3 answers

What is the future on hardware engineering?

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My father is a hardware engineer who loves his job and gets a good living out of it. However, software engineering tends to dominate over hardware engineering nowadays and I was wondering is hardware engineering going to survive and be as fruitful at this rate? #engineering #engineer #jobs #hardware #outlook

3 answers

Michael’s Answer


I think hardware engineering will always exist as software simply needs hardware to run on. Software engineering will always probably dominate as there is a lot of consumer products that use the same/ similar hardware (processor's/ ASIC's) where as software engineers work on individual projects.

There is still a market for Hardware engineers (Google is hiring lots at the moment) you just need to be able to find the jobs

Thanks for answering. It's good to know that hardware will survive since its such a fun field. Alexander N.
Interesting topic I never even knew about..........have to look this up Justin H.

Brian’s Answer


Very interesting question. Short answer: The software runs on hardware, engineers design the hardware. But there is more to your question. Some of the most interesting work in software involves writing programs that interact with the world outside the computer. This used to be called embedded systems, but now the term Internet of Things (IoT) is very popular. It is true that nearly everything is controlled by software, but if you are writing the software that controls a jet plane or a nuclear reactor or a chemical plant or whatever, then you have to know engineering for jet planes or nuclear reactors or chemical plants or whatever. Good strategy is to pick the type of engineering that interests you, but also learn to write software. The combination of knowledge of about some engineering discipline and the ability to write software is very valuable.

Brad’s Answer


Michael does a great job of answering this question. Software needs hardware to run on.

But I also think it's worth pointing out there are many definitions of hardware engineering.

- Integrated Circuit (basically a chip on a PCB such as CSR, ARM, Intel, Microchip)
- Integration of IC's onto a PCB assembly (sound cards, computer mouse, most consumer electronics)
- Integration of PCB's into a system (computers, networks,
- Plastic, metal, PCBs and any other touchable components - while I think this is a bit misleading, some people consider anything you touch "hardware" and anything code related to be "software"

Most traditionally, hardware engineering is short for computer hardware engineering - the designing and construction of computer systems. Think of computer systems not so much as a personal computer, but in much more broad way. Computer systems are almost anything that requires a PCB (almost).

As products become more sophisticated, the demand for hardware and software engineers increases. Companies that previously relied on simple mechanical control systems (such as the turning dial on an old washing machine) now have computer control systems (buttons and electronic displays telling you just how many minutes are left in the cycle).

One last point is that hardware innovations drive software innovations, and software innovations drive hardware innovations. The hardware innovation of multi-touch screens and low power processors have enabled a new industry of touch devices with apps. The creation of app stores and apps for the hardware has increased the demand for touch devices with capability and hardware innovation - just look at the quality of the camera on a smartphone these days.

There will always be a need for great minds in the software and hardware space. Do a little exploring to see which (if either) suits you better.