Does anyone know if a Software Engineer can become a certified Professional Engineer or PE for short? I know that my buddies who are Mechanical, Electrical, or Civil Engineers were able to become PEs by taking an exam. Does such an exam exist in Software Engineering?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
As of April 2013, there is a Professional Engineer exam for Software Engineering. The IEEE Computer Society, IEEE-USA, and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) partnered to develop an exam specifically for software engineers. The exam specifications (PDF) are also available from the NCEES. State boards issue the exams and manage the requirements for taking and passing the exam.
The IEEE has been working on establishing a similar credential for software engineers, but I don't know that it is getting any traction.
Note that in the US at least, you can't get the PE certification simply by taking an exam. You have to have a degree in an engineering discipline from an accredited school. You can then take a written exam to become an Engineer in Training (EIT). Then after working at least four years under the supervision of a PE, you can sit for the PE exam.
I don't see why not. As long as you pass the exam, you should become certified. That said, the PE exam isn't like getting an MCSE or SCJD, it's a serious professional exam with some hefty requirements. Things like:
If all you've got is a CS degree, you're not going to get anywhere close to getting your PE without some serious work. OTOH, if you got a EE from a good school and already have your EIT, then it's not unreasonable to expect you'd be eligible for taking the exam. It'd be worth checking with the licensing board in your state, anyway. As others have mentioned, software engineering isn't seen as a "real" engineering discipline, so you'd probably be better off applying as an electrical or mechanical engineer (whatever's on your diploma).
It depends upon where you live as P.E. examinations are driven by different groups depending upon the country. In the United States they are driven by the state that you wish to practice in. To that end, the State of Texas currently has one in development and there are laws on the books related to situations where you might need a P.E. license as a software engineer.
A small update, but this article in PE Magazine gives some more background on the Texas exam and the overall thoughts of most PEs in regards to licensure of software engineers. The short version is that most people are for it for systems where people can be injured or killed if something goes in terms of the software.
protected by gnat Apr 22 at 14:32
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?