Computer engineering is one of the fastest growing courses in the past 20 years and easily one of the most exciting fields involving computers. Thanks to the huge popularity of computers, the skills, knowledge base and expertise of computer engineers are in high demand. These days, for nearly every electronic gadget and equipment there is, it’s a safe bet that at least one computer engineer was involved in its making. Should you consider a career in this field?

What computer engineers do
Computer engineers develop, design, run and test computer software and hardware. They are also responsible for developing, designing and testing computer-based devices, equipment and components. Computer engineers also ensure that computer systems work seamlessly with their corresponding hardware and they may also be in charge of designing computer networks.

Becoming a computer engineer
There are two ways a student can pursue a computer engineering degree: one is to enroll in a course leading to a bachelor of science degree with a major in computer engineering and another is to take up engineering technology. The only difference is that a degree in engineering technology will not qualify the student to become a certified professional engineer.

Students may also opt to take an associate’s degree, provided they have sufficient credits in math and science. After completing their course, students may then decide to go further and receive their bachelor’s degrees. From there, they can choose to complete their graduate courses through a Master’s degree and a Doctorate.

Students of computer engineering need a solid background in mathematics and the sciences, including chemistry and physics. Often, high school students hoping to become computer engineers in the future will find it helpful to take classes in advanced mathematics before they enter their freshman year at college.

Computer engineering courses are offered at both brick and mortar colleges and through online learning systems, the latter being more popular with professionals looking to expand their skills or build a second career.

Why a computer engineering career is rewarding
Computer engineering is such a popular course because it affords its graduates with a certain amount of independence in terms of projects they could work on. Computer engineers often have sufficient training to work on projects in diverse fields – medicine, manufacturing, production, transportation, telecommunications, business, product development and even consumer goods.

Computer engineers also enjoy partnerships with designers, developers and engineers from other disciplines. Their projects can range from developing seemingly trivial functions to producing programs and applications that can be used for national and even international networks. This is why computer engineers can pretty much choose what they work on and where they work. They have the privilege to innovate, improve and start new trends in technologies.

Opportunities in employment
The technical skills required for a computer engineering career varies widely, depending on the industry, employer and type of job available. In general, though, computer engineers need to have:

– sufficient knowledge in programming languages
– sufficient skills and knowledge in building computer systems
– knowledge in designing software
– knowledge in coding, testing and testing procedures
– broad understanding of operating systems and their compatibility with available software
– understanding of networking
– understanding of computer security
– strong desire to solve problems and improve upon what’s already made available

The changing landscape of the workplace, along with the light speed progress of technology makes a computer engineering career quite attractive. People who take this career path will find a very rewarding field where each challenge is a chance to learn and grow as a professional.

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