Computer engineers, also known as computer software engineers, are the people who design and develop the software systems that control computers. A computer engineer must have solid mathematical and analytical skills in order to apply the theories and principles of computer science. A computer engineering degree is the most popular course of training for this profession.
How to Become a Computer Engineer
Most computer engineering jobs require a minimum of a bachelor's computer engineering degree, with a master's degree preferred for more complex jobs. There are a number of computer engineering degree programs available, including classes in computer science, software engineering, and mathematics. These programs will teach you to analyze, design, and develop computer software including operating systems, network control systems, applications, and computer games. You will learn the theory of computer systems, how software is structured, and how it integrates with hardware to accomplish the desired results. You will also learn a variety of programming languages and how to use them to develop software.
Computer engineers are in high demand, and employment in this field is expected to increase by 32% by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is due to the explosion in computer networking and Internet applications. With a degree, you can expect to be recruited by companies in business industries, health care, telecommunications, and government.
The most recent BLS wage statistics from May 2008 put the median annual income for computer software engineers working in system software at $92,430. Those working in applications software engineering achieved a median annual salary of $85,430. And the National Association of Colleges and Employers put the average starting salary of graduates with a computer engineering degree at $61,407 as of July 2009.