4 answers

Will Computer Hardware Engineers still be relevant by 2026?

Asked Versailles, Indiana

Will computer hardware engineers be useful in 2026 or will all the jobs be in software developing and hardware engineers won't be useful? #computer-engineering #computer #engineering #computer-engineer #computer-hardware

4 answers

Leon’s Answer

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

I just retired from Information Technology (IT) activities after 50 years. I will tell you there have been many changes in those 50 years. My degree is in Management Information Systems (MIS) which is a degree that gives the graduate a broad range of computer and business skills. I think it is very important to understand a broad range of skills so you can communicate with other team members.


During my career, some of the technologies have improved and some have disappeared in a very short amount of time. I guess good advice would be if you are going to specialize in one aspect of IT don't stop learning about the other technologies.


I found this excellent article in the Internet and it says the hardware technology will not grow as rapidly as the software technology because software is cheaper, etc. https://www.computersciencedegreehub.com/faq/computer-hardware-engineering-growing-field/


Also, very important--after I graduated I never stopped improving my current skills and learning new skills.

Now that I am retired I have setup a Linux test lab in my office. During my career I was and still am a great user of open source programming languages and operating systems. Why pay Microsoft when you can get better for free.










Leon recommends the following next steps:

  • Learn a computer language. The Internet has a large number of free websites that will teach you a variety of computer languages.
  • Learn another computer language. If you are really interested in computer hardware engineering, learn Asembly language.
  • Learn another computer language or improve you skill level on a language that you have learned.

Andrew’s Answer

Updated

Luke that is a very good question. In a word, the answer is yes, but the nature of engineering roles will continue to shift as it has over the last 50 years. We are in the midst of a 4th Industrial Revolution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Industrial_Revolution) which is changing what engineers will need to do. A key question to ask yourself is "What can I do which a computer will not be able to do?" James Plummer from Stanford speculates many basic electrical engineering and other more solitary areas will have less jobs available, however the roles which involve problem solving complex real world challenges and working in teams will continue to be available.  https://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/at-work/education/the-engineers-of-the-future-will-not-resemble-the-engineers-of-the-past 


Keep in mind a basic premise: If you have a role which can be boiled down to a set of predictable steps of simple tasks, it may be automated and make your role obsolete. If, however, your role involves designing, maintaining, changing, and improving how a system of processes function together, it is unlikely your role will ever be automated. I would recommend you look closely at a career as a systems engineer. These roles will always be relevant.  

Andrew recommends the following next steps:

  • Learn all you can about systems engineering. Search on google for basic concepts on this subject including system, process, and management system.
  • Once you have a basic understanding of systems and how they work, take a look at their application in the workplace. I recommend a book called "The Goal" which will give you a view of a factory as a system and the nature of problem solving to improve the system
  • I recommend you also learn all you can about ISO 9001:2015 standards and practices. This will give you the blueprint of how most of the companies in the world design, maintain, change, and improve their systems.

John’s Answer

Updated

Absolutely! Software engineers need hardware to run their programs, so it isn't going away. However, I suspect like in many industries, hardware engineers will become more specialized. Hardware engineers will become split between those who actually build the components (chip design, circuit board design, etc.) and those who assemble systems.


The people who handle large-scale system design and assembly will probably work in cloud centers rather than every company needing one. Small businesses will no longer run their own servers; they'll just rent a virtual server from the cloud. So, if that's your interest, I recommend focusing on large-scale deployment of systems: server clusters, network attached storage, etc.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

It all depends on many factors. You can learn much by getting to know yourself better and talking to people in the field to get the inside information. Congratulations on being interested in the computer field. It takes a special person to enter this field and meet the demands which this career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make people in the computer field successful. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people in the computer field to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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