Earning an online computer engineering degree from a top program can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. Many affordable bachelor's in computer engineering degrees exist online, and this guide introduces prospective learners to the field of computer engineering and the benefits of earning a bachelor's in computer engineering. This guide describes skills and knowledge gained in typical programs, as well as potential careers and salaries for graduates. We hope this information helps future students find the right school and program to pursue their academic interests and achieve their career goals.

What Is Computer Engineering?

To work in the field of computer engineering requires an understanding of both the theoretical underpinnings of computer science and practical knowledge of electrical engineering. Computer engineers design, test, build, and evaluate computer systems and other computer components, including memory devices, circuit boards, routers, processors, and networks. Computer engineering integrates these computer components into computer systems and networks. The discipline also includes software development, which involves designing, creating, and testing components like operating systems, programming languages, utilities, and applications.

Some of the best computer engineering bachelor's programs hold programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Students in these programs often receive hands-on practical skills training and learn about a wide variety of computer science and electrical engineering concepts, including how hardware and software components interface with one another. Courses cover topics like advanced circuit analysis, data structures, programming, software engineering, and system design.

Earning a bachelor's in computer engineering gives graduates an understanding of the most fundamental aspects of both electrical engineering and computer science. As the world increasingly comes to rely on computer systems for institutional needs, the demand for individuals with computer engineering skills to create, research, test, and maintain these systems also likely grows. Graduating with a computer engineering bachelor's not only gives individuals the qualifications to work in computer engineering but also to work in other computer and tech-related careers and fields. Below are a few possible career pathways for students with an online computer engineering bachelor's degree.

What Can I Do with an Online Computer Engineering Bachelor’s Degree?

Students who earn online computer engineering bachelor's degrees from the best programs harness extensive technical skills and knowledge in computer science and electrical engineering. Graduates generally find many diverse career opportunities in numerous industries and earn a competitive salary. The following sections discuss some of the most important skills computer engineers need to hold, as well as the type of careers and salaries they most often hold.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Bachelor's students in online computer engineering programs gain a wide variety of knowledge and skills related to both computer science and electrical engineering, with courses that incorporate chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Classes may include study of advanced data structures, circuit analysis, technical analysis, microprocessors, programming, and digital electronics in their curriculum. Most computer engineering programs also offer courses with extensive laboratory and design experience, giving students hands-on involvement in areas such as integrated circuit design; computer simulation and CAD; digital image processing; and electric machinery. Learners also gain skills in leadership, communication, and problem solving. Many programs require students to complete a computer engineering capstone project that gives them first-hand training working with an industry partner.

Graduates of online bachelor's in computer engineering programs gain skills to help them succeed in their future careers, whether that's working as a computer engineer or using computer engineering skills to work in another technological field, such as robotics, image processing, network management, production, or control systems.

The skills and knowledge gained from a bachelor's in computer engineering can apply to many fields outside of technology. Other industries increasingly need services from skilled computer engineers as society increasingly relies on computer systems for a wide variety of services, products, and information. Some fields outside of tech that employ computer engineers or require computer engineering knowledge include government, education, business, science, and consulting.

Careers and Salary Potential

A bachelor's in computer engineering prepares graduates to work in a myriad of positions within the computer engineering and information technology fields. However, many other fields and industries depend on the skills and knowledge held by computer engineers as well. Computer engineering graduates can find exciting opportunities in fields such as government, science, business, and education. Many computer engineers also choose to set out on their own and work as consultants for various industries, including:

  • Government: Federal, state, and local governments rely on computer systems more than ever. They need websites, databases, and applications, all of which require computer engineering skills, to help deliver information and services to citizens.
  • Science: All areas of the sciences also need individuals with a computer engineering background. Scientists need help creating software and hardware to manage their studies and analyze data.
  • Business: The business sector relies on computer engineers to design, build, test, and analyze computer systems and their components for a variety of business functions, including managing and analyzing sales, business products, and services.
  • Consulting: Many computer engineers work in the consulting industry, providing advice and computer engineering services to industries without computer engineering expertise.
  • Education: Schools uses computer systems to manage student data, physical systems on campuses, and online learning platforms.
Computer Hardware Engineer

Annual Median Salary: $115,120

Computer hardware engineers design, research, and test computer systems. They also create other computer components, including processors, memory devices, routers, circuit boards, and networks.

Software Developer

Annual Median Salary: $103,560

Software developers create applications that let people complete tasks on computers, tablets, and smartphones. They develop the systems that control networks or run devices.

Computer Network Architect

Annual Median Salary: $104,650

Computer network architects build and design data communication networks like wide area networks, intranets, and local area networks.

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Annual Median Salary: $81,100

Network and computer systems administrators take responsibility for the day-to-day operations of computer systems and networks necessary to help organizations run. They work with physical computer networks and find employment in many different industries.

Computer Programmer

Annual Median Salary: $82,240

Computer programmers write and test code which enables software programs and computer applications to run correctly. Using program designs that software engineers and developers create, programmers create instructions that a computer can understand.