If you are currently a high school student, maybe in your junior or senior year, it's best that you do your best to keep your GPA up. "Senior-itis" is a real phenomenon that strikes high school seniors into thinking that just because they got into a college that they can relax and take it easy. Their GPA and grades drop as a result. The problem with this is that until you actually step foot onto the college campus and start taking classes, you are not a student of that specific college. In other words, colleges can drop you for any reason anytime up until the first day you attend classes. Reasons can include: your GPA suddenly drops during senior year (this may suggest the student is not taking their education seriously in the last year of high school and therefore not a good reflection of the type of student that the college wants to accept). Therefore, it is best to keep your grades up until the very last day.
Sadly, things get a little more difficult. As with many of the competitive majors, Computer Engineering gets a lot of applicants from both undergraduate students and high school students. (Aside: It's actually possible for a high school student to enter directly into a college department. Usually, the student must demonstrate exceptional talent e.g. good grades and they developed their own software program, did a lot of computer science extracurriculars, helped their community out a lot in the field of computer engineering, etc.. The typical high school student takes 2 steps to get into the college department: high school student gains acceptance into college, then they apply for entry into the department.)The best way for you to get into any department, and especially so for computer engineering and other competitive majors, is to participate in extracurriculars in the field of your interest. I cannot say if quantity is any better than quality when it comes to extracurricular activities but either way, get involved as much as you can. This demonstrates your desire to learn, desire to make a difference, and your desire to be involved.
The same train of thought applies even if you are a current undergraduate student. GPA matters when applying for computer engineering (and any major) but there's definitely more to your story than just some numbers and letters that represent your grade. College and department administrators also care about who you are as a person; your interests, what you like to do outside of school, what you are involved in, what you've done to make yourself stand out. Still, try not to slack on your grades. This all sounds like a lot to do at the same time (and it is) but just know that you're not alone in this. Many others are in the same boat and many more were in the same boat. It's completely possible to succeed! there are plenty of resources out there for you to use. Do not hesitate to reach out to anyone if you have questions, want advice, or are looking for help in general.
It is also important to remember that all students who graduate from top schools do better later in life compared to students from ordinary schools. At the end of the day it is all up to your passion, your personality, your work ethics and how you market yourself that lead to your success.
With all that said, computer science and computer engineering are probably on the "in demand" list. You will need higher GPA for sure to get into better universities. You may want to look at some smaller, not so popular universities to get into computer engineering and strive hard to learn, and market yourself. You will do just fine.
RAVI recommends the following next steps:
NOW - I understand the GPA isn't everything, but I do not have the time to interview candidates with lower GPA's that "might" be great and smart - but were lazy or didn't care in school. I simply need a method to quickly separate those who made the effort.
That is reality. GPA matters - it open's doors...
That said, I don't speak for all companies. A lot of people won't consider a resume from a fresh graduate if they have a low, or even average GPA. It's all really subjective to what companies you apply for in the future. In the end, just try your hardest in school... but if you have a low GPA, don't assume you'll never be able to succeed in your career. :)
We often see candidates with an unfortunate school history either due to personal problems, lack of interest in certain classes or other factors. Usually, those candidates are still performing very well if they have an appropriate level of interest, curiosity and passion. Fortunately, self-education is very accessible in the IT-Industry and everybody has the chance to learn operating systems, networking, software development etc.
So if you are suffering from bad grades, I highly recommend to get a certification from a respected vendor like Cisco, Microsoft, VMware etc. in an area that interests you, and build applicable knowledge and skills through hands-on training.