Recently, the engineering community in Oklahoma City approached all the universities in Oklahoma with accredited engineering programs with the challenge of producing more engineers with software experience, specifically electrical and computer engineers. Industry is already hiring many of our ECE graduates as software engineers and likes the quality of our graduates. But the forecast says that this need for software engineers will only increase with time. You see, the technology industry is in great need of engineers who understand the complex systems their companies work on, yet can write software to control and oversee these complex systems. Finding recent graduates who have a background in both software AND hardware has proven difficult: there are not enough domestic engineers with the needed software background. Companies like Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Flight Safety and the US government liked OC graduates so much, they asked us to lead the way by adding this emphasis (we are the only university in the state to have a software engineering emphasis in our EE and CE degrees.) These companies then worked with us to tell us what they are looking for in software engineers.
Software engineering and computer science are different. Computer Science is about writing efficient algorithms and developing computer languages. Software engineering is about using engineering principles to design reliable software and use it to interact with hardware and people. Computer science is to software engineering like physics is to mechanical engineering. At OC, studying computer engineering will give you 12 hours of computer science, 21 hours of engineering courses where you program hardware, and an additional 12 hours of upper-division software engineering courses.
Finding enough capable young people who want to work on both software and hardware is a tough challenge for this country. We have been asked by the engineering industry to increase the supply of graduates. There are many more jobs requiring software engineers who have a degree from accredited engineering programs than there are graduates to fill those jobs. So here is the challenge for you: if you want to study software engineering and receive a degree from an accredited engineering program, we encourage you to study electrical or computer engineering and pursue the software engineering emphasis. You will open up new doors by allowing you to use your gifts to serve God in a powerful (and rare) fashion.