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS SECURITY ONLINE

TOP 25 MOST AFFORDABLE ACCELERATED MASTER’S IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ONLINE

TOP 25 MOST AFFORDABLE ACCELERATED MASTER’S IN COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS ONLINE