When it comes to software engineering, Georgia is a state on the rise. State leaders have committed tremendous capital investments to research and innovation, while Atlanta and the surrounding areas have emerged as a hotbed for technology. As a result, software engineers will find many exciting career and educational opportunities in Georgia.
Software Engineering Landscape in Georgia
The demand for software engineers in Georgia continues to grow, and not only in heavily populated metropolitan areas like Atlanta. While the capital city has invested heavily in IoT technology, building greater connections between companies and their communities through the Living Lab Project and smart city initiatives, there are also exciting developments happening just outside the city limits.
Peachtree Corners, a suburb of Atlanta, has emerged as one of the nation’s first smart cities. In October 2022, Peachtree Corners collaborated with leading technology and networking firms Bosch, Cradlepoint, and T-Mobile to deliver 5G wireless WAN solutions such as autonomous vehicles and near real-time parking and safety monitoring.
Assistant City Manager and CTO Brandon Branham praised the collaboration, which enables the community “to use smart parking applications through the Bosch cameras in our Town Center, while also providing a safety and security layer for our police department.”
For software engineers, the increased focus on building and maintaining smart cities means that the job outlook has never been better. And because many positions require only a bachelor’s degree, graduates can enter a high-paying job in their chosen field almost immediately after graduation.
Software Engineering Education in Georgia
Students seeking a software engineering degree in Georgia will find many opportunities to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or certificate at some of the country’s top institutions.
Middle Georgia State University offers both undergraduate and graduate academic tracks, and their BS in Information Technology ranks among the finest in the state. With several different concentrations available, including cybersecurity, integrated digital media and game design (which is offered entirely online), and software engineering, Middle Georgia State University provides opportunities for graduates to enter many different career fields.
Morehouse College offers an innovative software engineering program at one of the highest-rated HBCUs in the country. Ranked the #1 small college in Georgia and listed in the top-20 most innovative colleges nationally, Morehouse College provides men with the opportunity to gain a valuable degree in a high-demand field. The school’s rigorous academic track includes formal training in data structures, software design, and software maintenance, culminating in a senior capstone project that is “aimed to imitate agile experience in a formal work environment.”
For graduates or professionals who are ready to take their career to the next level, Kennesaw State University offers a two-year master’s degree in software engineering. The program is designed to help students deepen their knowledge and strengthen their subject-matter expertise, often leading to management positions after graduation.
One of the highlights of the graduate track is its flexibility, allowing students to select from in-person, online, or hybrid class meetings. Additionally, incoming students with professional experience may be able to opt out of certain classes and graduate early—an attractive option for software engineers who are eager to move up the corporate ladder.
Mercer University offers a fully-online master’s degree in software engineering, giving students the tools they need to excel at the next level of their careers. In addition to their rigorous curriculum, Mercer provides graduate students with many opportunities to join other departments and outside partners in groundbreaking research projects. Recent innovative designs include adaptive toys for children with limited dexterity and mobility, an autonomous submarine, and “Touch 3D Yearbooks” for students at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon, Georgia.
While other universities such as Kennesaw State University offer technical certificates in addition to their undergraduate and graduate programs, there are also several colleges in Georgia that specialize in professional certification. This is ideal for working professionals who want to sharpen their skills but may not have the time to invest in a full program.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College delivers a strong certificate program with a number of areas for specialization. Students can earn a technical certificate in full stack development, web application development, or mobile application development.
Similarly, DeVry University offers an undergraduate certificate in software design and solutions, equipping students with foundational skills that can be leveraged on the job or used to further their education. With locations throughout the state, DeVry is a convenient option with a respected curriculum.
Software Engineering Jobs in Georgia
The job outlook remains bright for software engineering graduates, with over 1K jobs projected to be added annually in the next decade. With an increasing number of cities investing heavily in network solutions and innovation, opportunities for skilled individuals will arise in both public and private sectors.
Software engineers will find not only abundant job opportunities in Georgia; they will find lucrative ones, too. The average starting salary for an Atlanta-based software engineer is just over $60K, with many corporations throughout the state exceeding that figure. For experienced professionals, the salary leaps to over $100K in nearly every metropolitan area in Georgia. For graduates, that means the chance to earn a strong living wage while engaging in meaningful, often groundbreaking work.