Best Computer Science Schools Your Complete Guide to Getting a Degree in Computer Science Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best Computer Science Schools 32 32 What Are the Requirements for a Career in Big Data? Tue, 31 Oct 2017 03:27:49 +0000 What Are the Requirements for a Career in Big Data?Read More »


What Are the Requirements for a Career in Big Data?

There are plenty of excellent reasons to look toward a career in big data—lucrative salaries, strong growth rates, and plenty of ways to create a specialized niche for yourself in a secondary area of interest.

But it takes time, commitment, and perseverance to find success in this industry. You’ll typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in big data. We can help: See some of the top options in our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees and Best Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees.

Here's what else you'll need to be successful in a big data career.

Personality Traits

Big data is, at its core, an analytical field. To be successful in big data, you’ll need to have strong math skills, keen attention to detail, and the ability to think carefully and logically through problems.

Many aspects of data analysis will require the professional to start with a problem or question that needs to be answered. The data analyst must be able to think about this question in the full context of their organization and industry, and develop a strategy to answer it.

This process will include determining what data to examine and how to collect it; deciding how the data will be analyzed; and implementing a technical means to carry out those plans. The results will then need to be carefully reviewed for errors, analyzed for patterns, and disseminated to technical and non-technical audiences.

The various aspects of an analyst's work incorporate skills in statistics, computer science, research design, and communication. It requires patience, precision, and the ability to adapt to new problems. All of these skills are necessary to fulfill the job requirements of a data analyst or data scientist.

Education Requirements

Nearly all occupations in big data will require a bachelor’s degree. Whether you plan to work as a data architect, data visualization engineer, or analytics manager, you’ll typically need a four-year degree from an accredited university before you land your first job in the industry.

It’s worth noting, however, that the degree doesn’t necessarily need to be in a data analytics field. Many big data professionals began their career with a bachelor’s degree in economics, social science, business, computer engineering, or another discipline.

The key components of big data are applied mathematics, practical computer science, and statistical techniques. Any degree program that provides a strong foundation in those core areas can lead to a job in big data.

Some jobs will require a master’s degree, particularly managerial positions. For data scientists or other big data professionals working in a supervisory role, you may earn a master’s degree within data analysis, or a more business-oriented degree. An M.B.A. in Business Analytics provides an excellent balance of business, leadership, and data science emphasis.

Doctorate degrees are generally not required except for top-level supervisory positions at major firms, or for university professors with an interest in big data research.

Certifications and Credentials

While not required, there are a number of certifications that you may wish to pursue. Earning one or more certification that’s relevant to your field can hone your professional skills and greatly increase your value to possible employers.

Some certifications are associated with a significant bump in earning potential. The average salary for a big data analytics professional with a Google Analytics Certification is $96,745. For professionals with a Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) certification, the average pay is $119,592 per year.

A Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute is one of the most potentially lucrative credentials a data scientist can earn. This certification can raise the average expected salary up to $136,495 per year.

What Are the Specializations Within Big Data? Tue, 31 Oct 2017 03:12:06 +0000 What Are the Specializations Within Big Data?Read More »


What Are the Specializations Within Big Data?

The methods and techniques for analyzing big data can be applied to any sector, industry, or area that involves a significant amount of digital information. In the modern world, that encompasses nearly everything.

If you already know where you plan to specialize, head over to our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees and Best Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees. If you’re not sure what your specialization will be, you’re in the right place.

Specializations within big data are available based not just on where the data comes from, but on what the student or professional does with it.

For example, data architects might be most concerned with storing and managing data for a particular organization. Data analysts might focus on finding patterns within the data to create predictive models. And data security specialists may work closely with network and database administrators to prevent damage and theft of critical information.

These different career paths are reflected by the divisions within big data degree programs. At many colleges and universities, some of these specializations are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. While all of these concentrations won’t be available at a single university, you can keep these potential specializations in mind while you investigate your college options.

Even if a degree program doesn’t formally offer a certain concentration, you can often opt to take multiple electives within your area of interest. We’ve included sample course titles within each specialization so you know what to look for.

Database management

A concentration in database management teaches students to develop, implement, troubleshoot, and maintain database systems. Graduates will be prepared to oversee platform upgrades and hardware and software installation.

Courses within this concentration might include Large-Scale Data Storage Systems; Databases and Knowledge Bases; and Database Administration with Oracle.


Cybersecurity experts anticipate and protect against digital threats to trade and military secrets, customer data, and financial details. Graduates may be employed by government agencies, corporations, and other organizations with sensitive data.

Courses include Data Security, Privacy, and Ethics; Computer Systems Security; and Encryption and Authentication Systems Data Modeling.

Business Intelligence and Analytics

These programs often blend the curriculum for marketing or consumer research with mathematics and statistics courses. Graduates will be well versed in business theory and best practices as well as technical data analysis strategies.

Courses in Business intelligence and Analytics include Advanced Marketing Analysis; Use of Business Intelligence; and Global Marketing Management.

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Students with a specialization in computational biology or bioinformatics will learn to use mathematical modeling and computer-based simulation to study many different types of systems. This concentration has considerable overlap with fields such as anatomy, molecular biology, genomics, neuroscience, chemistry, animation, and more.

Courses commonly include Mathematics for Data Scientists; Introduction to Computational Biology; and Data Systems in the Life Sciences.

Project Management

A specialization in Project Management is ideal for students who plan to work as an Analytics Manager or a Director of Analytics. These programs usually focus on preparing graduates for leadership roles in information technology and computer science.

Courses in this concentration commonly include International Operations Management; Ethical Leadership; Managerial Economics; and Quantitative Decision Making.

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn in Big Data? Tue, 31 Oct 2017 02:58:53 +0000 What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn in Big Data?Read More »


What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn in Big Data?

If you’re ready to jump straight into a bachelor’s degree in big data, we’ve compiled a number of rankings to help you get started.

Our Best Online Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees ranking is perfect for students who want the flexibility and convenience of distance education. We’ve also highlighted the top programs for traditional, residential bachelor’s degrees in our Best Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees ranking.

Bachelor’s degrees aren’t the only programs offered in big data, though. Here are all of your academic options in this field.


Certificate programs in big data or data science are not common at the undergraduate level. However, you can still get a feel for the big data industry without committing to a full-fledged degree program. Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate certificates in computer science.

Although these certificates cover more ground than a data-specific program, you can still take classes in statistics, applied mathematics, and other areas that are foundational to the study of big data. An undergraduate certificate in computer science or a related field typically requires nine to 15 credit hours.

Associate’s Degrees

Options for associate’s degrees in big data are also fairly limited. If you’d like to try out some data science topics, but aren’t ready to commit to a bachelor’s program, you can consider earning an Associate of Science in Computer Science.

These degrees often include coursework in topics that are directly tied to big data. At the associate’s level, you might take classes in database management systems, data abstraction, and algorithms and data structure. If this is an option that interests you, visit our ranking of the 25 top associate’s in computer science degrees.

If you want to go directly into big data, the fastest route will likely be a bachelor’s degree program.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Some of the most common undergraduate degrees in big data include a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and a Bachelor of Computer Science in Data Analytics.

Students who are interested in the finance, economics, or marketing aspects of data science can look for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Analytics program.

Most undergraduate degrees require roughly 120 credit hours, depending on how the school structures their units. Students working a part-time or full-time job may be interested in an online bachelor’s in big data degree. An online degree will generally be much more flexible and convenient than a traditional on-campus program.

Typical coursework for a B.S. in Data Science might include classes such as:

  • Probability and Statistics
  • Computational Stochastic Modeling
  • Business Data Warehouses and Dimensional Modeling
  • Machine Learning and Data Mining
  • Data Analysis and Visualization

Master’s and Doctorate Degrees

Master’s degrees in data science are not as common as bachelor’s degrees. Most big data occupations will require only a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Computer Science as the minimum education level. The exception might be for managerial or supervisory roles within a large financial or technological firm.

If you do wish to pursue graduate study, the most common degree options are a Master of Science in Data Science or a Master of Business Administration in Business Analytics or a related field.

There are a few doctoral degree options as well. The most common doctoral academic program is one that leads to a Ph.D. in Data Science, in Data Analytics and Statistics, or in Computational and Data Sciences. These degrees are typically not required for any industry jobs except university professors who plan to teach and pursue an academic career in data science research.

How Much Money Can I Make with a Big Data Degree? Tue, 31 Oct 2017 02:42:18 +0000 How Much Money Can I Make with a Big Data Degree?Read More »


How Much Money Can I Make with a Big Data Degree?

Big data is relatively new as an academic discipline. As a result, there are still a fairly limited number of schools offering this kind of program compared to more established fields in computer science.

But the information we do have about the industry provides a compelling case for earning a big data degree.

If you’re thinking about earning one of these in-demand degrees, take a look at our ranking for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees. For students who prefer a more traditional on-campus experience, we’ve also created a ranking for the Best Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees.

Based on information from PayScale, we’ve compiled this overview of the most common jobs for data science graduates, a description of main job responsibilities, and the typical salary for each occupation.

Data Scientist

Job responsibilities: Mine complex data; determine ways to improve data quality; analyze and interpret data studies; provide predictive models and algorithms for use within the organization

Average salary: $91,000 per year


Analytics Manager

Job responsibilities: Address business questions through the development of analytical approaches; curate data sets based on statistical knowledge; provide accurate, current, high-quality information and draw actionable insights from this information

Average salary: $93,695 per year


Financial Analyst

Job responsibilities: Work with management and other departments within the company to provide financial and budgetary analysis support; prepare monthly, annual, or long-term budget reports and financial forecasts; advise company executives about resource allocation and asset management based on market trends and microeconomic factors

Average salary: $58,343 per year


Director of Analytics

Job responsibilities: Manage and direct a team of data scientists or other IT professionals; work closely with executives and management to identify information needs; compile reports and presentations; create visualizations of data

Average salary: $125,413 per year (ranging up to $170,000 for experienced directors in major firms)


Data Engineer

Job responsibilities: Collaborate with management and other departments in the company to determine information and data needs; devise technical solutions for organizing and storing data securely; aggregate and analyze complex data sets; provide actionable information through reports and tools

Average salary: $90,286 per year


Data Architect

Job responsibilities: Coordinate with management and executives regarding future plans and current issues; develop a data strategy in collaboration with other departments within the company and other IT organizations as needed; ensure that data is accurate and accessible to the individuals, departments, or organizations that need it

Average salary: $111,139 per year


While big data can be applied to nearly industry, the biggest concentration of jobs tends to be in technologically based fields. Data scientists will find many opportunities for jobs in the sectors of banking and finance, social networks, consumer electronics, government, and medical technology.

Some of the largest employers of data scientists and data engineers include Facebook, General Electric, Capital One, Microsoft, and IBM.

What Is Big Data? Tue, 31 Oct 2017 02:24:17 +0000 What Is Big Data?Read More »


What Is Big Data?

We’re living in the Age of Information, and that means data is everywhere. Big data refers to the analysis and interpretation of the massive amounts of digital information generated on a daily basis.

Shopping transactions, photos and videos, Google searches, GPS signals, tweets, blog posts, status updates—everything we do in the digital world is creating new data faster than anyone can make sense of it.   

To meet the increasing demand for experts in big data, many schools now offer bachelor’s degrees in this field. Our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees and Best Bachelor’s in Big Data Degrees highlight some of the top programs.

Technopedia explains what distinguishes big data from other types of analytics:

“Big data refers to a process that is used when traditional data mining and handling techniques cannot uncover the insights and meaning of the underlying data. Data that is unstructured or time sensitive or simply very large cannot be processed by relational database engines. This type of data requires a different processing approach called big data, which uses massive parallelism on readily-available hardware.”

In layman’s terms, big data is focused on new methods of parsing, interpreting, and extrapolating from the unprecedented amount of information that is now available.

Big data has applications across any number of industries. For example, data analytics can be used to track a new epidemic, predict future outbreaks, and help doctors determine a containment strategy.

In finance, big data is used to identify market patterns that might not be obvious through traditional economic techniques. Business experts can use this information to take advantage of emerging opportunities and mitigate financial risk.

From a marketing perspective, data from billions of search queries and social media interactio0ns can be assessed and analyzed for customer preferences. This allows companies to receive feedback about their products and services, and those of their competitors, on a scale that’s never been accessible before.

These are just a few examples of what big data can do. As one of the most innately interdisciplinary fields, the possibilities in big data are truly endless.

Data science at this scale is still a new and evolving field. According to the Guardian, only about 0.5 percent of the world’s data has ever been analyzed. The true potential of big data remains largely untapped.

As more and more industry experts recognize the value of this powerful new discipline, the job opportunities for big data experts are likely to grow exponentially. With the right education, one of these jobs could easily be yours. Our ranking for the Best Online Bachelor's in Big Data Degrees can help you find your footing in this field. Or, if you think you would prefer the traditional college experience, take a look at our ranking for the Best Residential Bachelor's in Big Data Degrees.

What Are the Requirements for a Career in Computer Engineering? Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:47:51 +0000 What Are the Requirements for a Career in Computer Engineering?Read More »


What Are the Requirements for a Career in Computer Engineering?

A career in computer engineering can offer many benefits. But it’s not always the easiest field to break into, and not everyone is suited to the task.

There are a number of things you’ll need to be successful in computer engineering. These requirements break down into three general categories: personality traits, education requirements, and certifications and credentials.

When it comes to education requirements, we can help you get ready for a computer engineering career. Check out our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering Degrees and the Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees to find the right program for your future.

Personality Traits

Computer engineering requires excellent logic and analytical reasoning skills. Particularly if you plan to work with hardware design or manufacture, it helps to have a strong inclination towards mechanics and physical sciences.

If you’re someone who loved calculus and geometry while all your friends complained about it, computer engineering could be a perfect choice for you. Nearly any job in computer engineering will rely strongly on mathematical skills.

Computer engineers frequently find themselves working with clients and employers who may not have the same technical background that they do. Engineers will need to be able to clearly explain technical concepts in layman’s terms in order to make themselves understood. They will also have to take clients’ instructions and requests and translate them into functional solutions.

Some computer engineers will also participate in writing technical manuals or training staff in the use of hardware or software. Strong written and verbal communication skills are important for these aspects of a computer engineer’s job.

Education Requirements

While associate’s degrees are a great way to cut down on college costs, you won’t necessarily want to stop at a two-year degree. Job opportunities for computer engineers that only require an associate’s degree are fairly rare. The ones that are available, such as computer support specialist, generally pay much less than the jobs at the next educational tier.

The majority of computer engineering job titles will require at least a bachelor’s degree. Occupations like computer hardware engineer, computer network architect, and database administrator will all typically set a Bachelor of Science as the minimum required education.

Some occupations, such as electronics engineer, may only strictly require a bachelor’s degree. But getting a master’s degree will make it easier to find a job, and it will also likely lead to a higher salary compared to a candidate with only an undergraduate degree.

Doctorate degrees are most often reserved for professionals who are pursuing a career in academia. A Ph.D. can allow you to become a published researcher and professor at a university. On the other hand, a Doctor of Engineering degree can pave the way to leadership positions within the computer engineering field.

Certifications and Credentials

Computer engineering does not have any strict licensure or certification requirements in order to practice this profession. But if you’ve been out of school for a while, or if you don’t have a formal degree, you may want to consider a professional certification.

Your career goals and area of specialization will determine which certification makes the most sense to pursue. For example, if you work or plan to work in a management positions where you oversee other computer science professionals, you might consider a certification from the Project Management Institute.

Other certifications are specific to the area of computer engineering where you work. IBM provides an extensive array of certifications for computer science professionals, and so does Microsoft.

What Are the Specializations Within Computer Engineering? Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:41:39 +0000 What Are the Specializations Within Computer Engineering?Read More »


What Are the Specializations Within Computer Engineering?

Choosing a specific area of interest and becoming an expert in it is the best way to find a job that you genuinely enjoy. It’s also the best way to get a higher paycheck: As a rule, specialized roles in computer engineering (and in all industries) earn more than more generalized positions.

In many academic programs, computer engineering is considered a concentration within computer science. While you’re considering where to specialize, you may want to take a look at our FAQs for some of the other important specializations in computer science, such as Big Data and Software Engineering.

If computer engineering is the field you’re most interested in, you can get a jump start on your school search with our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering Degrees and the Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees.

The higher you go with your computer engineering education, the more options you’ll have for specialization. While certificates and bachelor’s degrees tend to have a fairly defined curriculum, by the master’s degree level, you’ll often have much more freedom to shape your degree path.

Take Boston University, for example. The Master of Science in Computer Engineering at this school provides four options for specialization.

Hardware and Computer Architecture

This concentration tends to highlight the engineering aspect of computer engineering. Professionals in this field will design and create physical computer equipment.

Sample course titles: Advanced Digital Design with Verilog and FPGA, Parallel Computer Architecture, Fault-Tolerant Computing, Modern Active Circuit Design, Introduction to Embedded Systems


Computer Communications and Networks

The Computer Communications and Networks concentration involves the design, monitoring, installation, and repair of network hardware and software.

Sample course titles: Stochastic Processes, Optimization Theory and Methods, Networking the Physical World, Randomized Network Algorithms, Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing



Most similar to software engineering, this concentration emphasizes high-performance programming, advanced data structures, and software systems design.

Sample course titles: Enterprise Client-Server Software Systems Design, High-Performance Programming with Multicore and GPUs, Introduction to Embedded Systems, Advanced Software for Computer Engineers, Information-Theoretical Design of Algorithms


Cyber Security

Cyber security is concerned with protecting networks and digital data as well as physical servers and computers from damage, attack, and unauthorized access.

Sample course titles: Advanced Data Structures, Computer Communication Networks, Fundamentals of Cryptography, Advanced Cryptography, Computer Networks Security


Of course, these are not the only options for specialization within computer engineering. At other schools, you may also find concentrations such as:

  • Artificial intelligence and cybernetics
  • Big data analysis
  • Reconfigurable computing
  • Interface design
  • Embedded systems
  • Computational geometry
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Computer graphics and visualization
  • Human-centered computing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Machine learning
  • Medical image computing

The field of computer engineering is growing all the time. It’s possible, even likely, that new disciplines and specializations will be added to this list in the coming years. Because of this, it’s important to consider not only which specialization you choose, but also how you can adapt those skills to new and emerging technologies in the future.

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn in Computer Engineering? Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:37:16 +0000 What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn in Computer Engineering?Read More »


What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn in Computer Engineering?

The number and variety of degree programs in computer engineering can be a little overwhelming.

Our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering Degrees and the Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees are a good place to start.

Here, we’ve laid out the typical computer engineering programs you can find at each of the following academic levels.


Many colleges and universities that have computer engineering degrees also offer certificates. The programs that lead to certificates are typically very short compared to the programs that lead to degrees. For example, an average bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours. By contrast, a certificate typically requires 15 academic credits or less.

Some certificate programs will provide a general overview of computer engineering as a field. However, because of their brevity, many certificate programs focus on a specific aspect of the discipline.

For example, Arizona State University offers undergraduate certificates in Informatics and Computer Gaming. The University of Illinois provides a broader range of computer science undergraduate certificates. Programs are available in Information Security, Networks and Distributed Systems, Information Systems, Software Engineering, and System Software.

Associate’s Degrees

There are a wide variety of colleges and universities that can offer an Associate of Science in Computer Science or in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Most associate’s degree tracks require between 57 and 63 credit hours.

Associate’s degrees are an excellent way to save money on general education requirements. If you plan to earn an associate’s degree and then transfer to a four-year institution, be sure to work with an academic advisor to ensure that your credits will transfer.

You can also earn an associate’s degree and go into the workforce immediately after graduation. But remember that jobs that only require an associate’s degree will pay much less than jobs that require a bachelor’s degree.

The curriculum for an Associate of Science in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology from Grantham University is a good example for this type of program. Required coursework for that degree track includes:

  • Programming Essentials
  • Microprocessor Systems Engineering
  • Digital Electronics
  • Fundamental Properties of DC Circuits
  • Programming in C++

Bachelor’s Degrees

A four-year bachelor’s degree is likely the best investment for a student who is serious about starting their career in computer engineering. A Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering will open up many more job prospects than an associate’s degree.

Depending on how a particular college or university structures their courses, a bachelor’s degree will generally require between 120 and 190 credits.

At Colorado Technical University, for example, the core curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering includes the following courses:

  • Object Oriented Methods
  • Embedded Microcontrollers
  • Advanced Circuit Analysis
  • Advanced Digital System Design
  • Fundamentals of Networking

Master’s and Doctoral Degrees

After a bachelor’s degree, there are several possibilities for further study. You may choose to earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Engineering, a Master of Computer Engineering (M.C.E.), or a Master of Engineering (M.E. or M.Eng.) in Computer Engineering.

These programs may differ in their culminating experience. Master of Science programs are most likely to require a portfolio, comprehensive exam, or written thesis. The other two degree tracks may require an applied research project.

Programs leading to a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering are most often designed for students who plan to work as an academic researcher. Practicing engineers may want to opt for a Doctor of Engineering in Computer Engineering instead.

How Much Money Can I Make with a Computer Engineering Degree? Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:34:15 +0000 How Much Money Can I Make with a Computer Engineering Degree?Read More »


How Much Money Can I Make with a Computer Engineering Degree?

The amount you’ll earn with your computer engineering degree will depend on a couple of things. First and foremost: your level of education.

You’ll generally need a bachelor’s degree to get a job in computer engineering. We can help you out there: Visit our ranking for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering Degrees to get your school search started.

The next tier of jobs will require a master's degree. If that's where you're looking to go, take a look at our ranking for the Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees.  

According to PayScale, the average person with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering will earn roughly $64,274 per year during their first one to four years in the field. A few more years of experience and you’ll see an expected pay bump of roughly $8,000 per year. Computer engineers with five to nine years of work experience earn an average of $72,815.

As you might expect, the expected salary jumps considerably with a master’s degree. Candidates holding a graduate degree in computer engineering earn, on average, $83,988 per year for the first one to four years in the industry. With five to ten years of experience, computer engineers with a master’s degree typically earn about $110,011 per year.

Salary depends on more factors than just education level and experience, though. Your area of specialization and the job title you hold will also make a significant difference. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how much salary can vary for professionals in computer engineering and closely related fields.

Computer Hardware Engineers

Job responsibilities: Create schematics of computer equipment; test, analyze, and modify prototypes of hardware; oversee the manufacturing of finalized hardware designs

Average salary: $115,080 per year

Expected job growth between 2016 and 2026: 5 percent


Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Job responsibilities: Develop construction, manufacturing, and installation standards for new electronic components; work with project managers to design new devices for commercial, scientific, military, medical, or other applications

Average salary: $96,270 per year

Expected job growth between 2016 and 2026: 7 percent


Aerospace Engineers

Job responsibilities: Evaluate the engineering principles, relevant environmental regulations, and client requirements for aerospace and aircraft products; develop criteria for design methods and quality standards; coordinate the design, manufacture, and maintenance of aircraft, satellites, and more

Average salary: $109,650 per year

Expected job growth between 2016 and 2026: 6 percent


Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Job responsibilities: Oversee network and information security; evaluate network and system performance; install, upgrade, and maintain network software and hardware; interpret and analyze errors and outages to find appropriate solutions in a timely manner

Average salary: $79,700 per year

Expected job growth between 2016 and 2026: 6 percent


Computer Programmers

Job responsibilities: Write code in programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, C++, and others; update, refine, and modify existing software; test programs for errors and correct problems in the code

Average salary: $79,840 per year

Expected job growth between 2016 and 2026: -8 percent (expected loss of 22,600 jobs in this industry)

What Is Computer Engineering? Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:31:41 +0000 What Is Computer Engineering?Read More »


What Is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineering is the intersection of computer science and electrical engineering.

The range of computer engineering occupations is broad and varied. There are also a wide variety of options when it comes to earning a degree in computer engineering. Visit our rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering Degrees and the Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Degrees for some of the most outstanding academic programs in this discipline.

Here’s what Technopedia has to say about this field:

“Computer engineering allows professionals to engage in a number of areas such as analyzing and designing anything from simple microprocessors to highly featured circuits, software design, and operating system development. Computer engineering is not limited to operating computer systems but is aimed at creating a broad way to design more comprehensive technological solutions.”

The field of computer engineering is a unique combination of practical and abstract, physical and digital. Depending on a student’s individual interests and strengths, a computer engineering degree can focus on either hardware engineering or software engineering. (We cover software engineering as its own specialization here.)

Computer engineers might be responsible for writing code for software, designing VLSI chips and microcontrollers, or implementing a distributed network. The unique and valuable skills of computer engineers are in demand in a wide variety of industries, including communications, consumer electronics, healthcare and medicine, automotive technology, games and entertainment, and many more.

One of the most exciting aspects about a career in this field is that computer engineering is no longer confined to computers. Thanks to the rapid pace of technological advances, there are more opportunities than ever to work in computer engineering.

Wearable technology, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things—all of these developments are breaking the boundaries of what we once considered computers. No longer restricted to the traditional keyboard-and-mouse model, computers now exist in all kinds of forms and for all kinds of purposes.

Although computer engineering is mostly concerned with the design and implementation of hardware, there are a myriad of specialties and concentrations within the industry.

With a degree in computer engineering, you can easily pursue a career in computer architecture, network administration, database management, cyber security, and numerous other areas. To learn more about the specializations within computer engineering, take a look at our FAQ post: “What Are the Specializations Within Computer Engineering?”

How do you know if computer engineering is right for you? A career in this industry require outstanding mathematical skills and strong analytical and problem solving abilities. It also requires precision, attention to detail, and a great deal of patience. Most people must be willing to commit to at least a bachelor’s degree before they can get their first job in computer engineering.

If this describes you, then you could be a perfect candidate for a computer engineering career.