What qualifications do I need to become a computer engineer?

Written by luanne kelchner
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What qualifications do I need to become a computer engineer?
Computer engineers can design the hardware in a computer system. (computer board image by Kokhanchikov from Fotolia.com)

Computer engineering can encompass all aspects of the computer field including hardware development, system design and software development. Some engineers may specialise in one area while others may work in all areas of computer systems. According to a leading salary website, the salary for a computer engineer is between £32,330 and £51,545, as of January 2011.

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Computer Engineer Description

Computer engineers may work as a part of a team to develop and design software applications, computer systems or hardware to meet the needs of the consumer. Computer hardware engineers design and develop computer hardware systems. The engineer supervises the manufacture of the system, testing and troubleshooting. Computer software engineers develop new applications for users, such as system software, network programmes and applications for companies or individual consumers.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education required for a computer engineer. Professionals can enter the field with a degree in computer science, computer engineering or computer programming. A computer hardware engineer may study electronics engineering as well as computer engineering for a bachelor’s degree. Computer software engineers may complete a computer software engineering programme with a computer science programme to enhance job opportunities in the field.

Certifications

Voluntary certifications can enhance the computer engineer’s qualifications for a position. Software vendors offer training programs for computer engineers, but they must be completed in conjunction with a degree program to qualify for most positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals offers certification for computer engineers, who must meet education requirements to qualify for the certification examination.

Skills

Computer engineers must have analytical skills and a strong attention to detail. A professional in this field also must have strong communication skills to lead a design team on a project. Computer engineers must be able to organise a project and have time-management skills to coordinate different areas of a project. The field of computers changes rapidly, which requires the computer engineer to continue pursuing education and training.

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