Java ranks among the most used programming languages, along with Python, SQL, and Ruby. Most software engineers are proficient in at least one of these languages. Many prefer Java because it’s platform agnostic and comes with strong security protocols.

Merrimack College offers software engineers the opportunity to learn Java as part of the school’s online Master of Science in Computer Science degree program with a software engineering concentration. It’s part of a curriculum that educates graduate students in both the foundations of programming and advanced software engineering.

What Is Java?

Java is a computer programming language invented in 1995 by Sun Microsystems, a California-based company acquired by Oracle in 2010. It remains popular because of its ease of use and efficient processing speed for software, computer games, and applications for desktop and mobile devices.

Java is a programming language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, and based on the syntax of C and C++. According to programmer job site Wear Developers, many large companies use Java to develop and support products across the globe.

Why is Java Important to Software Engineers?

Java ranked as the most popular programming language among software engineers in a survey by Springboard. The site called the ability to use Java in software engineering as “one of the most important skills for software engineers to know…Java enables software engineers a reliably safe and design-friendly language that can find them jobs almost anywhere.”

At Merrimack College, learning to use Java is part of an industry-aligned program that teaches students what they need to succeed in modern companies.  Students also work with other languages, including Python.

The master’s degree program is designed to produce experts in software engineering, but students do not experience in computer science to enter the program. Other features of the program include:

  • All courses are 100% online, giving professionals flexibility in how they earn a graduate degree
  • No computer science degree or coding experience required
  • No GRE or GMAT required
  • The program includes a Bootcamp + a master’s degree
  • Eight-week semesters with six start dates per year
  • Students finish in one year, taking the courses part-time

Students in the software engineering concentration take courses in Software Design and Documentation, Database Principles, Systems and Languages Survey, and Advanced Programming Concepts.

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering?

The huge increase in software engineering jobs over the past decade looks to continue for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of jobs in the field will increase 22 percent by 2030.

Salaries in the field also continue to climb. Nationwide, software engineers made an average annual salary of $114,270 in May 2020. Massachusetts ranks in the top five states for software engineer salaries, reaching $119,790 in May 2020. Also, the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua metro area ranks in the top 10 in the nation for employment in software engineering.

Earning a master’s degree prepares graduates for the top positions and best salaries in the software engineering profession. It’s an important step for those who want positions of leadership in software engineering.