Computer engineers are the people behind the hardware and software that run today's computer systems. They're the brains who do everything from designing and developing to testing and installing.
Earning associate degrees in computer engineering
Associate degrees in computer engineering could cover computer and object-oriented programming, data structures, microprocessor and digital electronic design, network configuration, and more. Of course, general education courses are not out of the question, such as English, economics or technical writing.
An internship can boost your education and improve your chances for employment after graduation, according to an article entitled "Internships Provide Real-World Training" posted on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, website.
Computer engineering job outlook and salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects minimal growth for electrical and electronics engineering technicians and average growth for computer support specialists between 2008 and 2018. Median incomes in 2010 for these careers available with an associate degree in computer engineering were:
- Electrical & electronics engineering technicians: $56,690
- Computer support specialist: $49,930
Computer engineering professionals -- technicians, technologists, and engineers -- generally work as a team to solve computer-related problems and implement solutions. Qualifications for different positions vary:
- Associate degrees in computer engineering technology can lead to computer engineering technician or computer support specialist positions or can help you transition to a four-year computer engineering degree.
- A bachelor's degree in computer engineering technology is generally needed by computer engineering technologists.
- A bachelor's degree in computer engineering is the most common entry level education for a computer engineer.
Computer engineering career options
Nearly 50 percent of computer engineers have a bachelor's degree and 25 percent have a master's degree, according to Department of Labor data. Master's degrees are available with specializations in architecture and systems, computer networks, and software engineering; some programs are specifically designed for working professionals who want to increase their knowledge or move into management.
If you want to contribute new knowledge to the field of computer science and engineering through research and publication or teach tomorrow's computer engineers, a Doctor of Philosophy in computer science and engineering can prepare you for leadership and research roles in academia and industry.
According to IEEE, hot 2012 skills for computer engineers include mobile, data, cloud and user engagement technologies. To learn these and other skills, consider one of the many convenient online degree programs, and get started on your computer engineering career today.