THE PROFESSIONAL ORIENTATION OF SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
The current situation, in which new study plans are being defined and Europe is heavily involved in an agreement on higher education, is fundamental to the future of certain degree courses such as that of computer engineering. The capacity to adapt these new study plans to the market’s real necessities is, therefore, extremely important. In the case of computer engineering, both businesses and professionals are demanding increasingly more specialized profiles, principally in specialties such as software engineering, in which there are various specializations that are adapted to one or more international professional certificates. It is therefore extremely important that these new studies focus to a greater extent upon professional necessities, without losing sight of the scientific rigor demanded in engineering. If this objective is to be attained, it is fundamental that these new study plans have an orientation that will facilitate the obtaining of professional certificates.
The new study plan for Computer Engineering is basically composed of: a) a basic teaching module (10 subjects), b) a computing teaching module (16 subjects), c) 4 specific teaching modules (software engineering, information technology, computation sciences and computer engineering), with 8 subjects in each module of which the student chooses one, and d) a set of options.
However, it is extremely important to discover whether the subjects of which the new specialization areas are composed really offer what is demanded by the market. In this paper, therefore, we present an overview of each of the 8 subjects of which the intensification of the software engineering profile is made up, and we analyse them not only from the academic but also from the professional point of view. We shall also establish relationship mappings between the contents of these subjects and the contents of the principal professional certificates demanded by the market, with the objective of determining whether their orientation is correct, and to identify any contents which will complement these themes.
The 8 subjects analysed in this paper are those of which the software engineering module is composed, and which have been oriented in such a way that, amongst other things, each subject leads to one or various professional certifications. The subjects are as follows: i) Requirements engineering; ii) Software design; iii) Database development; iv) Business information systems; v) Software engineering processes; vi) Software security systems; vii) Software system quality; viii) Software project management.
The paper consists of five sections: In the first we shall present the current context of the creation of study plans, highlighting the necessity of software engineers being able to specialize in various areas and obtain professional certificates. In Section 2 we shall analyse the study plan’s general structure. A detailed analysis of the Software Engineering profile will be carried out in Section 3. In the fourth section we shall establish mappings between the contents of the principal professional certificates that each of the 8 subjects may lead to, and a comparison will be made between the contents of each certificate and those of the subjects. Finally, in the last section we shall describe the main conclusions obtained during this research, and we shall determine whether the new Software engineering profile is appropriate for professional requirements.