A Career as a Computer Engineer

Morgan Ward

Career Overview

Computer engineer's design and test computer hardware and software.

Computer engineers are part of a team of workers who develop computer equipment and programs. They use their knowledge of math and science. They also help solve technical problems.

Before starting a project computer engineers talk to clients to find out more about their needs. They also learn about the time line, security needs, and cost limitations.

Engineers monitor systems and repair those that are not functioning properly. Hardware and software engineers work together to make sure that the client’s computer hardware can handle the use of the new software.

Career Skills and Interests

You need to listen to others and ask questions, express ideas clearly when speaking, and read and understand work-related materials.

Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, use reasoning to discover answers to problems, combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions, analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and use math skills to solve problems

Manage the time of self and others,and check how well one is learning or doing something. Also change behavior in relation to others’ actions.

You also need to determine the causes of technical problems and find solutions for them,determine the tools and equipment needed to do a job, analyze needs and requirements when designing products, and write computer programs

Career Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, computer engineers you almost always work as part of a team of engineers, communicate by e-mail, phone, and in person on a daily basis, have a medium level of social contact, they meet with clients and staff, but also spend time alone designing systems, and have some responsibility for the work done by others. You Always work indoors and may share office space with others.

You must make sure that all details are performed and are completed accurately. Errors could cause computer systems to malfunction, regularly make decisions that impact clients and their company's reputation. They rarely consult a supervisor before deciding a course of action, and set nearly all their daily tasks and goals without consulting another, must meet strict weekly and monthly deadlines.

For hours and travel you will work 40 hours per week and may work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or solve a problem for a client. You generally work a set schedule.

Career Wages and Outlook

For an out look the 10 year growth is faster than average, and the annual openings are very high.

Wages vary by employer and specialty. The engineer's level of experience, training, and responsibility also affect wages.

Computer engineers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan and stock options.

Hourly Wage- $37.61

Salary Wage- $78,230

Career Related Occupations

The occupations listed below may have similar work duties, use similar skills, be in the same career ladder, have a similar level of education, or be related in another way.

  • Aerospace Engineers
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Computer Programmers
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Database Administrators
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Geo spatial Information Scientists and Technologists
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists
  • Robotics Engineers
  • Validation Engineers
  • Web Developers
  • Program of Study- Computer Engineer

    Program Overview

    Computer engineering programs prepare people to use math and science to design and operate computer systems.

    Computer engineering programs include topics such as, circuit and chip design, computer science, computer layout planning, computer theory, verification and validation, discrete mathematics, and probability and statistics

    In computer engineering programs, students may be able to specialize in computer software engineering or computer hardware engineering

    Program Admission

    You should be taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

    Here is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

    • Biology
    • Calculus
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science and Programming
    • English Composition
    • Physics

    Program Typical Course Work

    This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

    • Algorithm Design and Analysis
    • Calculus
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Architecture
    • Computer Networks
    • Data and File Structures
    • Digital Electronics
    • Discrete Mathematical Structures
    • Electronic Circuits
    • Engineering Physics
    • English Composition
    • Hardware Engineering
    • Introduction to Computer Science
    • Linear Algebra
    • Linear Differential Equations
    • Mechanics
    • Microcomputer-Based System Design
    • Operating System Design
    • Senior Design Project
    • Software Engineering
    • Statistics

    Graduate study in this field typically includes:

    • Required courses
    • Master's thesis (which usually takes the form of a significant project)
    • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
    • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)

    Related Programs

    The Programs of Study listed below are similar or related to Computer Engineering.

    • Applied Mathematics
    • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
    • Chemistry
    • Computational Mathematics
    • Computer Engineering Technology
    • Computer Programming
    • Computer Science
    • Computer Systems Analysis
    • Computer Systems Networking and Administration
    • Computer Systems Technology
    • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology
    • Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering
    • Engineering
    • Engineering Physics
    • Engineering Technology, General
    • Engineering, General
    • Informatics
    • Information Technology
    • Pre-Engineering

    Schools that Offer my Program of Study

    St. Cloud State University

    Minnesota State University

    College Choice
    St. Cloud State University

    College Info

    • Size and Location- St. Cloud State University is located in St. Cloud with about 16,413 undergraduate students that attend.
    • Admission Requirements- About 85% of all applications are accepted. On average your high school GPA  should be 3.12 and score between 18-23 on your ACT.
    • College Expenses- Tuition:$7,553  Books and Supplies: $1,200  Room and Board:7,560
    • Financial Aid- Grants and Scholarships-  Need-based scholarships and grants: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Privately-sponsored scholarships and grants, School-sponsored scholarships and grants, State-sponsored scholarships and grants

               Merit-based scholarships and grants: School-sponsored scholarships in                        academics. School-sponsored scholarships in art, School-sponsored                              scholarships in special achievements, School-sponsored scholarships for                      special characteristics

    • Housing- Dorms or apartments are available. The dorms are co-ed, men only, or women only. First come first serve.
    • Activities- St. Cloud is part of the NCAA they have tons of sports to choose from and they have scholarships available for certain sports.

    Informational Interview- Equipment Engineer

    1. Briefly record your thoughts and feelings about the workplace and the person you just visited.

    The work place was very cool and organized, they have a clean room where the discs are actually made and you have to wear a white suit and be completely covered to even go in this room. The people there seem really funny and they all seem to get along which is important.

    2. What did you learn in the interview?

    To explore you options because there are tons of similar jobs that make a company work.

    3.What did you like? What didn't you like?

    I like the people and that it was a professional workplace. I didn't like that the job seemed very stressful and tiring.

    4.Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation?

    That you may have to travel with this occupation and that you may be handling chemicals that could harm you.

    5.What advice did you receive?

    There are so many different jobs in this area so I should be able to find a job that fits me perfectly.

    6.Did you discover another occupation to explore?


    7. How was the work environment?

    The work place was very clean and organized.

    8.Do you think you would be happy in this occupation?


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