What is Computer Engineering?

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Computer engineering can best be described as the combination of computer science and electronic engineering to design and run computer systems. Individuals working in computer engineering typically enjoy computers and have a strong background in math. Computer engineering is a field that offers many career opportunities and excellent wage potential.

What is Computer Engineering?

Without computer engineers, our computerized world would not have near the possibilities it has today. Computer engineering involves the integration of electronic engineering with various types of computer science. Using innovation and technology, computer engineers are able to design computers and computer systems, including both software and hardware. They research, develop, design and test computer systems and computer components such as memory devices, processors, networks, circuit boards, cameras, keyboards, and routers to name just a few. One of the computer engineer's main goals is to design and produce a system that runs efficiently and economically. Computer hardware engineers research and design computerized equipment for industrial, commercial, military and scientific use.

How to Become a Computer Engineer

In order to work as a computer engineer, individuals typically need at least a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or computer science. A degree in electrical engineering may also be sufficient since computer engineering combines computer science with electrical/electronic engineering. When choosing an engineering program, the student is advised to choose a program that's ABET-accredited. The student who has a strong background in science and math generally has the easiest time in these programs.

Computer science and computer programming courses are the most beneficial to computer engineering students. Some jobs may require a master's degree in computer engineering, but a bachelor's degree is usually the most common for entry-level positions. Computer engineers must keep up with continued training so that they're able to keep up with technological advances. Additionally, computer engineering students complete an internship to obtain practical experience.

Types of Careers in Computer Engineering

Computer engineers work on all components of a computer system but are more commonly utilized for the hardware portions. There are various types of jobs available to graduates of computer engineering programs. Here are a few possibilities along with the average yearly wages as reported by PayScale.

  • Computer systems engineer – $71,299
  • Computer hardware engineer – $79,490
  • Computer software engineer – $79,404
  • Network & computer systems administrator – $59,765
  • Software & applications developer – $100,750
  • Computer network architects – $116,738

Career Outlook for Computer Engineers

Computer hardware engineers are projected to experience a job growth of about 5 percent from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Because more innovation is used in computer software than in hardware, the growth is not expected to be that high. However, the need for embedded systems in medical devices and household appliances and automobiles will keep computer hardware engineers in demand. Computer hardware engineers earned an average annual wage of $115,120, according to the Bureau.

Related Resource: Top 20 Best Master's in Computer Science Online Degree Programs

Computer engineering continues to be a growing field that offers a wide variety of career opportunities. As long as we continue to live in a digital and computerized world, there will be demand for computer engineers. Individuals who want to play a role in advancing technology can choose computer engineering as a career choice.