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Master of Science in Computer Engineering: Online Degree

Dec 03, 2019

Get info about online master's degree programs in computer engineering. Learn about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Many schools offer Master of Science in Computer Engineering degree programs that can be completed entirely through online study. Other programs combine online learning with traditional on-campus coursework.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or a related area as they build on fundamental skills. Courses cover topics such as network security and software development. Students may be required to develop a thesis. An up-to-date operating system will be needed.

Graduates can work in many positions and may be qualified to seek professional certification, which many employers like to see. They can also pursue doctoral studies.

Master of Science in Computer Engineering

Through an online Master of Science in Computer Engineering program, participants explore methods for improving the performance of computers, making computers secure and creating software applications. Computer engineering programs may be offered in conjunction with electrical engineering and feature concentrations, such as network engineering. Most programs require that applicants have a background in computer science or computer engineering through the completion of a bachelor's degree program. Students with undergraduate work in other areas may have to complete prerequisite courses.

Information and Requirements

It typically takes about two years to complete the online master's degree in computer engineering. In addition to completing courses and engaging in lectures, students must write a master's thesis and take qualifying exams. The online programs cover the same material as the on-campus programs, but use webcasts, CDs, DVDs, videotapes and videoconferencing. Enrollees access the lectures, assignments, quizzes and exams, as well as interact with their classmates online. Hybrid classes combining online and on-campus courses are available.

To take part in online programs efficiently, students must have high-speed internet access, headphones or speakers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, a CD or DVD drive, a printer and Microsoft Office. Additionally, students need an up-to-date operating system, current web browser and e-mail application.

Common Coursework

The master's degree program doesn't have general education requirements, but builds on the skills students acquire at the undergraduate level. Scholars learn to solve computer problems and design hardware and software programs that can improve a computer's efficiency and capabilities. Some courses students may complete in this program include the following.

Wireless Networking

Participants explore wireless communications, protocol issues, different infrastructures and wireless network structures. They also identify methods for transmitting wireless signals.

Modeling and Evaluating Computer Performance

In this class, learners use statistics and performance data to identify and fix computer problems. They learn about hardware and software connections that can slow down or improve computer performance.

Electromechanical Systems

This class addresses the principles of converging electromagnetic energy and provides insight into the types of machines that use it. Pupils analyze design techniques and solve design problems.


Career Information

Graduates can become computer programmers, computer hardware engineers or computer software engineers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that between 2018 and 2028, employment would increase by 6% for computer hardware engineers, decline by 7% for computer programmers, grow 26% for computer software applications developers and 10% for systems software developers (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, the median annual salary was $114,600 for computer hardware engineers, $110,000 for systems software developers, $84,280 for computer programmers and $103,620 for applications software developers.

Continuing Education Information

Voluntary certification is available for computer engineers and computer programmers through associations and software vendors. It can improve graduates' employment opportunities and salary prospects. Certification can also lead to career advancement. Additionally, graduates wishing to further their education for academia or research pursuits can complete a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering. Doctoral degree programs include a dissertation and graduate research, and some programs are available online.

Online master's degree programs in computer engineering give students knowledge of systems, networks, hardware and software. These programs prepare graduates for a number of job roles in the field, such as software or hardware engineers, developers or programmers.

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