2020 Computer Engineering Degree Guide
Do you love learning how computers work? Does analyzing, developing, and designing computer hardware and software sound like your dream job? If so, Computer Engineering may be the major for you. The field of computer engineering has drastically changed our way of life over the last few decades. Computer engineering includes working with operating systems, computer networks, artificial intelligence, robotics, computer architecture, and computer-aided design. You will also learn about electronic circuits along with hardware and software aspects in this major.
Some courses that you may come across could include: computer architecture, computer assisted design, calculus, digital imaging, introduction to data structures, physics, programming languages, systems programming, electricity, circuitry, and electro mechanics.
A Spike in Computer Engineering Degrees
Computer Engineering was the 77th most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 15,329 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 4.8% increase in CE degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 14,592.
There are 282 schools offering degrees in computer engineering in the United States. This year's Best Colleges for Computer Engineering ranking compares 165 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom CE rankings further below.
Requirements for Getting a Degree in Computer Engineering
Do you enjoy working independently, while still being part of a team? This major will require spending time on your own time solving complex problems, as well as presenting solutions to others and listening to feedback. You should enjoy solving complex problems with advanced mathematics.
Creativity is also an important element of this work as you create and design new devices. Your professors will be asking you to think outside the box and to create something new and useful. Thinking of ways to improve current computer and devices or designing new ones should be something you find enjoyable. Communication skills are also important in this field. You will spend time working with your team members, your professors, or other professionals, so speaking skills are imperative.
Engineering students tend to spend long hours studying and finding answers to difficult problems. Those who persevere will have a satisfying and exciting career of coming up with new, innovative products.
CE Degree Program Entry Requirements
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most CE degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific CE careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.
Types of Computer Engineering Degree
There are various different levels of CE degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a professional practice doctorate's in computer engineering to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. How long it takes to complete some common CE degree levels is shown below.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to CE, with approximately 54.4% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for CE workers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||4.1%|
This of course varies depending on which CE career you choose.
Obtaining your degree in computer engineering will allow you to go in many different directions. Right after graduating you could get a job with a digital hardware design firm, software engineering companies, or a telecommunication firm. This major is usually closely linked with electrical engineering so you could work in that field if desired. Some students will attend graduate school in either Computer Engineering or even Business or Law.
To increase your chances of finding work in computer engineering you should make sure your college offers an ABET-accredited program.
High Growth Projected for CE Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your CE degree? Computer Engineering careers are expected to grow 19.4% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to computer engineering.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Software Applications Developers||1,086,600||30.7%|
|Systems Software Developers||472,100||11.1%|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||190,000||5.5%|
|Computer Network Architects||173,200||6.5%|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||77,600||5.4%|
How Much Money Do People With a CE Degree Make?
Recently graduated computer engineering students earned an average of $68,762 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $37,800 to as high as $112,300. As you might expect, salaries for CE graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Highest Paid CE Careers
Salaries for computer engineering graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers CE grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$148,970|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||$117,840|
|Systems Software Developers||$114,000|
|Computer Network Architects||$111,130|
Getting Your Computer Engineering Degree
With over 734 different CE degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased CE school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for Computer Engineering
Highest Paid Graduates
Most Popular Colleges
Best for Non-Traditional Students
Best for Veterans
Majors Related to CE
One of 38 majors within the Engineering area of study, Computer Engineering has other similar majors worth exploring.
Majors Similar to CE
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
Featured Engineering Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Purdue University Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Request Info||Colorado Technical University (CTU) CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology. Learn More >|