Computer engineering is a field of study that combines training in electrical engineering and computer science. Those pursuing a computer engineering degree receive hands-on, in-depth knowledge of how computer hardware, software and networking systems work as well as how these systems all integrate together in today's enterprises.
Computer Engineering Degree & Job Checklist
Jump to a topic in this article:
- Top Schools for Computer Engineering
- Where Do Computer Engineers Work and in What Roles?
- What Do Computer Engineers Work On After Graduating?
- Typical Job Duties and Responsibilities
- Average Salary
Some of the top schools for pursuing a computer engineering degree include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California-Berkeley, University of Illinois, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology and California Institute of Technology.
Computer engineers can expect to graduate with skills and extensive knowledge of computers and electronics, technology and engineering, design, mathematics and physics that make them highly marketable and command one of the higher average starting salaries for a computer or engineering-specific degree.
Computer engineering degree holders often land positions in enterprises as software engineers or programmers, software developers, or project managers. Computer engineers also benefit from a wide range of industries employing their services, including computer manufacturers, financial services, defense contractors, consulting, manufacturing, consumer goods, transportation and more.
Computer engineers are also sometimes referred to as IT engineers, systems engineers, computer hardware engineers, or computer software engineers, depending on their industry and area of specialization.
As far as what tasks and projects a computer engineer can expect to work on in their jobs, computer engineers typically use their technical knowledge and problem-solving skills to build, test, refine and improve computer components and systems.
Computer engineers may find themselves developing or integrating memory devices, computer processors, custom integrated circuits, complete computer systems, or networks. They also regularly test and solve issues that occur in computer hardware components and the software that runs on computer systems.
Depending on their role or industry, computer engineers may also be involved in building computer-based systems embedded in cars, planes, phones and other electronics devices, smart home appliances, and more.
Working in the position of computer engineer requires individuals to function effectively within a team and for some projects, with minimal supervision. A degree in computer engineering, in addition to hands-on experience and some specialized job-specific training will ensure you remain a top applicant.
Many online job ads highlight the following key skills, responsibilities and work demands when applying for the positions that require a degree in computer engineering:
- Develop computer algorithms and advanced systems
- Design and develop scripts and/or tools for integration deployments
- Maintain monitoring systems to ensure high availability
- Create and maintain runbook, technical and operational documents
- Research, develop and prototype advanced hardware and software technologies
- Apply machine learning to computer vision problems
- Conceive proof-of-concept prototypes
- Analyze and improve efficiency, scalability, and stability of various deployed systems
- Automation of provisioning of internal and cloud infrastructure
- Design and develop scripts and tools for integration and deployments
- Work closely with development team in supporting infrastructure requests
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 computer engineers earned an average annual salary of $115,080 per year, which equates to $9,590 per month or $55.33 per hour. The annual growth rate for computer engineers has held steady at 5 percent for the last couple years.
When reviewing online ads, related job titles for individuals with a degree in computer engineering may include the following:
- Computer Engineer
- Computer Vision Engineer
- Computer Applications Engineer
- Computer Hardware Engineer
- Computer Software Engineer
- Computer Science Engineer
- Devops Engineer
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