Computer engineering is a branch of engineering that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic engineering required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering (or electrical engineering), software design, and hardware-software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering. Computer engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing, from the design of individual microcontrollers, microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design. This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work but also how they integrate into the larger picture.
Usual tasks involving computer engineers include writing software and firmware for embedded microcontrollers, designing VLSI chips, designing analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing operating systems. Computer engineers are also suited for robotics research, which relies heavily on using digital systems to control and monitor electrical systems like motors, communications, and sensors.
In many institutions of higher learning, computer engineering students are allowed to choose areas of in-depth study in their junior and senior year because the full breadth of knowledge used in the design and application of computers is beyond the scope of an undergraduate degree. Other institutions may require engineering students to complete one or two years of general engineering before declaring computer engineering as their primary focus.
Computer engineering is referred to as computer science and engineering at some universities. Most entry-level computer engineering jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering (or computer science and engineering). Typically, one must learn an array of mathematics such as calculus, algebra and trigonometry and some computer science classes. Sometimes a degree in electronic engineering is accepted, due to the similarity of the two fields. Because hardware engineers commonly work with computer software systems, a strong background in computer programming is necessary. According to BLS, “a computer engineering major is similar to electrical engineering but with some computer science courses added to the curriculum”. Some large firms or specialized jobs require a master’s degree.
It is also important for computer engineers to keep up with rapid advances in technology. Therefore, many continue learning throughout their careers. This can be helpful, especially when it comes to learning new skills or improving existing ones. For example, as the relative cost of fixing a bug increases the further along it is in the software development cycle, there can be greater cost savings attributed to developing and testing for quality code as soon as possible in the process, and particularly before release.
Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything touching our lives today, from the cars we drive to the movies we watch to the many ways we all interact with each other (not to mention with businesses and government).
Understanding the many facets of computing is a necessary skill for any educated person in the 21st century. Whether you want to create the next hot application or simply want to map your next big idea for the boss, studying computing will give you a competitive edge, the ability to solve complex problems, and a career that will never be obsolete.
To keep your career on the cutting edge and marketable in any business environment, consider the following reasons why studying computer engineering is a sound investment:
The digital age needs computer engineers
This is the Digital Age and computer programs have infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer Engineers theorize, design, develop, and apply the software and hardware for the programs we use day in day out. So, having computer engineers is pretty important. Computer engineers are the ones who have made our lives easy with every day innovation. Such a creative field it is, studying computer engineering helps you widen your creative horizon and provide solutions to the problems people haven’t thought about yet.
There are lots of jobs, and they are high paying
Computing jobs are the highest in number in terms of availability. There are hundreds of areas that a computer engineer can work at, and at every area making a difference. Astoundingly, they are among the high paying jobs in the world.
Excellent job satisfaction
That’s right! Money isn’t the only bonus to getting a job in Computer Science or IT. This sector has one of the highest rates of job satisfaction around. A recent study in the UK found that the job satisfaction in IT is double than that of the national average for other work sectors. Two of the major reasons are the freedom of work they have and the flexibility of work they are provided with.
Opportunities for true creativity and innovation
Computer engineering is about much more than programming; it is about inventing and building solutions. A computer engineer is an artist whose canvas may be a smartphone or PC display and whose paints and brushes are programming languages and development environments. Can you now imagine a world without Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter? All of these were created by some college students, and you know who. With a major in computer engineering degree, only sky is the limit.
Limitless future opportunities
It’s true that the computer engineers will transform what the Internet will be like in the next 20 years. Like the rest of infrastructure, the Internet will eventually seem to disappear by becoming ubiquitous. Developing the Internet of Things (IoT) will require specialized skills and computing expertise. By 2030, so many everyday items, appliances, and vehicles will be online that their numbers will far exceed the Earth’s population. And of course, making these networks of devices sufficiently robust and resilient will be a challenge for current and future computer engineers. People’s dependency on computers and devices will increase so much that the computer engineers will have so many things to do.
So, if you are considering to study computer engineering, you are making the right decision. The future awaits innovative engineers like you who can transform the world and make things easier for people. There will be a time when everything will be digitized, and everything will be easily possible – and computer engineers like you will make that possible.