Computer engineering technology degree programs are more widely offered in on-campus formats, but some schools make them available via distance learning through hybrid and fully online programs. Students who have already earned a related associate's degree may find degree-completion programs, allowing them to complete only two additional years of coursework in order to earn a bachelor's degree. Computer engineering technology programs cover a combination of information technology, computer science and engineering topics, such as DC circuits, computer programming, algorithms and computer hardware. Master's degrees are also available for those looking to advance their education. This degree level requires students to already have a bachelor's degree prior to admittance.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology
A bachelor's degree in computer engineering technology prepares students for entry into a broad range of career tracks. With an understanding of both computer hardware and software, graduates can work in manufacturing, consumer products, communications, research and even national defense. Specific knowledge areas include digital systems, electronics theory, computer science and microprocessor design, as well as the skills to design and evaluate software and hardware systems. Students entering an online bachelor's program in computer engineering technology must have basic computer literacy and be ready to study college-level algebra.
Program Information and Requirements
Computer engineering programs may offer students a choice of fully online coursework or a hybrid of online and in-class work. Programs are generally designed to correspond to a standard quarter or semester system, but some provide an accelerated version. Students interact with their instructor and classmates via e-mail and live chat, and they submit assignments online. Coursework and materials are accessible over the Internet any time of day throughout the week.
Typical technical requirements include a computer with high-speed Internet access, e-mail and a browser, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Free plug-ins, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash Player and Java 1.5, can be downloaded from the Web. Some systems might require a microphone and Web camera, in addition to graphics and sound cards, headset and speakers.
Online undergraduate students take a core computer engineering technology curriculum, along with general education classes, to earn a bachelor's degree. Some programs integrate business studies with technology to create a real-world context for a computer engineering career.
Architecture of Microprocessors
Microprocessors are the basic unit of electronic systems. In this course, students learn about microprocessor assembly and function and the vocabulary related to microprocessors.
Digital Electronics Lab
Hardware descriptive language, logic gates, Boolean algebra and codes are among the fundamental concepts taught in this online class. This background provides a foundation for advanced computer engineering technology classes.
Designing Database Systems
Students learn about accessing and implementing relational databases using structured query language (SQL). The class also teaches how to combine SQL with Java and C++, which are more advanced language systems.
The course examines the protocol and design of networks, and students analyze the performance of wide and local area networks. Other considerations of this course include noise effects and transmission methods.
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Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Computer engineers invent, test and develop computer hardware and use skills in problem-solving, creativity, teamwork and leadership. They need advanced knowledge in myriad aspects of computer technology, such as software and hardware systems integration, information security, VLSI (very large scale integration) chips and embedded microcontrollers. Online coursework takes students through a progression of such topics and more, leading to a global understanding of technology. Research, design projects and class discussion provide students with practice opportunities, and some programs offer thesis options. A bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science or a related field is required to enter the master's program.
Program Information and Requirements
Master's programs in computer engineering are typically offered fully online, so professionals can continue working regular hours. Students complete distance-learning programs at their own pace, which means it can take 2-5 years to complete. Classes are typically presented via streaming video or pre-recorded lectures with assignments and discussions delivered through e-mail or chat. Tests may be taken through the student's place of employment or administered online.
Students need a computer with high-speed Internet access and e-mail. Matrix Laboratory (MATLAB), which is a computing environment and program language, may be required or recommended, along with printed textbooks. Students have access to school libraries and technical support.
Computer engineering students take a core curriculum and usually select a specialty. Some specialty options are microelectronics and nanotechnology, robotics, information security and digital electronics.
This online graduate course covers such topics as clock and data recovery circuits, receiver and transmitter architecture and phase-locked loops and mixers. Students learn about circuit functionality and performance using advanced VLSI tools.
Information System Security
The class examines options for network and computer security, including attack-and-protect mechanisms and cryptography. Students debate ethical and legal security issues online.
This advanced online course teaches the design of algorithms for high-performance computing. Computational biology, particle-based methods and Monte Carlo are some applications that use algorithms.
Designing Embedded Systems
Embedded systems, included in a larger computer system, are devices created for a specific task. Students look at microprocessors, interfaces and memory, as well as their designs, performance and real-time controls.
Many avenues of employment exist for graduates with a bachelor's degree, including research, manufacturing and commercial industries. PayScale.com reported in 2016 that software engineers with a computer engineering technology bachelor's degree could expect to earn a median yearly salary of $75,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth for software developers to be much faster than average at 17% between 2014 and 2024, in part due to intense demand. Growth areas were expected be in systems design and computer services.
Computer engineers with a master's degree may find employment in industrial, commercial, military and government settings. Researcher and manufacturing supervisor are among the specific positions held by computer engineers with master's degrees. The BLS reported that 75,870 computer hardware engineers were employed in 2015. Their median annual wage was $111,730.
Continuing Education Information
The industry requires professionals to keep up with fast-changing technology, so continuing education is a must. Computer engineering courses are offered individually, and professional development certificates are available. These options are offered online as well as on-campus.
Both Bachelor of Science degree programs in computer engineering technology and Master of Science degree programs in computer engineering may be found in hybrid or fully online formats. Some bachelor' programs are designed for students who already have an associate's degree, and take less time to complete.