Computer engineering master's degree program requirements vary depending on whether or not a student decides to pursue a thesis. Students pursuing a thesis typically take courses in research methods. Other possibilities for computer engineering graduate programs include completing an advanced project or a coursework-only curriculum. These master's programs can offer concentration options in areas such as hardware, software or theory. In order to apply, students will need a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or related field, or undergraduate study in relevant computer engineering coursework
Master's Degree in Computer Engineering
These programs typically contain theoretical and practical coursework in computer systems. While the core courses highlight the major systems, elective courses can focus on specific principles in areas like processing or security. Students learn through classes, labs and clinical experiences. Courses may include:
- Operating systems
- Computer architecture
- Digital signal processing
- Intelligent systems
Popular Career Options
Computer engineers can work in a variety of service and manufacturing industries where the development and design of computer software and hardware is required. Computer engineers can work in research and development, computer systems design, software publishing and electrical component manufacturing. Some possible career options include:
- Systems engineer
- Hardware engineer
- Software engineer
- Program analysts
- Business systems analysts
Computer hardware engineers, for instance, earned a median annual income of $111,730, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015. Employment is expected to increase by three percent during the 2014-2024 decade.
Voluntary certification is available through certifying agencies and software vendors and can help computer engineering professionals demonstrate proficiency in certain products to prospective employers. Individuals interested in obtaining employment in research or academia may consider continuing their education to the doctoral level through Ph.D. in Computer Engineering programs.
When applying to master's degree programs in computer engineering, students should consider whether they want to take a thesis or non-thesis option. Students can pursue a variety of specializations in either option, based on their specific interests and career goals.