Computer engineering is an interdisciplinary field that integrates the disciplines of electrical engineering and computer science in order to research, design, develop and test computer hardware and software. Computer engineers typically have advanced training in electrical engineering, electronics, software design and development, and/or hardware-software integration. A few specific specialities within computer engineering include designing microprocessors, circuits, personal computers, digital devices and super computers. Computer engineers also develop firmware (program code for embedded microcontrollers), circuit boards, VLSI chips, and analog sensors. An increasing number of computer engineers are involved in the research design, development and testing of robotics, which rely heavily on electrical and computer systems.
Given our ever increasing reliance on technology (especially personal computing and communication devices), it’s no surprise that demand for computer engineers is on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computer engineering will be one of the fastest careers through 2020. For software developers in particular, the growth rate in jobs is expected exceed 30% through 2020. Notwithstanding, competition for good jobs will be intense. In addition, many of the traditional jobs that have historically been filled by domesticaly are now being outsourced to computer engineers and corporations overseas.
Computer engineering programs vary from institution to institution. Most computer engineering programs, at the undergraduate level, consist of general engineering courses. However, as student enter their junior and senior years they introduced to more complex subject matter and allowed to select areas of focus which lead to more in-depth study within the discipline. Before computer engineering can be declared as a major, some schools require students to first complete at least one year of general engineering curriculum.
Some computer engineers specialize in software design and development. In order for computers to function they require software-code that tells a computer how to perform routines and processes. Without software, computers would be nothing more than a bunch of electrical circuits and hardware. Computer engineerings that focus on developing software programs are known as computer software developers and programmers.
Computer Engineering Bachelor’s Degree
For the majority of entry-level career positions in computer engineering a bachelor’s degree in computer, electrical, or software engineering is usually the minimum requirement. However, most computer engineering programs incorporate training in electrical and/or software engineering. A typical bachelor’s degree in computer engineering focuses on designing, developing and testing computer systems. Specialties within a bachelor’s program may include programming languages, networking, data structures and operating systems, among others. A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.
Computer Engineering Master’s Degree
Many corporations are now only hiring engineers with a master’s degree in computer engineering or other relevant field. A master’s in computer engineering typically only takes two years to complete, however, most programs require applicants to first have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a closely related discipline (e.g. computer science, electrical engineering, etc.) Many programs also require applicants to submit their transcript and take the GRE. While a master’s in computer engineering is often considered a terminal degree for aspiring career professionals, given the ever evolving nature of technology, computer engineers can look forward to updating their skills and knowledge throughout their entire career.
Below you can search a national database of accredited colleges and universities offering degree programs, certificates and courses in computer engineering.
Computer Engineering Degrees and Programs
Southern New Hampshire University
You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >