Computer engineering majors learn science, mathematics, computer science, engineering and statistics to analyze, design, and develop computer hardware and software. A computer engineer is involved in any field that requires hardware, software, and computer networks, which in modern society entails a broad range of professional fields. Requiring problem solving and analytical skills, conceptual thinking, management skills, and people skills, computer engineering professionals work in areas like artificial intelligence, aeronautics, healthcare technology, automotive technology, control systems, hardware and software design, and remote sensing systems.
Classes and Assignments of a Computer Engineering Major
Basic computer engineering required courses include electrical circuitry, computer science, information science, programming, statistics, discrete mathematics, and data types and structures. Computer engineering concentrations usually coincide with computer science requirements or electrical engineering programs. Lecture and laboratory course work is intended to train students in modern engineering, math, science, and engineering for application in digital hardware and corresponding software design.
Degree Levels for a Computer Engineering Major
- Associate. Online associate computer engineering degrees may be adequate for some computer software engineering positions, but most computer hardware engineering positions require a bachelor's or master's degree. Associate's degree students may be required to take basic programming, discrete mathematics, system architecture, and information science courses.
- Bachelor's. Online bachelors computer engineering degrees provide a broad understanding of computer engineering that is applicable to a range of areas, such as computer applications, computer systems engineering, or computer programming in commercial, industrial, military, or scientific fields, or for concentration in an advanced academic degree. Bachelor's degree students may be required to study solid state engineering, object-oriented programming, algorithm design and analysis, artificial intelligence, and information systems.
- Master's. Online masters computer engineering degrees offer further concentrations in computer design and architecture, embedded systems and robotics, networking and communications, high performance computing applications, and instrumentation and circuits. Managerial positions in computer engineering fields may require a master's degree.
- Doctoral. A computer engineering doctoral student conducts theoretical and empirical studies and independent research, and prepares for a career in academia, government or industry. A doctoral degree in computer engineering will open senior positions in research and development, as well as opportunities to teach the subject on a university level.
A Future as a Computer Engineering Major
Whether developing automotive or computer application software, designing multicore, mobile hardware or graphics processors, drone, weapon, or satellite systems, or creating security systems for banking, health, or other professional records, a computer engineering job is essential to the function of modern society. With annual mean wages between $98,570 and $128,380 for computer hardware engineers and $72,060 to $105,750 for computer programmers (annual mean wages vary depending on industry as reported by the BLS), computer engineers are in one of the top fields for average wages.
While computer hardware engineer jobs are expected to have a slower growth average than other engineering occupations (4%), software engineering employment is expected to grow much faster than average at 32%, predicting excellent job prospects for computer engineers in the future, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.