Earning a Master's in Computer Engineering Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Computer Engineering Online?

An online master's degree in electrical and computer engineering prepares students to work in engineering, academia, and information technology. Students who complete computer engineering concentrations land positions in data sciences, robotics, and science professions. Companies specializing in software development, firmware engineering, and research and development labs seek candidates with an online master's in electrical and computer engineering.

Students must exhibit strong analytical, critical, and logical thinking skills, given the complex problems these professionals tackle. These positions need innovative thinkers who devise creative solutions to vexing issues. Learners with a bachelor's degree can succeed in the computer science field, but more advanced opportunities and higher pay await master's graduates.

An online computer engineering master's offers students options to take classes at times that fit their schedule. Students with work and family obligations find a flexible online schedule appealing.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Computer Engineering Graduates

Master's in Computer Engineering Salary

The employment outlook for computer engineers remains healthy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 5% from 2016 to 2026. An online computer engineering master's degree opens opportunities in a range of industries. Electronics and appliance stores, companies that manufacture semiconductors, and scientific research operations seek candidates with a computer engineering skill set. Businesses need professionals adept at data mining, engineering hardware, and device design. The best online computer engineering master's programs prepare candidates for jobs at startups and established companies by offering useful curricula.

Top-Paying Industries for Computer Hardware Engineers

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $276,470
Electronics and Appliance Stores $147,470
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing $138,230
Scientific Research and Development Services $130,450
Other Information Services $128,780

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Master's Degree in Computer Engineering

  • Less Than One Year:
    $81,214
  • Entry-Level (1-4 Years):
    $84,126
  • Mid-Career (5-9 Years):
    $104,908
  • Experienced (10-20 Years):
    $120,786

Source: PayScale

Master's in Computer Engineering Careers

An online master's in electrical and computer engineering prepares students for a variety of positions. Students learn analytical, data, and architectural skills useful across a range of jobs. The best online computer engineering master's programs graduate students who demonstrate a skill set broad enough to work in multiple jobs but specific enough to handle specialized tasks. These professionals work full time and interact with other computer-related departments and functions.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Annual Median Salary: $115,120

A computer hardware engineer designs devices that connect to the internet. These professionals design the processors that make devices internet ready. Engineers work with software developers since the hardware and software go through the design phase simultaneously. Engineers oversee the computer hardware manufacturing process, test computer hardware, and analyze the results.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Annual Median Salary: $139,220

These professionals assess computer needs, recommend upgrades, and oversee hardware and software installation and maintenance. Employees work as chief information or technology officers and in IT. Managers analyze and justify computer projects and stay abreast of the latest technology news. As department leaders, they hire personnel and direct their work.

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Annual Median Salary: $114,520

Scientists work with complex algorithms to create and improve the software to foster technology advancement. These professionals improve computer hardware efficiency by designing new architecture. Work focuses on developing and improving the software to enhance the user experience. Scientists analyze their findings and publish them in academic journals. These positions require a master's degree, with graduates filling specialized roles in robotics, data science, and programming.

Software Architect

Annual Median Salary: $121,169

Architects work for large companies that provide software solutions to clients. Architects develop databases, user interfaces, and code. These professionals analyze software costs, study the latest computing trends, and standardize programs. Architects design programs and follow up to ensure all aspects work properly. While candidates with an undergraduate degree qualify for these jobs, companies may prefer graduates who hold an online computer engineering master's.

Software Engineering/Development Director

Annual Median Salary: $144,848

Professionals who like to manage software projects often seek this role. These supervisors oversee teams responsible for all aspects of systems development. Directors head several projects simultaneously, leading teams and setting project goals. They engage in quality control, ensuring code reliability. These directors work across departments and must possess excellent analytical, team building, and communication skills.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Computer Engineering Program?

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Computer Engineering

An online master's degree in electrical and computer engineering courses gives students a background in data, data mining, programming, and security. Course content and names vary based on the university, but the courses below serve as examples of what students can find in an online computer science master's program.

Computer Organizations and Design

This course covers computer design, focusing on concepts in hardware and software. Learners study computer fundamentals and how hardware and software interact. Classes examine computer architecture, parallel programming models, and computer arithmetic. Coursework provides an overview of architecture in game consoles and GPU graphics and computing.

Computer Networks

Students in this course learn about the principles of networking and technologies that form the backbone of information infrastructure. Classes cover internet protocols and their impact on information flow. The course examines emerging technology and the roles interconnected systems play in information access.

Internet Security

Materials in this course examine how hackers attack computer networks and the methods used to prevent incursions. Students learn TCP/IP basics, knowledge necessary to understand network attacks. Coursework covers DNS server and routing attacks and hijacking that results in the inability of the client and server to exchange information. Learners study defense techniques.

Advanced Computer Architecture

This course examines the latest developments in computer architecture. Students focus on hardware design and applications. Topics include memory hierarchies, parallel processing, and power aware computing. Students immerse themselves in abstract analytic models, the computer design and application relationship, and the cost and benefit tradeoff.

Fundamentals of Data and Knowledge Mining

This class explores data mining theories and principles. Students take theoretical knowledge and apply it to real-world data mining problems. Coursework shows students how to use R programming and Weka open-source software to tackle data-mining issues. Learners receive instruction on how to understand and identify the most appropriate data-mining techniques for problem solving

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Computer Engineering Prepares For

  • Cisco Certified Design Professional: This certification works best for professionals desiring advanced network design skills. The course, available in a five-day format or an on-demand format, seeks candidates who want to improve upon their expertise in Cisco network design. Candidates must complete Cisco switching and routing prerequisites or CCIE/CCDE training before taking the course. The certification appeals to senior network design or system engineers and network architects.

  • Microsoft Certified Solution Developer: The certification best fits software developers who want to develop applications. To qualify, nominees need MCSA certification and must pass Microsoft-required exams. Candidates may retake certification each year to show they've stayed current on the latest developments. Candidates may take the course over five days or online.

Professional Organizations and Resources

Professional organizations offer services to graduates with an online master's in electrical and computer engineering. The organizations provide networking opportunities connecting professionals in the field. Groups may offer certification in a specialized computer engineering field. The associations provide scholarships for students along with the latest research and information via books, magazines, and online publications. Groups offer annual conferences that unite industry leaders while local and regional chapters make it easy for members to connect in their area.

  • IEEE Computer Society: This society offers services to students as well as computer science and engineering professionals. The group provides students networking and scholarship opportunities along with bodies of knowledge in software engineering, enterprise information technology, and systems engineering.

  • Association for Women in Computing: This group advocates for women in computing professions via networking, continuing education, and mentoring. The association offers links to like-minded associations and presents an annual award to women who exhibit excellence in scientific and technical achievement and service in the computing community.

  • Computing Research Association: This association offers membership to academics, researchers, and government agencies involved in computing research. The group's government affairs arm advocates for computing research and helps shape federal policy.

  • The Institute of Engineering and Technology: This institute focuses on engineering and offers career advancement tools, mentoring, and professional development opportunities. The institute offers accreditation to engineering programs.

  • Association for Computing Machinery: This association offers resources that focus on computing as a science. The group holds more than 170 events worldwide each year and offers awards and fellowships.

  • Introduction to C and C++: This MIT course, an introduction to the C and C++ languages, offers a four-week program useful for students studying programming. The course covers memory management, object-oriented programming, and finding bugs.

  • Theory of Computing: This free online journal offers theoretical computer science research papers. The site, a resource for researchers and students, contains articles, special issues, and graduate surveys.

  • CNET: This online magazine contains product reviews along with tech industry, computer, and security news. CNET covers developments at Microsoft, Google, and Apple. This resource proves useful to anyone with an interest in computing.

  • CRA Job Announcements: CRA's job board contains openings with a focus on academic institutions. Candidates may search for positions by keyword and location and may upload resumes to the CRA database.

  • Turing's Invisible Hand: This blog and its seven regular contributors focus on game theory. The site alerts users to awards and calls for papers. This resource also publishes computer science theory and artificial intelligence content.