Career Information for a Degree in Computer Engineering

Mar 14, 2019

A degree in computer engineering can lead to work in the information technology (IT) sector. Computer engineers are involved with designing and testing computer hardware and software. With a degree in computer engineering, individuals may be qualified to work in computer hardware engineering, computer software engineering or database engineering.

Career Information for a Degree in Computer Engineering

Computer engineers develop computer equipment (hardware) and programs (software). Computer engineering bachelor's degree programs teach students to solve theoretical and technical problems, apply math and science to computer design and creatively address new challenges in the IT field. Students also learn the scientific method and its applications, including experimentation, hypothesis design and creation of working models. A bachelor's degree in computer engineering can lead to careers in computer hardware and software engineering, as well as database engineering.

Computer Hardware Engineer Computer Software Engineer Database Engineer
Education Bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering or computer science Bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering Bachelor's degree in management information systems (MIS) or computer-related field
Job Duties Create and manage hardware systems Develop and maintain software programs Store and organize data
Median Salary (2017)* $115,120 $101,790 (applications); $107,600 (systems software) $87,020 (database administrators)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 5% growth 24% growth (all software developers) 11% growth (database administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers are responsible for creating and managing the hardware systems that run computers. These include printers, modems, disk drives and routers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer hardware engineers face a challenging job market in the coming years due to the bulk of innovation in the IT industry coming through software developments rather than hardware. Only a 5% percent employment increase is expected from 2016-2026, which is slower than the average for all occupations. However, well-qualified computer hardware engineers should still be able to secure quality employment, and these professionals earned a median salary of $115,120 as of May 2017, per the BLS.

Computer Software Engineer

Computer software engineers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of the complex computer software systems that make modern workers more productive and provide more options for entertainment. Qualified computer software engineers and developers should enjoy a large expected employment growth rate in coming years due to the ongoing technology boom, with a 24% increase in jobs projected from 2016-2026. Software developers working on applications earned a median of $101,790 as of May 2017, reported the BLS, and developers working on systems software earned a median of $107,600 in that same year.

Database Engineer

Database engineers and administrators are responsible for handling the immense amount of information that passes through modern computer systems. These professionals use their analytical skills to devise technology solutions to problems of data storage, retrieval and use. Database administrators were expected to experience average employment growth as new storage technologies fuel the need for qualified professionals. Jobs are expected to increase by 11% from 2016-2026. The median salary for database engineers and administrators was $87,020 as of May 2017, per the BLS.

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