Below are some of the most popular computer engineering degree specialties, and a summary about each.
Computer Hardware Engineering
Computer hardware engineering was one of the first, and many hobbyists that did not even know they were computer engineers at the time built their own computers from scratch. Initially, the computers they built ran simple tasks, such as solving basic math. Now, computer hardware engineers develop complex microprocessors and circuit boards for advanced groups, including the federal government and some of the largest Fortune 500 technology companies. The need to be bigger (or smaller) and faster will always be there, as consumers expect this area to continue to advance as it has in the past.
Computer Software Engineering
Software engineers write, design, develop, and test software applications for different businesses. Some work on proprietary software that companies have to solve enterprise-level solutions within the business. Others develop applications for larger companies, or as freelancers. Computer software engineering is quickly becoming one of the most important fields in today’s world. Many software engineers are even becoming CEO’s and other C-level executives. Software engineers that have real-world coding experience, a vision, and the ability to understand business needs will absolutely thrive in today’s environment either with a large company or with their own startup company.
Computer Networking (Cable and Wireless)
The need for data to move faster and faster, without interference is becoming increasingly important. With cities such as San Diego and Kansas City emerging as “Smart Cities” that are connected to the internet, the need for computer network engineers is going to be great. A world with “The Internet of Everything” is very likely to exist, with everyday objects like street lights and city buses as well as wearables for fitness and health will provide many opportunities for computer engineers, as all of these items need to somehow be connected to a central infrasctructure. Computer engineers typically choose either the wireless RF discipline, or traditional cable and fiberoptics
Computer Architecture, Processing, and Robotics
Many in this field determine what an overall project’s architecture is, setting the foundation for complex problem solving later on down the line. Theory and research based on data used to build algorithms are the most common areas within the architecture and processing field. Robotics uses similar planning and research to build robotic technology that can make our lives easier. Think about the tools doctors now use to operate, or cameras plumbers use to determine sewage blockages and other issues.
Computer Security, Cybersecurity, and Cryptography
With increased connectivity comes the need for improved security. Considering some of the largest, most major stores such as Target and Home Depot have had security vulnerabilities in the past year, there is a major need for security and more specifically, cybersecurity specialists. With both instances, it seems that an increased education and more knowledge in cybersecurity could have prevented the attacks.
Computer Engineering Occupations Data Tool
Before deciding on a specific type of computer engineering degree, it's good to have an understanding of what you could make and what the outlook is for the career you are looking at. Below is a table of wage and salary data, plus employment growth projections from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all occupations related to computer engineering and computer science.
Hi Wesley, fortunately nowadays there are A LOT of opportunities for a computer engineer in different fields, like:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Architecture
- Computer design
- Operating systems and networks
- Software applications, etc.
The field that will fit better for you will depend on your skills and preferences, of course.
Please visit the following website in case you want to see more information and statistics related to this topic: https://www.computerscienceonline.org/careers/computer-engineering/