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?
In April 2013, the Professional Engineer exam for Software Engineering was offered for the first time. 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. State boards issue the exams and manage the requirements for taking and passing the exam.
However, the last time this exam will be offered will be in April 2019. In the news release, the NCEES cited a low candidate population. The examination was offered 5 times and only 81 candidates sat for 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:
- You need a degree in Engineering from an accredited university
- You need your EIT (Engineer In Training) certification
- You need verified experience (usually 2-4 years) as a working engineer
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).