NCEES introduces PE exam for software engineering

May 2, 2012

NCEES is preparing to launch its latest Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, which will be used by engineering licensing boards across the United States. NCEES will begin offering a PE exam in software engineering in April 2013. After that, the exam will be administered yearly.

Partnering with NCEES as co-sponsor of the exam is IEEE-USA, assisted by the IEEE Computer Society, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.

The NCEES board of directors approved the development of the new PE exam in 2009. In accordance with existing exam development policies, 10 member licensing boards of NCEES presented letters supporting the proposed exam.

Groups representing software engineers have long maintained that software engineering should be licensed because it is increasingly practiced in areas that reach into the everyday lives of the general public, such as traffic control systems and the electrical grid. An IEEE Computer Society survey of software engineers indicated that two-thirds of those employed in the industry support a licensure exam for their profession.

“With software engineering crucial to so many engineering projects, it’s important to regulate its practice in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public,” said NCEES President, Dale Jans, P.E.

For more information on the PE Software exam, visit ncees.org/exams. Registration for the April 2013 exam administration is scheduled to open mid-December 2012. The exam specifications—the test blueprint of knowledge areas to be tested and their relative weights of emphasis—are available online at ncees.org/exams. IEEE is planning to publish study materials for the exam later this year.

Contact: Charles Rutland, P.E., Exam Development Engineer