Computer engineers can turn yesterday's science fiction into today's reality. Computers and related technology are now must-haves, from tablets and related apps to satellites and space travel.
Bachelor's degrees in computer engineering can prepare you for careers anywhere computers are used. Studies promote not only technical expertise but also problem-solving, analytical, interpersonal and business skills to prepare you for the wide range of industries that depend on information technology.
Curriculum for bachelor's degrees in computer engineering
Bachelor's degrees in computer engineering cover quantitative and scientific subjects such as calculus, microeconomics, physics and statistics. The curriculum includes topics like these:
- Computer and network forensics
- Computer system and system software design
- Database management
- Digital circuits analysis and design
- Engineering concepts
- Methods and data structures
- Operating systems and networks
- Programming languages such as C, C++ and Java
Project management courses can be useful because high-tech projects are often collaborative. It's wise to take advantage of internships and cooperative education opportunities if they are available.
Computer engineering career options, outlook and salaries
Bachelor's degrees in computer engineering can lead to careers in robotics, fiber optics, data communications, networking, image processing, multimedia, information security, aeronautical navigation, wireless communications, mobile computing or artificial intelligence. Those with strong business skills as well as tech savvy can become computer systems analysts.
While many computer-related careers are expanding, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that computer hardware engineers are likely to experience slower than average job growth, partly because innovation is now centered on software rather than hardware. The BLS reports these median annual salaries from 2010 for related careers, shown with job growth projections between 2010 and 2020:
- Computer hardware engineers: $98,810; 9 percent
- Computer and information systems managers: $115,780; 18 percent
- Computer systems analysts: $77,740; 22 percent
- Information security analysts and computer network architects: $75,660; 22 percent
- Network and computer systems administrators: $69,160; 28 percent
- Software developers: $90,530; 30 percent
Some positions require training or experience beyond the four-year degree; for example, IT managers need five or more years working in the field. Master's and doctoral degrees can help you move into academic or industry research, management and teaching.
Whether you're looking for professional development or are just beginning your educational journey, computer engineering coursework is available online to help you build a career and program your future while keeping your current obligations.