Education and Training Required to Become a Successful Computer Engineer



Though many of the skills needed to be a successful computer engineer can be learned on the job or through an Associate’s degree, most companies that hire computer engineers require applicants to hold at least a Bachelor’s degree. Many who work with complex networks and programming prefer a Master’s degree or even a Doctorate. Individuals looking to launch a career as a computer engineer, then, should get as much schooling as they can in the field.

Associate’s Degree

Though a high school diploma is all that is really required to become a computer engineer, many students choose to get an Associate’s degree. They then begin by working entry-level computer engineering jobs to gain the specialized knowledge they will need later in their career. An Associate’s degree in computer engineering typically takes two years to complete and can easily equip individuals with the skills they need for technical support, basic programming and various networking jobs. An Associate’s degree will typically cost between $2,500 and $7,500 a year, and there are some scholarship opportunities for students who demonstrate need.

Undergraduate Education

Most companies will require their computer engineers to earn at least a Bachelor’s degree. Those majoring in computer science, programming, engineering, or computer information systems will be much better equipped to handle the complex problems they will face on the job. Students will learn the basics of various programming languages, details about networking systems, how to build a system from the ground up and various technical applications involved in more advanced computing jobs. A Bachelor’s degree can range from $6,000 at a state school to upwards of $25,000 at a private college. Scholarships are often available for students at these four-year schools.


Graduate Level Education

For the most complex computing jobs, individuals may need an advanced degree such as a Master’s or even a Doctorate in computer engineering. Design, development, and even some testing jobs may require a very specialized type of knowledge that can only be learned at the highest levels of education. Students will become proficient with programming languages, hardware and software development as well as theories behind new forms of computing technology. Costs can run upwards of $25,000 a year, though, and scholarships are rare.

Certification Programs

Even after a computer engineer’s primary education is complete, he or she will likely want to look into various certification programs. The exact certification will depend on the exact nature of the engineer’s job and could include programming languages, particular operating systems, certain forms of software and more. Certification exams can run up to $500 per test, but each one will likely come with a significant boost in pay.

Computing technology is constantly evolving, so even when individuals have earned their degrees and certificates, they should still seek out further training opportunities. By staying on the cutting edge of any and all technologies that emerge, computer engineers will make sure they stay relevant, meaning that they can get and keep the best jobs in nearly every conceivable industry.

Outcome as salary

After all these hassles, computer engineer salary is quite good. An experienced computer engineer earns up to $102,450 per year.