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Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is a discipline that combines several fields of computer science and electric engineering required to develop computer software and hardware. They typically have training in software design, electronic engineering, and software-hardware integration. The field looks at how computer systems work and how they integrate into the larger picture. While some institutions require engineering students to take one year in General Engineering before declaring a major in computer engineering, others may make students wait until their junior or senior years to declare their major.

Program Information

Carnegie Mellon University is one of the top computer engineering programs in the country. The curriculum encompasses the entire study of computation and how it is applicable to real world situations. The Electrical and Computer Engineering degree requires students to complete 379 units, including 75 General Education Requirement units, 111 units in Mathematics, Science and Computer Programming, and 48 units for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Core, which includes Introduction to Computer Systems, Signals and Systems, and Electronic Devices and Analog Circuits. The University of California San Diego also has an excellent degree program. The Bachelor of Science Computer Engineering program provides students with a strong foundation in physics, methodology, mathematics, electrical engineering, computer programming and organization skills, and methodology and skills. The upper division core courses look at the design and theory of computer hardware, algorithms, and computer software. The program encompasses the study of data storage, assembly languages, computer architecture, hardware design, and the design of computers for engineering. Students should take the CSE Advisory Exam to decide what class to begin with. This exam will help determine the amount of programming experience each student has.

computer eng student

Pros & Cons

Students with a computer engineering bachelor’s degree possess the expertise and discipline to be excellent entry-level computer engineers, and can get valuable experience within the industry this way. A bachelor’s degree in computer engineering also provides important academic preparation for possible entry into a Master’s program. Job opportunities should continue to grow as software systems continue to develop and the number of products that require software increase. The coursework can be demanding and will require a lot of hard work and studying. Sometimes certain aspects of the field can be negatively affected by foreign competition. You also may have to work overtime to solve urgent and unexpected computer problems that need to be fixed as soon as possible.

Graduate School & Career

Here are some possible career choices for students who have an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer engineering:

  • Computer Software Engineers – responsible for developing and designing a company’s software. They test and develop computer system functions and software applications through the application of mathematical principles and computer science.
  • Computer Programmer – they write the software’s program by converting a software’s design into a series of instructions which make it easier for a computer to carry out the program. They also repair, update, modify, and expand current software.
  • Design Engineer – they develop and design newer company products presented by managers or markets within a corporation or company. They also analyze current and important trends as well as emerging technologies in a company’s sector. They establish production methods to help factories successfully mass produce new products.