Computer Engineering degrees are in high demand. Deciding whether this is the right degree choice for you depends on your understanding of what this degree program offers in terms of skills training. Not everyone understands exactly what types of courses are involved in these programs or what computer engineers do in their professions. So what exactly does a computer engineering degree teach you to do? Will you be learning how to design hardware, software, or both? The answers to these question can help you determine whether this is the right degree program for you.

A Degree that Combines Two Technical Disciplines

Computer Engineering degree programs combine the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. In some cases, an electrical engineering degree combined with courses in computer science suffices to work in the field.

What does a Computer Engineer do exactly?

Computer Engineers design new computer hardware, test and analyze hardware, update computer systems so that they will work with new software, and create new computer software. Jobs in the computer engineering field also include other computer-related work ranging from robotics to cryptography. Engineers often work with teams, including non-technical support team members, to solve problems and to make breakthroughs in technology. Much of the work takes place in research laboratories. The majority of available jobs in this field are in computer and electronics manufacturing, and computer systems design. A small number of government jobs can be obtained in computer engineering.

Choosing an Area of Study

During the Junior and Senior years of this degree program, a student typically chooses their areas of in-depth study. Because of the large scope of the discipline, narrowing down to a specialized field of study is necessary. During the sophomore year, take the time to determine whether you are more interested in designing hardware or software. Students interested in both will likely need to take more courses to complete training in both specialties. Deciding on the sort of work you would like to do as a computer engineer is important so that you can choose the appropriate classes as part of your coursework.

Other Areas of Computer Engineering Study

Computer Engineering programs include specialties like robotics, communications and wireless networks, operating systems, coding, cryptography, and embedded systems.

Skills and Qualities Needed For this Career

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook points out that the type of person who would be best suited for this career is creative with strong analytical skills, good critical thinking and problem solving skills, and good speaking skills. Many Computer Engineer jobs can be obtained with a Bachelor’s Degree, but some require a Master’s degree.

Becoming a computer engineer takes several years of training, sometimes up to six, but offers a career in an industry that is always expanding and changing. People who have the right qualities that it takes to succeed in this field, and take the courses needed for a high level of expertise in their chosen niche, will find that this competitive field provides lifelong satisfaction for those who enjoy creatively solving problems using cutting edge technology.