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Computer Science

Why Software and Data Engineering May Be For You

College of Arts and Sciences

The Department of Computer Science at Bellarmine University is proud to announce our newest Bachelor of Science program in Software and Data Engineering (BSSDE).  In this post I’ll orient you to the program and provide several reasons why this program might be right for you.


The BSSDE is a 12-month, 40-hour second degree program. Offered 100% online in an asynchronous format so you can continue working throughout the program. It is designed for people who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-IT related area such as English, history, biology, or psychology.  The program is designed to prepare students of any age for entry-level programming positions.  Through the BSSDE, you will be exposed to several programming languages and various technologies involved in software development. Earnings in this field are significant.  The median salary is $87,000 in the Louisville area and $107,000 nationally.

Comprehensive view of software engineering. In this program, you will start with basic programming and end with a capstone course that will allow you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have learned through the program. In between you will learn several programming languages such as Java, C#, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python and SQL as well as database and application development.

One-year completion time. The program consists of three semesters, each having two 7.5 week sessions. In each session you will take two or three courses.  This program will allow you quickly to bootstrap your background in software development and get you the foundation and skills you need to be competitive in the marketplace.

Online office hours. The courses in the program are asynchronous which means you will not be online at the same time as your classmates watching or participating in-class sessions. However, all of your computer science courses (prefixed with CS) will have weekly two-hour live office hours. This will allow you real-time access to your professors if you have questions. Since we use MS Teams at Bellarmine, we can have live chats, video calls, and share screens and documents as necessary. 

Standard software engineering tools will be introduced and used throughout the program.  The modern software engineer or developer uses a wide variety of tools in their daily work.  These could include command-line and scripting environments, software repository management systems like Git, virtual machine technologies such as Oracle VirtualBox and VMWare, continuous integration/continuous deployment tools like Jenkins and Travis CI and cloud computing providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.  You will be exposed to many of these technologies and tools so when you graduate, you can tell prospective employers that you have at least rudimentary experience with them. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to apply for internships to further put your skills to use before graduation and potentially lead to a permanent job.

The mathematics load for the BSSDE is reasonable.  Similar programs to the BSSDE often require a considerable amount of math.  However, we only require that you have pre-calculus or calculus I experience to enroll in the program. The only math course you take in the BSSDE is discrete mathematics which will teach you foundational mathematical concepts such as logic, graph theory, set theory, basic combinatorics and algorithm development. These are important topics for developing complex software applications.

Data engineering is baked into the program.  Many software engineers and application developers are heavily involved in operationalizing data mining and machine learning systems. This involves acquiring data for machine learning models, storing the data, providing information dashboards and deploying models into production.  In this regard, these engineers and developers are working in the realm of data engineering.  You will learn about data engineering in several courses during the program including your database management systems, software design and development, and machine learning courses.

Bellarmine faculty have considerable experience in software and data engineering. Faculty in the Department of Computer Science have a wide variety of software engineering experience including, but not limited to, programming and managing computing clusters for scientific computing, developing and implementing machine learning models, managing databases, and application development.

As you can see, the BSSDE program at Bellarmine has many strengths.  We strongly believe our graduates will have the background and skills to be successful in a range of industries and positions. Will you be one of them?

Dr. Robert Kelley, Chair

Department of Computer Science

Tags: Computer Science



Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.