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Computer Engineering: Computer Engineering Degree, Computer Engineering Career, School

Computer engineering degree programs offer students a chance to pursue a career in the theoretical aspects of computers, computation, and process development. The field of computer engineering has grown considerably with the advances in technology and the internet, and many computer engineers are involved with experimentation and design of programs, implementation of new processes, and staying ahead of market trends. While a degree in computer science may also qualify for many jobs within computer engineering, computer engineering courses and degree programs focus on the technical aspect of engineering as well. A computer engineering school provides students with the training and knowledge they need to pursue a successful computer engineering career.

What Is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineering focuses on solving programming problems, developing new software and hardware, and applying both algorithmic and object-oriented problem solving techniques. Understanding how data and computer structures work is a fundamental computer engineering course, and a computer engineering school prepares students with both the technical and theoretical aspects of the field as part of a computer engineering degree program. Computer engineering is used in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, industrial, media, and web development. A computer engineer may also choose to work in the field of programming and software development where they design processes from scratch. 

Job Description and Responsibilities of a Computer Engineer

A computer engineer is often responsible for:

  • Developing and designing communications systems
  • Developing networks
  • Maintaining system stability
  • Performing network modeling procedures and conducting research
  • Implementing new user interfaces and database systems
  • Designing programming tools or knowledge-based systems
  • Planning and testing both hardware and software

Typical Computer Engineering Careers

After completing training at a computer engineering school, certification in a specialized area of study is highly recommended. Specialization may involve acquiring key skills in a programming language or computer engineering course, and can help a graduate pursue a job in the highly competitive industry. The most common computer engineering careers include:

  • Data communications analysts

  • Telecommunications specialists

  • Database administrators

  • Computer scientists

  • Webmasters and web developers

A computer engineering degree provides students with the hands-on skills and applications they need to succeed in the industry. With the rapid advances and changes on the Internet, it is even more important for students to gain a firm understanding and continue their education throughout their career.

Data communications analysts and administrators work with database management software to make sure that all operations are running smoothly. They may also be involved with coordinating security efforts such as backup and restoration systems. Telecommunications specialists are focused on connectivity issues with computer and communications equipment, and may work on the design and implementation of data communication systems. Computer scientists may work as theorists, inventors, or simply as researchers. They are often involved with advanced levels of programming, and generally work in the private sector to create and design programming tools and knowledge-based systems. Webmasters and web developers are involved with the design and development of Web sites and servers. They are responsible for all technical aspects of the Web site, but may also work in the areas of web design and content creation.

Computer Engineering Technology Degree

A computer engineering technology degree provides students with a diverse range of subjects and specializations within the field. These degree programs are often a combination of computer science and engineering, but focus on consumer products and equipment. Training within this field may lead to a career in research, manufacturing, security, communications, or the medical industry.

Computer Engineering Courses, Training Programs, and Computer Engineering Degrees

Design and development of computer technology is the basis for all computer engineering degree programs, and each program may become specialized during the course of study. The most common computer engineering courses include:

  • Analytical Methods and Sciences in Mathematics
  • Signal Processing
  • Digital Circuits and Microprocessor
  • Software Design
  • Networks
  • Technology Accreditation

While a technical degree offers graduates a chance to pursue entry-level jobs, a degree can help open up opportunities for a long-term computer engineering career. Having strong problem-solving skills, understanding computer systems and technologies from the ground up, and developing innovative analytical skills are all helpful in securing a desirable position in the industry. Certification can be a supplement to a computer engineering degree program, providing specialization within a specific area. Many product vendors and software firms provide professional training options and certification, along with organizations focused on the development of computer specialists.

Computer engineering degrees and programs vary by region, but are commonly found as an extension of an engineering program or computer science department. The information technology department of many colleges and universities is often involved with developing the curriculum for computer engineering degrees, and online courses are also available.

Computer Engineering Degree Accreditation

Both online and on site computer engineering degree programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Education and Technology (ABET). This organization is also responsible for monitoring and certifying each branch of other engineering degree programs, and The Higher Learning Commission of each region may also be involved.

Future Employment Prospects and Earning Potential for a Computer Engineering Career

The fields of computer science and database administration are the largest sectors of computer engineering, and many firms employ graduates of computer engineering school as interns. The disaster recovery services and software installation divisions are growing, along with the World Wide Web and internet-related industries.  The government, universities, and manufacturers of computer products are additional sectors of the economy that have created a demand for skilled computer engineering professionals.

The demand for computer scientists and database administrators is expected to grow much faster than average through 2014, and all web-based and Internet positions are expected to be one of the fastest growing industries overall. With the rise in complex technology and sophisticated computer systems there will not be a shortage of attractive computer engineering careers across almost every industry.

The median salary for computer and information scientists was $85,190 in 2004, and $60,650 for database administrators in the same year.  Related occupations include:

  • Computer programmers

  • Mathematicians

  • Scientists

  • Computer and information systems managers

  • Computer technicians

  • Support specialists


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